Page 21 - AB Awards 2015

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double height entry and connecting
spaces above. The entrance has
been turned from the street to its
new address facing the College
Green, becoming its focal point;
and new forecourt terraced seating
form an extension to the welcoming
open-plan spaces on the ground
Existing precast sun-shades
have been removed to increase
permeability and create balconies.
New vertical sun blades, that suit
their orientation, allow the original
modular structure to be exposed,
whilst retaining the strong contrast
of light and shadow intended in the
original design.
Humanising and refreshing
in approach and outcome,
Cameraygal is a case study in real
sustainability, where the embodied
energy of the original structure is
given a genuinely useful new life.
From the outset, the architects
have responded to site with a
building form that maximises
passive opportunities: insulation
and shade for solar control; mass
for thermal comfort; orientation,
height and depth for effective
natural ventilation and daylighting.
This is supported by active
systems designed for ‘plug and
play’ connections to experimental
technologies, allowing researchers
to modify operations and
Situated on the edge of
Wollongong, the building
embraces its wider context of
escarpment and ocean. With net-
positive water and energy usage,
and surrounded by edible gardens
and rich habitats which signal
opportunities for the broader
Campus, the SBRC points to its
purpose of fostering knowledge
as well as changing behaviour on
The Cameraygal building was
designed in 1967 by the NSW
Government Architect’s Office in
the Brutalist style, and functioned
as a science laboratory block for
UTS until the 1980’s.
The building’s re-invention as a
centre for learning and innovation
for TAFE has revitalised an
introverted space to one with
connections to outside, and
between spaces, generating a
new sense of community. The
new building fabric has changed
the internal experience to one
celebrating natural light, cross
flow ventilation, transparency,
flexibility and technology. At its
core is the idea of recycling a
disused structure as part of the
educational process.
As a building resurrected, the
new intervention responds to the
old in its robust and pragmatic
nature. Concise cuts create a
The SBRC is a celebration of
sustainability in construction. A
‘bricolage building’ designed to
prototype a range of sustainable
building technologies, design
strategies and materials, the
fabric of the building is itself a
site for integrated research. As
an armature for experimentation
and research, the hand crafted
and playful layering of recycled
materials is a delightful foil to
the equally visible and precise
technologies of research which
create their own patterns and
textures within the form.
The building is designed to
achieve certification under the
Living Building Challenge. By
acknowledging challenges of
social responsibility and equity,
this framework explores a more
holistic approach to the nature
of sustainability than simply
considerations of resources and
energy use.
Photography: Simon Whitbread
Photography: John Gollings
Cameraygal (formerly Dunbar building)
NSW Government Architect’s Office
Sustainable Buildings Research Centre
(SBRC) University of Wollongong
COX Richardson