Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences
The University of Sydney
Built, June 2018
Sydney University’s new Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS) aims to express the transformation of Australia’s oldest university campus through a restrained and timeless expression of connection, collaboration, community, art and heritage.
Comprising a new teaching and learning facility and extensive refurbishment of the heritage RD Watt Building, Architectus’ design responds to the University’s “Wingara Mura” Strategy, expressing a deep connection with its former landscape, broader campus context and strong cultural connection.
Working in unison to contrast the old and new, a sophisticated curtain wall with dynamic bronze-coloured optical effect defines the new facility and is a contemporary reference to campus stone and masonry materiality.
The Arts and Crafts-style RD Watt Building, originally the home of the Faculty of Agriculture, was rejuvenated and integrated into the 21st century facility through a restrained refurbishment that connects century old pedagogy with contemporary teaching and learning practice.
The innovative, low-maintenance glass facade, a first in Australia, is a sophisticated high-performance curtain wall with bronze anodized framing and vertical emphasis. Its highly insulated facade is given singular expression with a dynamic optical effect created by a metallic bronze coated interstitial fabric mesh, laminated into the glass, which responds to light in a variable way, as a contemporary reference to the stone and masonry materiality of RD Watt and wider campus.