Renowned Architect, Gehry Chooses Brick for Challenging Sydney Design

 UTS Image DG Blog

Here’s something to celebrate!  Right in the heart of one of the most crowded parts of Sydney and under wraps in construction is this amazing building set to become an Australian icon.   Better still brick is the primary external construction material.   Designed by legendary American architect Frank Gehry for the University of Technology (UTS), it has brought out the best in bricklayers Peter, Ray and Sam Favetti and their skilled team, with enormous demands being placed on brickwork in achieving the desired results.

The building, due for completion in August this year, will be known as the Dr Chau Chak Wing building after the philanthropist and businessman who has donated a total of $25 million to UTS.  It will house the UTS Business School in Sydney’s Chinatown and is being touted at the city’s most remarkable construction since the Opera House. View the ABC  7.30 Report video on the project.

Bricklayers on the project have been inspired by the challenges of the detailed requirements of the design to create a building which resembles a crumpled paper bag.   Ray Favetti, a director of Favetti Bricklaying, a well-respected bricklaying contractor in Sydney has been dedicated to the project over a number of years from expressions of interest being called, constructing visual and performance mock ups of the brickwork both here and in China and assisting with the extensive research and development leading up to its current construction stage.

Currently up to fifteen of his highest skilled and experienced bricklayers are working on the face.  Bricklayers on the job say this is a-once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work on an iconic architectural landmark building.  It demonstrates the highest levels of skills that bricklayers can provide.

There are 310,000 dry pressed bricks from Austral Brickworks Bowral which are custom designed with a channel to accommodate the custom designed ties to the steel frame.  Five brick shapes are required and none are laid in a straight line.  Bricks are laid in a one third bond commonly called earthquake bond with sweeping vertical and horizontal curves and sharp angles.  The mortar has been premixed to a consistent ratio of 4.5 to one and includes kiln dried sand.  A precise quantity of water and special admixtures is added to ensure the required bond strength.

Quality assurance is an integral part of the daily activity on site.  Flow meter tests and compressive cube tests are conducted daily and weekly and there are monthly bond wrench tests.  Favetti carry out all of the flow meter tests at the work face.

Favetti Bricklaying and their skilled tradesmen can be justly proud of their efforts to create a construction masterpiece which will be admired for years to come.  Visit our Become-a-Bricklayer Facebook page for a link to the ABC 7.30 Report.  You can read more on why Brick was selected at the Berkshire Review, and More on the Design from the UTS.

David Gill
ABBTF, NSW Manager

2 Responses to “Renowned Architect, Gehry Chooses Brick for Challenging Sydney Design”

  1. Jane

    I still get amazed what can be built with bricks…look forward to seeing this when in Sydney

  2. Tony hilton

    I was lucky enough to be the bricklayer who layed the first bricks at the Chau Chak Wing building. I was heavily involved in the mock up panels leading up to the commencement of the project and some of the more intricate corners or bends in the building. All 27 bricklayers and labourers deserve a pat on the back and should be extremely proud of their accomplishments. It’s never been done before and probably will never be done again . History in the making. Good on ya guys


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