FACULTY OF EDUCATION
University of Sydney
Architects: Jackson Teece Chesterman Willis
Builders: Kell and Rigby
Bricklayer: Apollo Developments
Client Brief and Design Intent
The intent of the building was to combine with the historic Teachers College Building to create a Faculty of Education Precinct with its own identifiable character - to build a piece of "medieval city" within the University campus; dense, informal yet correct in its geometry - responding to the historic accidents that created the site boundaries.
On each boundary, relationships with adjoining buildings and urban spaces had to be resolved. To the north, the building had to complete the sweep of Manning Road. To the south it had to complete the Square and respond to the long low form of Wilkinson's 1924 Physics Building.
To the east the new building had to connect to the existing Student Union Building at both ground and upper levels, whilst its roof had to become part of the general skyscape of steep roofs and gables.
To the west it had to define and bridge the Wilkinson axis, and to relate to and connect with the historic Teachers College Building which forms the other side of the axis.
The architectural vocabulary chosen was clearly a response to the Teachers College Building, but also complements Wilkinson's Physics Building located across the Square and the historic gabled skyline to the east.
Brick was chosen as a cladding to meet the University's maintenance requirements as well as for its thermal and acoustic performance. Window openings were kept to a modest size for the same reason.
Horizontal brick banding was used as an instrument for definition of floor lines, openings and natural ground lines.
Interest was added with the use of bays, indents, brightly tiled frieze patterns, heavy cornice, a convex facade onto the Manning Road, entry portico with capitals, and soldier courses around window frames. The glazed tile chess board motif of the gables surrounded by stretcher courses reflects similar motifs on the campus.
The building received the 1994 John Horbury Hunt Award for Excellence in Brickwork.
The building is of conventional reinforced concrete frame clad in single leaf brickwork with steel stud framing clad in plasterboard. Copings and other mouldings are pre cast concrete. Most of the building is naturally ventilated, with air conditioned lecture theatres.
The building was originally designed to be rendered and painted Autoclaved Aerated Concrete (AAC), however the University found that the higher initial cost of the face brickwork was offset by its lower maintenance cost.
The architects were commissioned to design, document and administer the contract. The University's Facilities Management office was the project manager. The building contract was a guaranteed maximum price lump sum, in effect a "partnering" agreement.
Over 2 500 000 bricks were needed from four manufacturers. Four special bricks were made for the job, including square bricks for the corners of window surrounds to allow the patterning to go around the end of the lintels. The gable tiling was part of the bricklaying contract.
Excessive water jet pressure during brick cleaning eroded the tooled faces of some joints and some areas of brickwork.