Architecture honours for UWS campus icons


The exceptional restoration and design of the Boilerhouse Student Precinct at the University of Western Sydneys Parramatta campus has been recognised - winning the NSW Premier's Prize in the 2014 NSW Architecture Awards(opens in a new window).

The innovative design by Tanner Kibble Denton Architects(opens in a new window) is today the social heart of the historic UWS Parramatta campus at Rydalmere. Until 2011 it was a collection of long-abandoned industrial buildings and a distinctive, but derelict, chimney stack.

The hardwood trusses and rafters of the boilerhouse building were replaced and a new timber floor, industrial kitchen, and lantern roof introduced. Much of the historic brickwork was retained and restored.Outside, rectangular granite paved areas and washed concrete paths were made to link a pavilion-style outdoor seating area to a raised central grassed plinth.

Capturing the essence of the historic industrial past of the site, the boilers were taken away to Lithgow, where sculptor Philip Spark sandblasted and refashioned them, and were then returned to the Parramatta campus where they now stand at the front of the building on plinths. Other components such as gauges, auto stokers, ducts and steam valves, feature as decorative pieces inside.

The result is an industrial-chic Student Precinct, which incorporates an elegant restaurant, The Boilerhouse, and an outdoor noodle bar suited for more informal dining.

The restored chimneystack has become a UWS icon and a visual reference point for staff, students and visitors meeting on campus.

Joining the Boilerhouse on a shortlist of 91 projects in the 2014 NSW Architecture Awards was another UWS icon - the Female Orphan School. (opens in a new window)

The Female Orphan School received a Commendation in Heritage Architecture  Conservation.

Female Orphan School

Built in 1813, the Female Orphan School is Australias oldest three-storey building. The recently fully restored building has been returned to the community with new education spaces, galleries and exhibition areas.

The Female Orphan School is also now the permanent home for the Whitlam Institute and the Whitlam Prime Ministerial Library  a collection that spans thousands of papers, books, letters and other important items belonging to former Prime Minister Gough Whitlam.


27 June 2014

Media Contact: Paul Grocott, Senior Media Officer

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