- Project Type: Educational, University
- Designer: Diller Scofidio + Renfro + Billard Leece Partnership
- Location: Australia, Camperdown
- Year: 2021
- Size: unspecified
- Photo Credits: Brett Boardman
It is the first of three buildings to be completed as part of a new health precinct that will bring together the university’s Central Clinical School Sydney Nursing School, Sydney School of Health Sciences, and components of Faculty of Medicine and Health, supporting collaborative research and providing agile environments for multidisciplinary teaching and learning across all health disciplines. Designed by DS+R in collaboration with Billard Leece Partnership, the new health precinct is optimally positioned adjacent to Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and the Charles Perkins Centre.
“The Health Precinct was designed to provide a 3-dimensional network of open spaces for the University, fostering both educational collaboration and physical health,” said DS+R Partner Benjamin Gilmartin. “Three new buildings in our masterplan are linked by indoor and outdoor spaces, forming a dynamic reinterpretation of the campus quad. Within the Wakil building, a central atrium provides a light- filled space activated by circulation and gathering spaces that connect seminar rooms, workplace, laboratories and classrooms beyond. The building volumes appear to float above a folded ground plane, welcoming visitors while fostering a connection with the site and surrounding landscape.”
Embodying the University’s Wingara Mura-Bnga Barrabugu commitment to Aboriginal participation and cultural understanding, the design conceives the building as an extension of the landscape, respecting the site’s history. Located at the intersection of two historic waterways, the site holds significance for the Gadigal people. This unseen history connects the site to the wider campus network geographically, complimenting a contemporary network of pedestrian pathways.
Promoting health and longevity, the design draws in light, views, and ventilation, encouraging active circulation and socialization with an emphasis on stairs over lifts. The building seamlessly blends indoor and outdoor, creating a connected, multilevel common ground space for students, educators, and researchers to interact in.
The raised upper volumes of the building feature a high-performance shading screen system that provides shade while framing views of the campus from within. The lower portion of the facade is an aluminum curtain wall system with ceramic panels on the outer face. At the building base, ceramic panels reminiscent of stone evoke the lifted strata of the earth below.