One of the most outstanding architects of the present Frank Gehry has completed his first Australian project – the Dr Chau Chak Wing building, which is located in Sydney’s University of Technology.
85-year-old architect, who was born in Canada and currently lives in Los Angeles, developed this building to accomodate cabinets, offices and laboratories of the University’s business-school. The project goes in the context of reconstruction of the University’s buildings with value of about a billion dollars.
The Dr Chau Chak Wing building has partially wavy structure reminding a crumpled paper bag.
This fluctuating shape was used by Frank Gehry in his earlier projects, for instance, in the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and Walt Disney’s Concert Hall. But here this shape was created of 320 thousand designer-made bricks that are laid manually.
The architect said that he selected materials in consideration of the local perculiarities.
I think when the university hired me they expected a shiny metal building. I made some shiny metal models but they were things I had already sort of worked over and done. I just felt that it should be a material like in the neighbourhood
Gehry told that he was inspired by the process when the artists use folds and curves to get various color and shadow effects.
Because of the technology we’ve developed we were able to design something that was primitively made — hand-laid brick — that could follow those kinds of forms and I’ve always wanted to do that with brick
Wiggly form continues inside the school where the brick walls are covered with plasterboard.
The Dr Chau Chak Wing building was named after Australian-Chinese benefactor, who gave 22 million dollarsfor the University’s reconstruction.
Official opening ceremony is planned for February next year.