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UTS: Makeover for a Landmark

Thierry Lacoste speaks to Yelena Smetannikov about revamping UTS’ image through a light, welcoming podium.

UTS: Makeover for a Landmark


March 30th, 2011

The current landmark tower at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), built in the Brutalist style, many feel gives an unwelcoming and cold impression. Set back 30 metres from the Broadway streetfront, it has lost touch with the surrounding urban fabric.

Lacoste + Stevenson were commissioned to build a new entrance building for the base of the tower, to provide a sense of arrival to the university and to protect it from noise.

According to Thierry Lacoste, director of Lacoste + Stevenson, the new podium will show that UTS has evolved into a more innovative, contemporary institution.

“The Podium building forming the base of the tower needs to appear transparent, light and soft; the antithesis of the tower,” said Lacoste.


The glass volume will experience improved daylight coming from the south-facing façade and penetrating from above. The structure has been designed to allow for cross-ventilation, which moves upward in a chimney effect to other levels.

The light, welcoming podium will delineate the academic precinct on Broadway, with Jean Nouvel’s residential tower and Norman Foster’s commercial buildings for the Central Park development opposite.

The project has given Lacoste + Stevenson a chance to revamp the current image of the university.

“The most exciting thing was to find the best way to express UTS as a dynamic place of research and creativity,” said Lacoste.

Lacoste + Stevenson

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