The SEB is a multi-use building housing laboratories, research, learning and performing arts spaces. The building is planned in modules for full flexibility for laboratories and teaching, with the plant for the heavily serviced building centrally located in the rooftop plant room, including the six rooftops mounted strobic air fans for the manifold laboratory fume cupboard exhaust system.

The laboratory areas within the building were designed to suit vibration criteria being - RF = 1 to the typical laboratory spaces, VC-C to the laboratory spaces at Level 5, and VC-E/F to the most vibration sensitive areas in the basement. TTW undertook vibration analysis to optimise the structure whilst achieving the required vibration response.

The basement houses the IO Myers and Studio 1 black box theatres and associated spaces, beneath the raked podium slab over. IO Myers has two levels of catwalks, whilst Studio 1 has a full pipe grid, both hung from the podium slab, which itself floats over the theatre spaces with double cantilevered corners extending to over 8m.

The basement shoring comprises of a contiguous piled wall, cantilevering in the short term and propped by ground floor in the long term. Adjacent to the North and West faces of the IO Myers theatres the void to create the IO Myers theatre box disconnects the ground floor plate from the shoring wall, whilst along the west side the ground floor slab cantilevers over 4m from the shoring wall. To resolve the permanent condition whilst maximising headroom under, TTW developed a solution with a tapered slab that cantilevers off the shoring wall under gravity loads, whilst spanning 26m laterally to provide a horizontal prop to the top of the shoring wall.

The SEB sits adjacent to its sister building, MSEB which TTW also designed and delivered with Multiplex for UNSW. The buildings are connected via a multi-level link bridge to the superstructure, and at basement level through openings in the existing contiguous piled wall from MSEB. The building features extensive exposed off-form concrete, particularly around the public podium and circulation spaces which also house the feature steel staircases.

Client: Multiplex

Architect: Grimshaw

Value: $180M

Completion: 2019

Sector: Universities

Services: Structural, Civil, Facade


  • 2020 – NSW Architecture Award – Urban Design Award