UTS Ku-ring-gai is in the northern suburbs
It’s easy to love the romance of 20s and 30s architectural
styles like Art Deco and Art Nouveau. However, the massive
molded concrete styles of the 1960s and 1970s can be an acquired
taste. So for many of us, this Society walk was a real
One sunny Sunday, heritage architect Roy Lumby led
us through two well-known educational campuses. First, in
the morning, there was the Macquarie University campus, with
its carefully landscaped grounds; contrasting in the afternoon
with a visit to Ku-ring-gai UTS, which sits in natural bushland.
We started to appreciate the artistry and care that had gone
into these buildings. And the closer we looked at them, the
more they started to look like huge sculptures. Indeed, Roy
told us that in parts, they were constructed similarly to
how a sculptor might work: the liquid concrete was poured
into giant moulds made of timber, which were later removed.
In some places, we could see the grain and knots of the timber
formwork where it had pressed into the concrete. Striking
too, was the way the concrete texture had weathered in some
places to take on almost the appearance of a natural landform
or rocky outcrop.
Buildings had also been very carefully oriented to the landscape,
with much attention paid to shading the occupants from the
I learned a lot that day.