Warren and Mahoney won an invited design competition for the City Rd Precinct development comprising a new administration building (F23) and the redevelopment of the Carslaw Building as LEES 1 (Life, Earth & Environmental Sciences) building. The project presents an opportunity for a visionary new campus gateway and centre of scientific and academic excellence.
The LEES 1 project articulates the importance that the University of Sydney places on investing in research and teaching excellence. The University’s fundamental commitment has traditionally been, and will remain, research excellence while at the same time developing a supportive, inclusive, and high performance teaching culture across the entire university.
LEES 1 places science on display to the campus and the broader community through a highly transparent façade to City Road and carefully framed views into the building from Eastern Avenue.
The building’s façade is highly articulated on its western side to mediate between the strict orthogonal grid that characterises the Camperdown Campus and Eastern Avenue, and the shift in geometry, speed, and articulation that defines City Rd.
The building cantilevers over the existing footbridge, its built form establishing a clear relationship with F23, creating a tension that defines a threshold to the campus. The overhangs provide shade and shelter to the northern end of the existing footbridge and ramp, drawing this existing structure into an integral composition that gives greater definition to Eastern Avenue as it meets City Road.
The building occupies a tapering site between the existing Carslaw Building and a row of significant Fig Trees. Responding to these constraints is a building layout that provides flexible and reconfigurable teaching and research laboratories able to suit a variety of occupants. Teaching labs are large and will compliment adjacent labs in the Carslaw Building to establish a teaching lab hub.
LEES1 is set out to enable future connection to the Carslaw Building across all teaching levels and on alternating research floors. Milling spaces, informal learning zones and teaching laboratories are accessed via an atrium that opens to Eastern Avenue providing the building with a clear address and highly legible internal circulation. Upper floors are configured to encourage maximum interaction and collaboration between research groups and provide accessibility and visibility to all levels of activity within the building from undergraduate teaching through to post doctorate research.
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