UTS Building 15 Fitout - Animal Logic Academy and BCII

Integrating a complex technological brief to meet the latest industry benchmark in animation and visualisation, the custom-built studio of the new UTS Animal Logic Academy features an all-black interior that facilitates exact colour matching of computer graphics. Run by the University of Technology Sydney and Animal Logic (responsible for films including The LEGO® Movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron and Happy Feet) the Academy is designed to provide a studio experience equal to world-class industry production standards.

Vital to the design of this cutting-edge learning environment is its all-black interior, which not only incorporates black carpet and furniture, joinery and finishes, but also required the design team to consider every last detail, down to the wires encased in black. In the entry and kitchen spaces, shades of green have been introduced, while charcoal grey creates subtle variation.

“We answered the complex technological brief by creating an all black interior, but we were conscious that it could easily feel claustrophobic,” says John Baker from BKA Architecture. “By introducing shades of grey and muted tones of green, we were able to create enough visual interest to stop it becoming monolithic or oppressive.”

At the heart of the studio is a large space filled with workstations running diagonally across the space. The ceilings were removed and exposed, creating a sense of height, then painted black to make them recede. Structural columns with chamfered tops were retained according to heritage guidelines and painted charcoal grey.

Lighting design and control was vital, with block-out blinds offering a dark environment where necessary, and warm lighting enhancing concentration for working, while dimmable lighting allows control according to individual preference. Surrounding the main studio space, the Academy also has two screening rooms with cinema screens, large projectors and speakers, as well as two professional editing suites.

In the main studio space, in order to make sure graduates of the Academy’s Master of Animation and Visualisation will be industry ready, meeting the highest technical standard for computer graphics work, the Academy has integrated the latest systems and technology. Computer graphics workstations are connected to a render farm configured to ensure fast processing of high-definition computer images, while high specification graphics cards ensure high frame rates, and HP DreamColor monitors are calibrated to optimal colour space standards.

“By offering a one-year, intensive and studio-based degree, we are able to serve the scalability and refresh needs of industry, where practitioners need to uptake new skills and explore the emerging demands for computer graphics in a real-world setting, says Dr Shilo T McClean, Head of UTS Animal Logic Academy, UTS.

The studio also offers amenities including a kitchen, lounge and meeting spaces featuring soft seating to provide a comfortable, relaxed environment for breaks, while downstairs, production offices for Academy staff adjoin another development  designed by BKA Architecture for the University, housing a learning space for the Faculty of Transdisciplinary Innovation’s Bachelor of Creative Intelligence and Innovation (BCII).

9 September 2016