Winning design for First Nations college

The University of Technology, Sydney has announced what it calls an “extraordinary winning design” for its new residential college that will house First Nations students.

“The winning design was chosen for its for its thoughtful connection to Country that translated effectively into the built environment,” UTS stated.

The university is no stranger to eye-catching buildings, with the Dr Chau Chak Wing building (not the museum at The University of Sydney) designed by Frank Gehry, adjacent to where the new college will stand.

The new residential building will be home to more than 250 Indigenous and non-Indigenous students as well as showcase contemporary Indigenous art, film, performance, and storytelling, and strongly acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the Gadigal land in Ultimo it is built on.

The new National First Nations College (NFNC) will be designed by Greenaway Architects, Warren and Mahoney, and OCULUS, the winners of the national design competition launched last year.

Key elements of the design competition brief were prepared by an Indigenous Australian architect; each of the six shortlisted teams appointed an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander architect or suitably qualified designer as Cultural Design Lead.

Jefa Greenaway is the Cultural Design Lead of Greenaway Architects and a descendant of the Wailwan and Kamilaroi peoples of northwest NSW. He said the College will become a global exemplar of how we think about a college specifically aligned to the needs of First Nations people.

Image: Greenaway Architects

About the author

Desi Corbett

Desi is our weekly news journalist and the editor of Concrete in Australia magazine for 10 years. She has been heavily involved in all forms of engineering since 2013; part of a 30-year writing career across a range of subjects and media.