In a strategic move to consolidate its facilities across nine buildings on the Camperdown/Darlington campuses, Woods Bagot has designed the flagship home for the new University of Sydney Business School. Catering to over 6,000 students, the Abercrombie precinct includes three 550-seat lecture theatres, eight 100-seat study rooms, 40 seminar rooms, a learning hub and 1,500 sqm of informal learning space.
One of the main objectives of the Business School was to reshape the conventional higher education triptych of teaching, learning and research. The functional floor plates provide a spectrum of learning environments positioned around a centrally-located social spine, encouraging collaboration and visual accessibility.
The exterior skin draws inspiration from the historic and textural character of the neighbouring Darlington terraces and the university quad. The double-skin façade system is intelligently designed to react to both the interior and exterior building adjacencies, with density and rotation of blades responding to desirable sightlines, privacy concerns and daylight penetration to study areas. In a contemporary reinterpretation of historic local sandstone, the stratification of terracotta baguettes integrates the architecture firmly within the campus aesthetic.