Architecture Personal Project #2 – Dr Chau Chak Wing UTS, Architect Frank Gehry

Continuing my architectural personal projects of interesting architecture in Sydney… where I approach a shoot using all of my photographic shooting and editing knowledge. The idea is for my readers to get a look at some incredible architecture from Sydney and for me to expand my architectural photography portfolio at the same time. Also I am not attempting the super creative and highly edited architecture shots you see in competitions but rather the real to life photographs you see of architecture.

For my second project I went and shot world renowned Frank Gehry architects design, the Business School building at UTS (University of Technology Sydney). Gehry is best known for buildings with fluid and flowing shapes on their facades, from the Walt Disney Concert Hall to the Guggenheim Bilbao. The public verdict on the design is very divided and by the opening it had taken on the name “crushed paper bag” as this is what it looks like. You can go to any forum post on the building and find comments like “Looks more like a clown college than a business school” or “Maybe the ugliest squashed paper bag I’ve ever seen”. That comes hand in hand with all of Frank’s creations where the public either love it or hate it.

I find myself really enjoying Frank’s design concepts but I come from having many years in art school where I was exposed to designs like this on a daily basis. Painters having been shocking the world like this for centuries with movements like cubism, futurism, bauhaus, abstract expressionism just to name a few. It’s only decades later that such art movements get the recognition they deserve.

In terms of the architecture in this building one of the most interesting features to me is that he took 320,000 rectangular shaped bricks and created these wonderful sweeping curved wave like walls. He took a square material and made circles out of them, which is not an easy task when doing it on such a grand scale.

Even the placement of the windows is creative and gives the feeling that one has fallen down the rabbit hole in Alice in Wonderland.

Some angles of the building have some normality to them, but you can still see strange sections hutting out a bit like the building is being torn apart.

The Western facade entirely made from this blue glass and it reflects the surrounding Ultimo suburb community. But of course Frank didn’t just do a flat surface, he added strange lines and bumps into the shape.

Here is some details of the way the bricks stick out of place to create visual texture on the surface.

This composition exemplifies how much of an acute curve they are able to get with the brick, getting a complete half circle within less than a meter.

So what’s your verdict? do you love it or hate the building and why? Leave a response below.

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