Once lacking a distinct identity, scattered in nine locations, Australia’s University of Sydney Business School has consolidated in a single building by Woods Bagot, a firm that’s well versed in educational architecture. The facade complements a prominent Gothic revival sandstone building on campus, the sandstone’s striations echoed by the pattern of the newcomer’s exterior screen: Horizontal tubes of unglazed terra-cotta are interspersed with a few white-glazed variants.
The 375,000-square-foot interior, completed with the Carr Design Group, centers on an atrium with a spiral staircase veneered in eucalyptus—meant to resemble a single, monumental curled wood shaving. Perimeter classrooms are accompanied by what Woods Bagot director Georgia Singleton calls “sticky” spaces to encourage students to stick around after lectures. As Carr Design Group director Dan Cox explains, collaborative hubs and individual work areas are designed to “cleverly replicate the offices the students will eventually work in.”