SketchingNow Adventure: UTS Campus, Ultimo and Chippendale

September 7, 2016 | 1 Comment

Last week I resumed the SketchingNow adventures that are associated with my online courses. The idea behind these outings is to get away from my studio, to explore new parts of my city and also to provide an opportunity to create new sketches based on what we are doing that week in my course. You can read about previous ones here.

It’s a bit of a crazy idea to add to my already full load of work, but in many ways it is very important for me to get out. It gives me a chance to think about the content for the course and is a way to make sure that I do actually leave my computer!

Anyway, last week I headed to Ultimo and Chippendale to explore some of the new buildings in this area. There are numerous new landmark buildings there and a lot of them are part of the University of Technology. The most famous being Frank Gehry’s building – the Dr Chau Chak Wing Building (also known as the ‘squashed brown paper bag building’) – which I have sketched a few times before.

I approached it via the new Goods Line walkway (Sydney’s version of NYC’s High Line) and was struck by how this crazy building really fits into its context and how almost conservative it looks from this approach.

And just before I share my sketch of it with you, here is a lovely Le Corbusier mural on the wall at the start of the Good Lines. Ah! that made me smile.

So here is my quick (pre-coffee) sketch of the Gehry building. Note: I will be sharing two progress shots and discussing a few ideas about this sketch in Buildings Lesson 1.

Next it was time for a mid-morning coffee so I went to the nearby Mecca Espresso. I love their coffee but their cake selection was a bit limited. Aside: I rarely have a chocolate brownie but it really hit the spot on this occasion

Afterwards I stood in the street for a few minutes to do this really quick rough sketch of one part of the gorgeous old Sydney Technical College building. This is a photo of it ‘dry’.

Whenever you sketch buildings you have to make a decision about what you want to be the main emphasis. On this occasion, it was the main configuration and the different materials that I was interested in recording and not an accurate drawing of the details. This building has so many lovely details that I knew I couldn’t do them justice in the time frame, so I didn’t attempt it.

I later added water to the sketch.

Next I headed for the main UTS campus as I wanted to check out the new Science Building (designed by Durbach Block Jaggers and BVN). This is the view from the road…

…and this is my loose sketch of the view from the courtyard. I was trying to sketch this building very quickly and made a few errors in the process. Ah! it’s all part of the fun of fast (5 minute) sketching! I was primarily thinking about how to sketch the variety in colour and shape of the windows in a super quick way and forgot to count the storeys – oops! Hmm, cleverly designed simple modern buildings like this are much harder to sketch quickly than the elaborate ones like my previous sketch. (Note: if you are doing Buildings you will pick up that this is a proof of something I said in the introductory comments!)

You might also note my comment about my new mixed grey… yes, it is a little too opaque for my liking so I am going to try another version and then I will tell you what the winning mix is, I promise!It was then time to explore the area further, take a few more photos and have a little solo video shooting session which resulted in my Sighting and Measuring Angles video.

The theme of my photos became all the new buildings (mainly towers) and how many times I saw either a glimpse of the beautiful UTS Building 1 tower. Note: my use of the word beautiful is extreme sarcasm! As much as I love Brutalist architecture this building could never be called beautiful.

Here are two views from the main courtyard at UTS showing Building 1 in all its glory and the new One Central Park in the background. Plus another interesting new building, but I didn’t end up taking any more photos of it.

The urban gardens of One Central Park – you can read more about it here.

An amazing new concrete building (I don’t know what this is)…

… and the barren streets around the Uni Lodge with Building 1 in the background – again!

It was soon time for an early lunch. What’s in-between this glass box and row of terraces?

Spice Alley! – which also has a view of our favourite tower. Ha! Are you surprised?

My Pad Thai was nice. I have had better, but this has to be the spiciest version I have had.

It was soon time to head home, but there was still a few more photos to take. There are new buildings everywhere!

Two questions (both are a bit rhetorical)

  1. How many photos of Building 1 did I include in this article?
  2. Where should I head next week?

Actually, you can answer the first for me as I am too lazy to count, and I am always up for suggestions in response to the second.

For those of you that know Sydney: What is your favourite suburb?

1 Comment

  • tatum says:

    Hi Liz, you’re sketches are such inspiration! We lived in Sydney CBD for a year up until July and we loved walking around the Botanical Garden, Circular Quay, to The Rocks and down to Barangaroo and around to Darling Harbour to Pyrmont to enjoy the beautiful outdoors Sydney has to offer. Seeing your sketches of places we’ve visited makes me want to go back right now! Thank you bringing back beautiful memories of Sydney.

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