Dr Chau Chak Wing Building

The Chau Chak Wing Building is the first Australian building designed by internationally renowned architect, Frank Gehry, and is a flagship project of the University of Technology Sydney’s City Campus plan. As such, the building represents a singular and remarkable creative vision, with two distinct facades providing two different aspects and ‘personalities’: one composed of undulating brickwork, referencing the dignified sandstone of Sydney’s urban heritage, and the other a glass shard ‘curtain wall’ that mirrors fragments of the building’s contemporary city surrounds. Gehry imagined a building that was a cluster of ‘tree houses’, or vertical stacks of office floors with spatial ‘cracks’ in between. The intricate curves and folds of the brick elements were achieved with custom made bricks, each of which was laid by hand.

The challenging brief was to provide a building access system that would provide effective, practical access to the facade, in particular the undulating brick exteriors, whilst not imposing on the visionary building design.

Manntech rose to this challenge with a discreet monorail system which is seamlessly integrated into the soffits of the stepped-out facade sections. This is complemented by a bespoke design davit and rope access systems, fall restraint lifelines and anchors. The restraint system also needed to remain discreet and avoid interfering with the aesthetic whilst enabling rope access technicians to approach the facade safely and work effectively.

Manntech’s experience and expertise was reflected in our ability to design and engineer bespoke systems that overcame the practical and aesthetic challenges presented by this unique building project, giving the builder and architect full freedom and flexibility to realise their design vision without compromise.

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