Binary code patterns exterior of Sydney
engineering faculty by Denton Corker Marshall

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Thousands of tiny ones and zeros pierce the aluminium skin of Denton Corker Marshall's new engineering faculty for the University of Technology in Sydney, spelling out the name of the building in binary code (+ slideshow).

Faculty of Engineering by Denton Corker Marshall

The Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology is the first and largest of three new buildings underway at the university's city campus, just south of Sydney's Central Business District, as part of a 10-year masterplan.

Faculty of Engineering by Denton Corker Marshall

Melbourne-based firm Denton Corker Marshall conceived the building as a gateway to the revitalised campus that will also include the Dr Chau Chak Wing building by Frank Gehry, set to complete later this year.



The entire 14-storey-high building is wrapped in four large aluminium plates. Tilted and skewed, these surfaces feature vertical creases and slices designed to create the impression of gills, "symbolically allowing the building to breathe".

Faculty of Engineering by Denton Corker Marshall

The panels were also perforated using a binary code pattern that spells out the name University of Technology Sydney Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology, and allow light to penetrate the interior.

Faculty of Engineering by Denton Corker Marshall

"The building is expressed as a singular sculptural object, setting it apart from the more traditional architectural expression of its neighbours and from proposed towers opposite the site," said Denton Corker Marshall.

Faculty of Engineering by Denton Corker Marshall

Spaces inside the building – including laboratories dedicated to robotics, computer science and human-centred design, as well as a state-of-the art 3D-data visualisation studio known as the Data Arena – are organised around a grand top-lit atrium.

Faculty of Engineering by Denton Corker Marshall

The atrium is finished with materials that include exposed concrete and Corten steel, intended to offer a warehouse-like aesthetic, and is dotted with informal lounges and study spaces.

Faculty of Engineering by Denton Corker Marshall

"The building's design reinforces the university's pedagogical aspirations, with the crevasse-like atrium supporting the faculty's collaborative learning culture," said Denton Corker Marshall director Ian White.

Other facilities include lecture halls, seminar rooms, offices and classrooms, together accommodating up to 500 students.

Faculty of Engineering by Denton Corker Marshall

A series of bridges links the faculty to the university's existing UTS Building 10 on five different levels. There are also car and bicycle parking areas located over four basement floors.

Faculty of Engineering by Denton Corker Marshall

Also known as the Broadway Building, the structure is accompanied by rooftop wind turbines and solar panels that help to provide electricity for the student laboratories.

The shading provided by the aluminium facade is also predicted to provide a 10 to 20 per cent decrease in energy consumption.

Faculty of Engineering by Denton Corker Marshall

Photography is by Richard Glover.


Project credits:

Client: University of Technology, Sydney
Project Manager: Denton Corker Marshall
Architect + Interior Architect: Denton Corker Marshall
Planning: JBA Urban Planning
Quantity Surveyor + Building Certifier: Group DLA
Structural, Civil, Facades + ESD: Aurecon
Mechanical + Electrical: Waterman AHW
Specialist Lighting: Electrolight
Fire + Hydraulics: Arup
Vertical Transportation + Fire Safety: Aecom
Acoustics + Vibration
Renzo Tonin & Associates
Traffic: Halcrow, GTA Consultants
Landscape Architects: Taylor Brammer
Wayfinding Consultants: BrandCulture Communications
Access: Morris Goding
OH&S: Architecture + Access
Testing + Commissioning: Norman Disney Young
Contractor: Lend Lease

Faculty of Engineering by Denton Corker Marshall
Ground floor plan – click for larger image
Faculty of Engineering by Denton Corker Marshall
Level one/two floor plan – click for larger image
Faculty of Engineering by Denton Corker Marshall
Level five/floor plan – click for larger image
Faculty of Engineering by Denton Corker Marshall
Level twelve plan – click for larger image
Faculty of Engineering by Denton Corker Marshall
Section – click for larger image
Facade detail
Facade detail
  • Colonel Pancake

    A 2005 issue of Metropolis called. They need their cover project’s totally useless innovation back.

  • rodger

    A nice exterior design and idea that does not translate to the interior, at all. In other words, a nice half-baked project.

  • Stefan

    The project appears to have little regard for the inhabitants. To only have a clear view through the atrium skylight or thin triangular slivers of glass places the students in a metal-clad box with no opportunity for distant visual contemplation, only a metal-diffracted distorted view of the world. Exterior design trumps users! Students, welcome to your gilded cage.