"As if in a treehouse, students can sit within one platform and look across the building so see people on another platform," says Beekwilder. "The window boxes also allow slices of the view across to other parts of the building, which helps to humanise the structure."
Other elements of the exterior are echoed on the interior, including the visual crumpling of materials. In the stairwell, this reappears in the polished stainless steel of the main stair balustrades.
"The architecture maximises the value of the materials every angle and every reflection is deliberate," says Beekwilder. "Nothing is accidental. The curved stainless steel drum encircling the cafe, for example, reflects one of the oval classrooms, which features walls inclined by 8°. The reflection makes the classroom appear larger than it is."
In keeping with the student-focused learning model, the oval classrooms were designed to operate without a podium.
"Today there is a lot more informal, interactive learning and group work, and the teacher is a facilitator of the discussion rather than a lecturer. Flexibility is essential, so most of these spaces can be used in different ways. The 120-seat collab-orative theatre is tiered two rows at a time to allow students in the front row of each step to turn around and work with the students behind."
Embedded technology includes projectors with the capacity to screen images on several walls simultaneously. The 240-seat auditorium is equipped with an advanced audiovisual system and video-conferencing facilities.
Sustainability is another major focus. The building has a 5 Star Green Star Design rating from the Green Building Council of Australia. Key features include high-performance glazing to enhance energy efficiency, parking for 160 bicycles, and a 20,000-litre rainwater tank. All the timber used in the building is from sustainable resources.
Professor Roy Green, Dean UTS Business School, says the building will foster excellence in postgraduate business education and research, and become a compelling venue for executive education, business events and forums.
"We are at the heart of Sydney's growing digital creative hub' and in a hot spot of new business incubation and innovation," he says. "We can now collaborate further with cultural, media, commercial, government and educational organisations, fostering and learning from exciting new start-up enterprises."