University of Sydney Business School

Creating the Social Glue for Interactive Learning.

The vision for the University of Sydney Business School is to create a global, 21st century business learning environment that fosters productive interactions with the business community, responding to the needs of current and future tertiary students in a compelling model of cutting-edge management education.

To this end, Woods Bagot has designed an architectural solution in the form of a series of boxes clustered around social, collaborative “glue” spaces. Responding sensitively to the local context, the school will use the surrounding street pattern as a parameter on which to build, activating edges and laneways with landscaping and pedestrian porosity.

The building will be set back from the property line, ensuring the retention of significant trees which, in addition to landscaped parklands, will create a sense of a “building in the park”. The school is zoned horizontally according to access levels from private through to public, and vertically with work spaces stacked on top of teaching spaces.

Referencing the historical context and creating a connection to the university main campus, the exterior skin is a contemporary reinterpretation of historic sandstone in the form of a double skin facade.



Engagement with the community

Create an environment which encourages the residential and University community to actively engage. 

The environment is intended to be an active hub, during both night and day, for everyone, with sun filled parkland spaces, a north facing cafe and pedestrian pathways which traverse the site. The building is “in the park,” which allows the edge to be freed up as parkland.

We want to be the very best neighbours in the street. We have minimised and eliminated overshadowing to our neighbours, created a vibrant cafe on Codrington Street and increased the area of public space and parklands.


Create a "market place" of learning which references the historic character of Darlington

A series of buildings, interconnected with canopies and atrium spaces will provide interesting walkways, informal learning and socialisation spaces and be of a scale, elegance and timeless quality which complements the fine urban grain of this historic precinct. The existing H69 building becomes a natural extension of this collection of buildings and is connected via a covered walkway and landscaped forecourts. The architectural vernacular and fine grain of the buildings draws inspiration from the historic and textural character of Darlington terraces and the University Quad.

The existing site is a palimsest, having endured multiple layers of historic change. 

The scheme aims to acknowledges significant elements on site which are remnants of the precinct’s history. Components with heritage value or inherent importance will be retained and integrated into the fabric of the scheme as whole.
  • Significant buildings H05 Joiners shop and H69 will be retained with adaptive reuse.
  • The existing Sydney Blue Gum will be celebrated and retained, a central beacon around which the scheme will wrap.
  • Setback from the school property line, ensuring the retention of significant trees on the adjacent site
  • Recognise historic grid systems

Create a sustainable environment by dominating landscape

The revised building celebrates the location and presence of the Sydney Blue Gum tree by establishing this as a central feature around which the building wraps. The facades of the joinery shop will be integrated into the scheme. The building has been set 11m off the boundary to preserve existing trees in the Darlington Public School and the building works with the site contours. The aspect to the north is maximised for public spaces and a parkland environment is proposed as wrapping around the building.

The proposed development aims to be an exemplar green building. Sustainable design is critical to the proposal’s success and will utilise a wide palette of strategies to create a environmentally responsible scheme. 

This will not only be a building of low greenhouse gas emissions with extensive landscaping, but also a healthy learning environment. 

  • Establish indoor / outdoor relationships through visual and physical access to a variety in scale of courtyard and outdoor spaces between the buildings mass.
  • Circulation space absorbed within the informal learning spaces that form a buffer environment between exterior spaces and periphery teaching spaces. The buffer environment can absorb a wider range of temperature conditions and help reduce energy requirements for conditioning, as well as energy loss from conditioned spaces.
  • Shading and thermal massing are a key concept in the envelope design creating well insulated and thermally protected interior spaces.



University of Sydney


Sydney, Australia


40,000 M2



Completion Date