University of Sydney

A lightning rod stair

Abercrombie Street and Codrington Street Sydney, NSW
Completed 2016

Launching a new chapter in the University of Sydney’s learning and teaching spaces, Carr has designed dynamic, agile spaces on a dramatic scale.

As a benchmark in the design of education facilities, students and visitors are greeted upon entry with a spectacular five storey spiral staircase. With a striking scale and boldness, the new stair has been likened to a lightning rod, spectacular in its circular form.

The staircase serves as the prime circulation device linking levels and creating a sense of connectivity between floors. Clever in its reference to the complex curvilinearity of the architecture, the soaring stair also allows natural light to penetrate the central atrium and flood across the surrounding floors.

The interiors respond with a dynamic interaction of curvilinear and orthogonal forms. Despite this drama, however, there is a sense of expansive, almost temple-like calm supporting the diverse range of private study and collaborative settings.”

Paul McGillick

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