One very expensive paper bag

coca-cola-santaNow there are sadly very few things that come to my mind that are able to make me very excited that I can’t help but smile and look like a crazy star-struck twelve year old boy band lover. But I’ve come close to finding something that even remotely compares to my excited childhood memories on Christmas Eve, that is before my dad told me a few days before Christmas that Coca Cola made Santa up and I spent the rest of my life feeling as if there was no magic left in the world. Okay, well I’m maybe being a bit melodramatic but I need to get my message across on how excited I am about this life-changing ‘thing’. It’s the UTS Dr Chau Chak Building!!! I’m sure that was a bit of an anti-climax for most of you but don’t look so disappointed. It may not change your life personally, but it will definitely change Sydney and this weeks lecture was all about the new landmark, presented by Julian D’Onofrio and Rick Benjamin who almost seemed as excited about it as I did…almost.

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In case you didn’t realize, I did boldly use the word landmark to describe the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building and that’s because it is expected to be on the same level as our famous iconic Opera House and Harbour Bridge.  One factor that skyrocketed the Dr Chau Chak Building to fame was the architect, Frank Gehry himself. You may have a fair idea of some of his work, having designed innovative and striking buildings such as the Guggenheim Musem in Bilbao, the Walt Disney Concert Hall, the Dancing House and my personal favourite the Louis Vuitton art museum.

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The project itself is valued at $150 billion, where $20 million was donated by Dr Chau Chak, and will be the new faculty for all the lucky business students, which I will envy. Still not sure why myself and fellow peers won’t be accommodated considering we’re in the Design and Architecture faculty, but maybe I will just have to change degrees.

Now I should probably stop raving on about it and get to the point, considering these series of blogs are supposed to be on IT. Well the UTS Dr Chau Chak Building is even more special as it will become Australia’s first project to use an advanced BIM tool, the CATIA Digital Project.  If you have been reading my blog religiously then you will recall my previous blog post, which was all about BIM. Due to Frank Gehry’s intense complex design, which involved unique slab design and curved surfaces, the construction requires something a bit out of the ordinary; a parametric computer modeling specifically created by Gehry, where a third coordinate Z was added to the equation.

As I mentioned previously in my last blog post, we all want everything to be done faster and easier, well in the construction industry that’s what BIM does and that’s what it has done for the design and construction process of the UTS Dr Chau Chak Building. The productivity of the decision-making process has been positively impacted as BIM allowed collaboration between Gehry Partners and ARUP to manipulate and lalter through live model updates between disciplines. Which ultimately resulted in these creative geniuses’s to add even more innovative and improved design features.

So you may be thinking that BIM is all well and good, but is it necessary for me to be so dramatic and excited about this magical process. Well, in the perspective of the UTS Dr Chau Chak Building, it is necessary. Now the building itself would not have been possible without BIM. BIM is it’s savior as such, where the project would not be imagineable if it wasn’t for his best friend BIM proving the possibility in the digital realm.

dr chau chakThis project may for now just seem like another ugly construction site, but when it is completed I promise it will amaze you. That’s not a false promise either, it will redefine UTS and Sydney’s CBD , you would hope so considering its cost per square metre compared to a traditional project was a lot higher. But how could you say no to Gehry and his no expense spared project, well you simply couldn’t. Gehry himself knows how great he is, having endless amounts of awards and titles to his name, so it’s not surprising that he has an “I do what I want” kind of attitude. Unlike every other architect Gehry certainly hasn’t jumped on the sustainable design bandwagon, where he refers to it as a “phase”, like “low-income housing”. Disappointing as such that sustainability hasn’t been a key factor in the project, but I’m too awe-struck by the building to let it phase me at this stage.  You will probably see me standing in front of the UTS Dr Chau Chak building next year smiling and mesmerized, no I haven’t just met Harry from One Direction, I’ve met what I hope will be one of the most incredible Sydney buildings of our time.

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