The new Law Faculty building at the University of NSW (UNSW) is to be located on the campus’s main pedestrian access known as ‘The Mall’.
This prominent location required an iconic building that would attract law students to the campus while contributing positively to the public domain of the university.
The proposed design split the building into two key parts; the first, a ten storey glazed tower housing the classrooms and the second, an undulating two storey building containing the library and main lecture theater running parallel to the Mall. The library/theater hovers above the ground, lightly supported by three columns that balance the building above the gardens and reflective pools below. At the eastern end, the form of the main lecture theater descends into the garden, suspended above the water’s surface. The underside of the library/theater is lined in timber creating a warm surface that is animated by reflections off the ponds by day and by night. The southern facade of the library overlooks The Mall and sporting ovals beyond. A mirror frit is applied to the glazing; continuous at the edges, it gradually dissipates as it moves inward allowing the building to reflect the trees on the edge of the Mall on its facade while maintaining visual access out from within.
Location: Lower Campus, UNSW, Randwick, Australia 33°55’1.71″S, 151°13’39.75″E
Architecture in association: Lacoste+Stevenson and PTW
Team: Thierry Lacoste, David Stevenson, Beth Hughes, Chia Wei Chang, Antonia Pesenti, Andrew Noonan, Julien Feucht
Photography / images: Lacoste+Stevenson Architects