Architectus has designed University of Sydney’s Social Sciences building, a modern and innovative new education space.

It was important for the building to reference the Camperdown campus’s heritage context, and University of Sydney’s legacy as one of the nation’s oldest universities.

“We were tasked with designing a transformational building that would integrate its landscape and heritage context to present a new public identity to Parramatta Road, and a sympathetic heritage backdrop when viewed from within the campus,” says Jeremy Dale, principal at Architectus.

“The design was required to respond with a simple and innovative response to a demanding functional brief, with high environmental and social sustainability performance.”

Architectus Social Sciences building University of Sydney heritage references
Photography by Anthony Fretwell

Key design features include:

  • Teaching and learning spaces that replicate the modern workplace, fostering collaboration
  • Transparency and connectivity: a central atrium space that physically and visually connects all floors with the view outside
  • A research centre that merges history with modern design
  • A highly-insulated façade that creates a striking optical effect while also exceeding sustainability codes with low-maintenance thermal regulation and maximised natural light
  • Silver As-Built Rating under the university sustainability system, equivalent to a 5 Star Green Star Rating
  • A granite plinth featuring art by Aboriginal artist Robert Andrew

University of Sydney Aboriginal artworkGARABARA by Robert Andrew, connecting the new building to the site's traditional owners. Photography by Brett Boardman

According to dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, professor Annamarie Jagose, the Social Sciences building is the faculty’s first new building since 1852 and a welcome addition to the university’s Camperdown campus.

“It enables a welcome co-location of our Schools of Economics and Social and Political Sciences – for the first time, the breadth and depth of the social sciences at the university is integrated in the same space,” says Jagose.