Frank Gehry, favorite star of the Los Angeles architecture constellation, is on track to make his Australian debut with the Faculty of Business building at the University of Technology, Sydney. The building will assemble 320,000 hand-laid brown bricks to achieve an effect already described by the press as a “melted chocolate castle” or “sagging skin.” Originally reported by the Sydney Morning Herald (and picked up by ARTINFO), Australian construction giant Lend Lease won the bid to complete the project, which has seen its cost balloon from $150 million to $180 million (Australian) due to complications with excavation and the aforementioned brick work (the bespoke construction method is a change from original plans to use “brick curtain” technique).
In a video featured on the SMH website, Murray Coleman, managing director of project management and construction for Lend Lease’s Australian operations, describes the inner workings of the building’s unique façade: “[The façade] has an internal structural steel layer, which has a membrane. The bricks follow a unique series of contours and are tied back into the façade.”
Construction is expected to be complete by mid-2014.