Architecture students and Broken Hill Council collaborate on new film studio.

17 July 2012

A joint team of University of Sydney students from the Architecture and Business programs have spent two weeks in Broken Hill on the invitation of Broken Hill City Council to develop masterplans and business plans for a proposed creative arts precinct and service learning campus. The project is an initiative by Richard Seymour from the Business School and Professor Michael Tawa from Architecture within the University's Memorandum of Understanding with the Broken Hill City Council. The project site is the disused Central Power Station and Broken Hill Film Studio in South Broken Hill.

This collaboration represents a unique opportunity for both groups of students to contribute their respective knowledge and skills to a real-world project that will have a significant impact on the commercial and employment opportunities in Australia's outback film sector. Their designs will partly inform the final design for the new film studios, outback film and mining museums, an educational facility and an artists in residence facility and workshop.

The aim is to propose ideas for a creative cluster that builds vocational capacity, commercial sustainability, creativity and innovation for remote Australia, eventually translating into economic benefits that can provide important areas of employment outside of Australia's capital cities.

Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning academic Professor Michael Tawa says that this project typifies how rewarding studying architecture can be and the mutual benefits of working across different areas of study, alongside colleagues who work in very different ways.

"This is an interdisciplinary project that requires an understanding of both architecture and business. The opportunities for first-hand experience in a project of this scale is a great opportunity for our students. We thank the Broken Hill City Council for inviting us to contribute to this project," Tawa said.

Broken Hill City Council economic manager Andrea Roberts agrees. She envisages the project to eventually deliver jobs and create a sustainable financial future for the precinct around the theme of innovation and creativity.

"The opportunity to have the focus of so many intelligent, young and enthusiastic minds guided by academic reasoning is a coup for the City. We are very excited to see what emerges from the project," Roberts said.

Students spent two weeks in Broken Hill working on site, consulting with Council, local businesses, artists, residents and tourists and presented their preliminary work to stakeholders last week. They will present final designs to the Council, Architecture and Business staff at the University on Thursday this week. The Faculty eagerly anticipates the fruits of this collaboration and is excited by the opportunity it represents for both our students and the residents of Broken Hill.