The Boilerhouse, UWS, wins NSW Premier’s Prize

Modern cafe settings in award-winning heritage restoration

Boilerhouse 0

The heritage restoration of the Boilerhouse at the University of Western Sydney (UWS), designed by Tanner Kibble Denton Architects, has been awarded the NSW Premier’s Prize at the 2014 NSW Architecture Awards.

Boilerhouse 1

The once-derelict industrial space on the Parramatta campus has been dramatically transformed into a social hub for UWS students and staff. The Boilerhouse features a stylish restaurant and outdoor noodle bar. In keeping with the site’s history, the boilers were removed, refashioned and returned to the front of the building where they stand on plinths, while various other boiler components, such as auto stokers, steam valves and ducts, are artfully displayed within the restaurant.

Boilerhouse 3

Taylor Brammer Landscape Architects worked closely with the design team to create a landscape masterplan for the site, upholding “the heritage values of the site and the contemporary uses of a modern university.” The external features strong textural stone banding, the use of still and moving water, and scented and highly textural planting.

Boilerhouse 4

Taylor Brammer Landscape Architects engaged Street Furniture Australia to supply a number of Cafe Round Tables and Cafe Stools to furnish the pavilion-style outdoor seating area of the noodle bar. In choosing the cafe settings, landscape architect Matthew Taylor emphasises the importance of not competing with the heritage design. The “clean design” of the cafe settings possess an honesty that works well in the site’s context, Taylor notes, while their robust nature serves the needs of a busy university environment. Additionally, “The perforated metal lets the light through and creates space”, ensuring the furniture did not dominate the unique location.

Boilerhouse 5

A variety of free-standing and sub-surface mounted cafe settings were installed to allow maximum flexibility and avoid an institutionalised feel. In this historically significant and collaborative project, Taylor Brammer Landscape Architects are successful in “creating memorable open spaces that fulfil the needs of a 21st century campus”.

In awarding Tanner Kibble Denton Architects the prize, the NSW Architecture Awards jury wrote, “This is an intelligent and thoughtful reuse of an existing site and fabric to create a dynamic and contemporary place for students in Sydney’s heartland”.

 


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