The UTS Vicki Sara Building, also known as the Science Faculty Building, is the building housing the Faculty of Science and the Graduate School of Health in the University of Technology Sydney in New South Wales, Australia. It is the third building to be opened under the plan for $154 million worth of structures designed by Durbach Block Jaggers (DBJ) in association with BVN Architecture constructed by Richard Crookes Constructions. The building is located in the City Campus at 67 Thomas St, Ultimo. It was completed in October 2014 and opened for teaching in February 2015. The building has eight levels that provide spaces for over 1200 staff and students. Three of these floors are distinguished for its state of art teaching, learning and research facilities, which have been located underground.
The organic form of the building is inspiredby the shapes of grove of trees. The undulatory form of the building is inflected by 700 multicoloured coloured, box-like openings piercing the glossy off-white surface of the façade. Considerably, the external cladding has been crafted from more than 75% recycled glass.
The new Science and Graduate School of the Health Building (Building 7) is joined to Building 4. This has been created for the new science and health teaching, learning and research precinct. The faculty is recognised by its natural rendered and organic flowing lines. The building’s exterior is motivated by a grove of ripping trees that accentuate approximately 700 colourful box-style windows, this allows natural light to flow into the building.
The project had conflicting objectives and requirements. Since the faculty was going to be located in the new official heart of the campus the building had to be architecturally distinguished and dignified. However, a tall building on the site would shade the green space of the Alumni Green. The architect’s solution was to extend the building horizontally along an est-west axis and to pull the face back at two points along its front elevation (overlooking the Alumni Green), thus fulfilling the brief’s solar obligations. DBJ believes that the curved form and white reflective surface provides more light for the interior spaces (it functions like concave lenses). Moreover, the play in scale of the box-style windows and their overlapping pattern not only accentuates the undulating rhythm of the façade but also transforms the three-storey facade into something that appears much more substantial. This ingenious play in scale has given the building a civic presence.