The University of Technology Sydney’s (UTS) new Central Academic Hub, designed by FJMT, has opened to the public.

The last building in the university’s 10-year campus development program, it will serve as a central hub for staff, students, industry and the public to share knowledge.

Seventeen storeys high with a modernist glass facade and a signature double helix staircase, UTS vice-chancellor professor Attila Brungs says the unique building redefines the southern gateway to Sydney’s CBD.

“Our decade-long campus redevelopment has revolutionised teaching and learning, allowing us to deliver practice-oriented programs to prepare graduates for the workplaces of today and tomorrow. UTS Central is the confident and contemporary embodiment of that educational evolution. It reflects not only our experimentation and innovation over the last five years, but all we’ve learned in the 30 years since UTS was founded.”

helixcrop_0.jpgThe double helix staircase

Key features

  • A Reading Room with three-storey atrium, overlooking Alumni Green
  • The Hive Superlab, a science laboratory able to accommodate up to 270 students working together or in small groups
  • The UTS Blake Library, occupying levels 7 to 9 and boasting a direct connection to the automated library retrieval system beneath Alumni Green
  • New premises for the Faculty of Law, including authentic Moot Court and Sir Gerard Brennan trial courts
  • Research spaces for the Faculty of Engineering and IT
  • A Research Excellence and Support Hub (RES Hub)
  • Customised 350-seat collaborative classrooms and a research scholars’ centre
  • Food court and terrace café/restaurant

Designed to suit modern educational needs, the space includes three customised collaborative classrooms, two of which can fit as many as 350 students. The classrooms have been designed with no obvious ‘front’, instead divided – physically and with technology – into several smaller zones for group learning.

With university teaching methods changing, the nature of the student experience is also changing, says professor Shirley Alexander, deputy vice-chancellor.

“Students must master a body of knowledge, develop the skills to work in a team, communicate effectively in a variety of forms, engage in sophisticated problem-solving, and be creative and entrepreneurial.

“The spaces in UTS Central have been designed to support active and collaborative learning activities. Inspired by research, these spaces enable our students to graduate as highly competent professionals.”