Tour Frank Gehry's amazing 'crumpled bag' building that just opened in Sydney

Frank Gehry, the Canadian-born American architect who’s known for the titanium-clad Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, has given Sydney its most striking building since Jorn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House.

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The Dr Chau Chak Wing Building in Ultimo is the new home of the University of Technology Sydney’s business school. Named in honour of the billionaire Australian-Chinese businessman and philanthropist who donated $US20 million toward the $US180 million cost.

Gehry, 85, said he was inspired by the idea of a tree house, describing the structure as “a growing learning organism with many branches of thought, some robust and some ephemeral and delicate.”

“The fold is primitive, you’re in your mother’s arms when you’re a child, and so we tried to do that with brick,” he said.

When asked if he was happy with the end result, Gehry responded “Oh boy. I’m Jewish and I feel guilty about everything.”

Dr Chau Chak Wing, a media-shy property billionaire with impeccable political connections, is a huge Gehry fan and said the design was “full of passion.”

Here's Frank Gehry's initial sketch for the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building.

Frank Gehry's initial sketch for the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building.

Sydneysiders dubbed the building the crumpled paper bag.

Architect Frank Gehry was inspired by a treehouse.

1500 people worked on the two-year construction, which cost $180 million.

It was built by Lend Lease, which is also building Barangaroo.

There are 14 levels - 11 occupied floors, a basement parking level, plant level and rooftop.

The glass 'curtain wall' is designed to reflect the building's contemporary context.

A special brick-fixing system had to be created for the project, which took five time longer than traditional brick laying as a result.

The total usable floor space is 15,500m².

The building's design took five years to develop from Gehry's initial concept drawing.

The project came in on time and budget. Gehry has a reputation for cost blowouts and promised he'd pay any overrun above 10%.

There's space for 1630 people: 1300 students and 330 staff.

The technique with the bricks, used to create the organic shape, is called corbelling (stepping) individual bricks.

The around 320,000 custom made bricks, inspired by Sydney sandstone, were used.

It's designed so students and staff from different disciplines bump into each other.

Two oval classrooms feature laminated timber beams, each weighing up to 2 tonnes and up to 12 metres long, made from NZ radiata pine.

The furniture is by legendary US company Herman Miller.

The level 3 stairway is made of Victorian ash.

The high-tech, two-tiered oval classrooms seat 54, and are designed with 360° engagement in mind to create interaction and dialogue.

The exterior brick corbelling is echoed in the timber interiors.

The coffee hub is one of multiple casual spaces for people to gather and talk.

The outdoor terraces are on level 8.

Acrylic cloud-shaped lights feature throughout the building, including the staff kitchen.

The polished stainless steel staircase in the main lobby was manufactured by Queensland-based Urban Art Projects.

Gehry sees the building as 'a growing learning organism with many branches of thought, some robust and some ephemeral and delicate'.

The student commons on level 5 is for students to study and relax.

The bricks were custom made by Austral Bricks in Bowral, New South Wales.

Gehry thinks Sydney's best buildings date from the 19th century.

The Dr Chau Chak Wing Building is part of UTS's $1.2 billion master plan.

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