Built in three stages, it is made up of wonderful geometric modules that housed original boilers and associated infrastructure that heated the University from the 1940’s to 2000. Through adaptive reuse, we are planning a new building that will combine original historically significant features with new design and materials to be a structure of international architectural merit. One element (of many!) that we will retain is the three level triangular prism of the structure, and expose the concrete form of the cylinder to create a feeling of awe and wonder.
The size and shape of the Boilerhouse structure is quite remarkable. Winning a Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA) merit award in 1974, the concrete form was brutalist in design. The height of the stack is 40m, while the tallest part of the triangular structure is 13m, which is the equivalent of a 3 storey building. This triangular structure has a roof pitch of 35deg. The striking concrete cylinder which was used as the funnel for coal loading into the furnace, is 8m in diameter.
The main Stage 3 building, which was clad in asbestos sheeting (the cladding of choice in the 1960s-70s), contains steel beams able to bear the load of a 12 tonne tank which was housed in the upper-most level of the triangular structure.
The Boilerhouse has always been an iconic structure sitting at the top of the UNE hill and although it was in limbo for 20 years, the UNE Discovery team aim to breathe new life into this amazing structure, and open it up for the enjoyment of everyone who lives in or visits the region.
In the words of architect, Frank Gehry…
We’re thinking big, and want to show Australia what is possible in our regions. To make this a reality, please support the Boilerhouse Discovery Space with a donation. No amount is too big or too small. Thank you.