The Dr Chau Chak Building – University of Technology, Sydney Australia

The Building 

The Dr Chau Chak Wing Building is the first Australian building to be designed by the American Frank Gehry, one of the world's most influential architects. The building is a key facility at the University of Technology in Sydney, providing teaching, learning, research and office accommodation for the UTS Business School.

It has two distinct external facades: one composed of undulating brick, referencing the sandstone and dignity of Sydney’s urban brick heritage, and the other of large, angled sheets of glass to fracture and mirror the image of surrounding buildings.

The structure is 16,030 square metres in area, spread over 14 floor levels, with a total project cost of A$180 million.

It was completed in November 2014, with an official opening taking place on February 2, 2015.

The Project 

The construction contract was awarded to Lend Lease in November 2012, with Waco Kwikform being awarded the multi-million dollar scaffolding and edge protection contract in February 2013. 

The project brief required Waco to engineer and construct a scaffold solution capable of following the profile of the slab edges, which contain very few straight sections and which also step in and out up to three metres vertically between each floor. This provided our Sydney team with a significant challenge; to develop a system capable of curving both horizontally and vertically to meet the slab edge and provide safe access for the bricklayers who would be laying bricks within large steel frames to match the profile. 

The solution incorporated a series of individually engineered brackets ranging from one board to six boards wide, connected to the perimeter scaffold via a series of vertical trusses up to 1.5 metres deep. 

The scaffold was fully modelled in 3D, using Revit software, which enabled us to confirm our base layout and review any potential clashes between the façade elements (particularly the window boxes, which protruded from an already complicated façade at varying angles and distances). It also enabled us to more accurately predict the load path through the scaffold.

Our ability to develop and engineer a superior technical solution, combined with our reputation for guaranteed delivery of major scaffold projects with Lend Lease, enabled us to beat our competitors, whose systems were perceived to provide greater flexibility in non-standard scaffold applications.

Waco Kwikform is proud to have played an integral role in the construction of this unique and iconic building.


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