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Student Quarters for Boston University, Sydney, Australia

Thursday 10 Feb 2011

A truly grand canyon

Brett Boardman 
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Boston University completes stylish accommodation towers in Chippendale, Sydney with 'canyon-like slots' in facade 

Three years ago, Boston University in Sydney embarked upon a mission to generate new accommodation facilities for visiting students, each of whom pay around $17,000 per semester. Now completed, the angular voids that penetrate the front facades of the residential building permit the warm Australian sunshine to flood through the bedroom windows to the facility’s occupants. With its rhomboid shaped windows and ‘canyon-like slots’, the 164-resident complex makes a confident architectural statement on an otherwise generic street.

The original designs for the building were drawn up by Silvester Fuller, with Tony Owen Partners seeing the plans through to completion. Ceerose Pty Ltd headed the construction stage and Arup Partners provided the environmental analysis. Hailed as a ‘modern educational showpiece’, the strong yet sensitive design comprises residential space, three lecture halls, a library, internet lounge, cafe, rooftop terrace with timber decking and a communal kitchen.

Tony Owen explains: “East-facing operable louvers on each level further help to lower ambient temperatures by drawing in fresh breezes. The design allows more light and ventilation into each bedroom, provides good views, and would be a sensible ‘blueprint’ for city planners to consider in their quest for ways to increase residential density in the CBD without compromising comfort.”

Key Facts

Status Completed
Value 6.7(m€)
Were you involved in this scheme?
Tony Owen NDM Architects

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