University of Sydney

A simple and legible structure generated out of respect for the university’s rich patina of heritage

The Faculty of Law and Camperdown public domain redevelopment was a key component of the Campus 2010+ Building for the Future program; University of Sydney’s largest capital commitment in transforming and renewing its Camperdown and Darlington campuses.

As winners of the international design competition for redevelopment of the main campus, a design collaboration between Jeppe Aagaard Andersen, Turf Design Studio and Tinka Sack sought to redefine the public domain, and deliver a new place that would foster connection, facilitate access and circulation between key educational buildings, and play an integral role in the university community.

The responding strategy was to include a series of intimate, connecting break out spaces along the main axis that can be used for passive recreation, as well as flexible learning and performance. 

Key to the project was the entry sequence to the new Faculty of Law building, which needed to provide a strong visual impact from the main axis while respecting the surrounding heritage buildings by Barnet, Vernon and later, Wilkinson and Woolley.

Inspired by the vibrant La Rambla in Barcelona, the public domain gives strength to an existing pedestrian corridor and has introduced a new spirit to the heart of the university. It has united both Darlington and Camperdown campuses, serving the needs of the local community by re-stitching a once fragmented, car-dominated university landscape. Through a simple and legible structure generated out of respect for the university’s rich patina of heritage, the design approach was to touch lightly where significant heritage elements defined the space – sandstone walls and entry gates have been renewed and reinstated – a subtle palimpsest of its historical legacy.