campus ceremonial space enveloped in a metalic skin

Ultimo NSW, 2010

Our design for the Great Hall and Balcony Room at the University of Technology Sydney [UTS] has created a dramatic new identity for the most important ceremonial space on campus. 


The signature element of the Great Hall is “The Mantle”, a fluid skin of perforated aluminium comprising more than 1000 unique facets. The Mantle lines the ceiling and walls, integrating lighting, audio-visual, fire and mechanical services into a dynamic whole, breathing new life into the space.

The Mantle comprises over 1000 unique perforated aluminium facets. Designed using Rhino and Grasshopper software, the surface seamlessly integrates audio-visual, lighting, fire, acoustic and mechanical services in a singular dramatic form.

Beyond the initial brief for the Great Hall we proposed “The Balcony Room”, a soaring reception space annexed to the Hall that capitalises on a commanding view across the future Alumni Green. The Balcony Room adapts a previously underused terrace, enclosing it to provide a link between the main building foyer and the rich, warm interior.

The Balcony Room, sits at the base of an iconic Brutalist tower, providing a bold new identity for the Great Hall in the external envelope and breathing new life into the campus. Glass ‘Pleats’ in the 11 meter high facade open up diagonal views across Alumni Green. The lofty, light-filled space overlooks Alumni Green, the University’s primary landscaped area. 

Client: University of Technology Sydney Services: Architecture

Project team: DRAW, Adam Russell, John de Manincor, Fransisco Layson, Chris Steinbach, Lorraine Yip, Zana Wright, Raffaello Rosselli, Nick Sargent, Leisa Tough

BUILDER: Lipman FACADE: Facade Innovations MANTLE: Facade Innovations FACADE ENGINEER: Surface Design DETAILED MANTLE MODELLING: AR-MA PHOTOGRAPHY: © Brett Boardman [all rights reserved]

Collaborators: Kann Finch (collaborating architects), Steensen Varming (Environment / Mechanical / Electrical /Lighting), Audio Systems Logic (Acoustics), SDA Structures (Structure), Warren Smith and Partners (Hydraulics/Fire), Blackett Maguire + Goldsmith (BCA), Aquenta (Cost Planner), Philip Chun (Fire Engineering), The Mack Group (Commercial Kitchen)