Crumpled: Frank Gehry’s Paper Bag
But one name for the structure stuck when Australia’s current Governor-General, Peter Cosgrove, called it “the most beautiful squashed brown paper bag” he had ever seen. It is Frank Gehry’s first project Down Under; officially, it is named for its main sponsor and called the Dr. Chau Chak Wing. However, the paper-bag image has entered the language.
The eleven-storey teaching and research complex of the University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) has two faces or façade forms. One side features enormous glass “shards” which reflect the surrounding landscape. The other side is made up of undulating brickwork – 320,000 bricks in all, laid in an offset pattern in order to create the overall look of the structure.
Gehry himself says his unusual design was inspired by a tree or treehouse: “a growing, learning organism with many branches for thought.”
The interior continues the architectural theme of branching. Since 23 February 2015, the institution’s students are able to form their own opinions of this striking building.