Sydney Law School
The movement of the splintered form fragments are frozen or locked into position by three glass and metal elements, and finally through a historic urban axis.
A cubic glass atrium locks the fragments of the teaching form into a triangular spatial and urban alignment at the moment of primary vertical circulation.
A sculptural curvilinear 'light-tower' of stainless steel penetrates the primary platform delineating this open space, and creating an architectural 'figure' against the silent backdrop of the existing Fisher Library stack as it announces the presences of the new Law Library below and draws in and reflects natural daylight.
A louvered metal box extends the public circulation within the podium, reaching out towards the park in the form of a student lounge, a quiet suspended space over the green landscape, freezing the movement in a modest rectilinear moment.
The final locking of the splintered form fragments is through the historic axis of the campus envisioned by Leslie Wilkinson, that runs from deep within the campus through built form and open space, and through this project is extended out and released into the park and city to create a broad opening of the campus.
It is at this moment—on this axis where the wide public steps fold the ground of the podium to meet the park—that the splintered forms of the new law school are connected by a thin glass bridge, or window: a place for informal meeting of students and teachers, suspended at this threshold of city and campus. It is therefore an openness and transparency that marks this new entry to the university, with the splintered form fragments above, extending wide like an open door or hand that gestures invitation.
The materials of the splintered forms that define this edge and opening are layers of glass and timber louvres, suspended on fine stainless steel rods. These splinters possess a kinetic grain that changes with the position of the sun and preferences of those behind the timber screens. The ventilated double-skin system of enclosure draws in and controls natural air circulating through and around the interior, tempering the environment to cool and heat as necessary. The varying grain of the timber screens are overlaid with reflections of the park landscape and neo-gothic sandstone façades: a distilled reflection of the form, its means and its intent.
Detail views of the automated profiled plywood louvre panels within the ventilated cavity system