Alumni Green, the most signiﬁcant outdoor space on the UTS (University of Technology, Sydney) City Campus, will be transformed into a vibrant, tree-lined city space in the latest design to be unveiled under its City Campus Master Plan. The proposal by ASPECT Studios won the design competition recently held by the university. Inspired by some of the world’s great public spaces, the design creates a central meeting place for the university community, ﬁlled with vibrant student-focused spaces.
The spaces will range from a grass area lined by sculptural seating to intimate garden ‘pods’ where students can gather in the shade. “Alumni Green will become the green heart we have always wanted,” said Vice-Chancellor Professor Ross Milbourne. “I love this design because it captures the bustling, cosmopolitan atmosphere unique to UTS. It embodies exactly what we mean when we say ‘sticky campus’: a place where students want to stay and hang out.”
The new-look Alumni Green will have three distinct zones, each with its own character and opportunities.
The Green’ is a large, raised turf platform located opposite Building 2 that can be used for special events like O-Fest, day-to-day student activities or simply a picnic lunch. The landscaped edges of the green will become informal seating areas.
‘The Heart’, a large paved, open space located at the rear of Building 1, has been modelled after town squares like Federation Square in Melbourne or the Pompidou Centre’s forecourt in Paris. It is intended as a ceremonial gathering space for students and visitors alike.
Easternmost is ‘The Garden’, a mini oasis of trees and plants shading a series of connected student ‘pods’. Each pod caters to a different activity and contains facilities ranging from power outlets for laptops, BBQ facilities and even ping pong tables.
ASPECT Studios has also proposed a set of Grand Steps leading up to the future Learning Commons (UTS City Campus Library) in Building 2 to enhance the centrality of the Green. “We designed these steps as an opportunity to create a meeting point like Sydney Town Hall steps,” said ASPECT Studio’s Sacha Coles. “That says a lot about our design: it’s about creating opportunities for people to gather and socialise on campus. We are looking forward to working with the UTS community to develop these ideas.”
The design competition received 14 entries in total, with 3 runnersup identiﬁ ed. The competition jury praised ASPECT Studio’s entry for the ‘rich range of experiences’, ‘ﬂexibility’ and ‘innovation’ it offered. The revitalised Alumni Green will re-open in 2014. Consultation with students and other UTS stakeholders will be one of the project’s ﬁrst tasks alongside feasibility studies of the proposed Grand Steps to the Learning Commons. The western section of Alumni Green is currently closed to allow construction of the Thomas Street Building and Library Retrieval System.
IMAGES & TEXT: ASPECT Studios