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Inspired student visions for Sydney architecture

22 November 2016
A network of 'model highways' display 150 architectural works

University of Sydney students unveil their big architectural visions for a series of landmark cultural buildings and public spaces in Sydney and regional NSW in a final graduate exhibition that opens on 24 November.

“Public Room” - Town Hall Public Library, Master of Architecture student Dong Ho Lee’s design for a Sydney public square near Town Hall and St Andrew’s Cathedral.

Master of Architecture student Dong Ho Lee's vision for a Town Hall public library that acts as an extension of the future pedestrianised George Street, to improve the experiential quality of Town Hall by introducing an internal public space.

It is recognised as one of the most influential student architecture shows of the year, drawing thousands of visitors on opening night. The annual showcase reveals the bold and intelligent ideas of a new generation of architects.

Elizabeth Carpenter, an alumna of the University of Sydney and Managing Principal of fjmt, said: “We are inspired by the ideas emerging from the new generation. These ideas are our future. For the ongoing viability of the profession, recent graduates are vital in maintaining our relevance in a rapidly changing world.”

The work on display comes from eight graduation studios, where students spent four months creating their design and model in their final year of study. Each studio gives students a fictitious brief to develop designs for landmark Sydney cultural institutions and public spaces, as well as regional community projects that reflect on an Australian identity.

“The synthesis of research and design excellence cultivated by our staff and students fundamentally re-envisages what architecture is, tackling the complex challenges of contemporary life with intelligence and vision,” said Dr Sandra Löschke, Director of the Masters architecture program at the University of Sydney.

A show highlight is 150 exquisite architectural models that capture the design skill that students have mastered during their studies, supported by the unrivalled modelling and fabrication workshops in the Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning.

“The exhibition’s ‘model highways’ quite literally transport these visionary ideas into mainstream culture and allow us to make a fundamental difference,” added Dr Löschke.

Master of Architecture students present unique designs for a Sydney square at Town Hall, an Observatory and Planetarium at South Head, a museum for the Australian Institute of Architects incorporating the historic Tusculum building, and a cultural institution on the site of The Goods Line behind the ABC, now the new Ultimo Pedestrian Network. Travelling west to Wiradjuri country, another group envisages a series of cultural and community buildings lining the main street of Dubbo.

Inspired by the work of Jørn Utzon, Bachelor of Design in Architecture students provide innovative designs and models for a monumental performance space to fill the void behind the Sydney Mint on the edge of the Domain.

“Each piece of work speaks eloquently of the commitment, vision and just plain hard work of our students, tutors and staff,” said Michael Muir, Senior Lecturer and Director of the Design in Architecture undergraduate program.

The exhibition officially opens at 6.30pm on Thursday, 24 November in the University's Faculty of Architecture, Design and Planning.

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