Monday, October 18, 2010

Faculty of Law

The Faculty of Law at the University of Sydney (possibly not an institution with money worries) is a striking, shining building which looks boldly across Victoria Park towards the city centre, and was designed by the architects Francis-Jones Morehen Thorpe (also responsible for the splendid Surry Hills Library). The building has won awards for its use of sustainably-sourced timber, in particular the innovative louvre system which enables occupants to close or open the wooden louvres to let in or keep out light and heat from outside. It's a quite astonishing building, especially in contrast with the older, more traditional university spires that surround it. In an incongruous touch, someone has thoughtfully dropped a plastic crocodile into the sunken water feature, where it bobs helplessly, probably forever.


  1. Wow, brought back some memories here - Syd Uni is where I studied and lived.

    Drive through the Uni to and from dragon boat and sometimes outrigger training. Took them ages to construct the new Law Building. Have always noticed the new buildings, but have not taken the time to take a closer look. Great photos, I really like the Book Shelf photo and the one below it, the chair and stairs - great compositions.

    The crocodile might have something to do with one of the residential colleges (St John's). I remember back in my day, we always had a "crocodile" (I think it was called "Dufus") in our College (Wesley) Master's swimming pool.

    Also the Head of the School of Physics, Harry Messel, had a thing for crocodiles.

    Or maybe it's just an Ausrtalian thing? We've got Steve Irwin (and now Bindi and Bob), Malcolm Douglas (*), and now the Joneses.

  2. Interesting to hear that the crocodile might actually be a tradition and not just an idle student jape.

    It's a pretty spectacular building. The pictures of it on the FJMT website are much better than mine and are worth a look (especially for the one with a wonderful juxtaposition of old and new).

  3. Hi Lottie,
    Love these pics! I actually work at the University of Sydney Library- the Law Library is amazing isn't it? Did you go up into the reading room in the light well?

  4. Glad you like them, Crystal. I didn't go into the reading room - I was conscious of not wanting to disturb anyone so I didn't really explore. Is it worth a look? I live nearby so I can always come back.

    I went to Glasgow University School of Law which is ultra-traditional and nothing like as spectacular as this.