March 1, 2017

University of Sydney Business School by Woods Bagot and Carr Design Group

Woods Bagot wrapped part of the school in a screen of unglazed and glazed terra-cotta tubes. Photography by Trevor Mein.

Once lacking a distinct identity, scattered in nine locations, Australia’s University of Sydney Business School has consolidated in a single building by Woods Bagot, a firm that’s well versed in educational architecture. The facade complements a prominent Gothic revival sandstone building on campus, the sandstone’s striations echoed by the pattern of the newcomer’s exterior screen: Horizontal tubes of unglazed terra-cotta are interspersed with a few white-glazed variants.

Vinyl upholstering custom sectionals in a lounge. Photography by Trevor Mein.

The 375,000-square-foot interior, completed with the Carr Design Group, centers on an atrium with a spiral staircase veneered in eucalyptus—meant to resemble a single, monumental curled wood shaving. Perimeter classrooms are accompanied by what Woods Bagot director Georgia Singleton calls “sticky” spaces to encourage students to stick around after lectures. As Carr Design Group director Dan Cox explains, collaborative hubs and individual work areas are designed to “cleverly replicate the offices the students will eventually work in.” 

> See more from the March 2017 issue of Interior Design

Eucalyptus veneer on the main staircase. Photography by Trevor Mein.

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