28 February, 2008

The building begins to take shape

The last three weeks have seen wonderful progress on site. Lots of things have been going up.

The crane went up two weeks ago and has made a big difference to work on site; making it easier to move materials and pour concrete on most days in the last week. All 1st floor slabs are now completed with the exception of the northern sector of the building that will have just three floors plus the roof top terrace. This slab will be completed soon and when it is the momentum of the project will pick up again as floors go up more quickly.

The suspended slab floor over the basement was poured.

The first walls went up.

A sense of the scale of the New College Village and the progress can be gained from this aerial photo taken by Tim Calpito from the top of the new L5 Building (old bowling alley and later Unisearch) that was also built by Lipman.


13 February, 2008

The foundation stone is unveiled

About 60 people gathered on the 12th February 2008 to officially launch the construction process for the New College Village. Speakers at the ceremony included:

- The Master (me)
- The UNSW Vice Chancellor, Professor Frederick Hilmer
- Emeritus Professor Edwin Judge representing the founding memebrs of the New University Colleges Council (NUCC)

A cornerstone (or foundation stone) is a ceremonial masonry stone, or facsimile, set in a prominent location on the outside of a building, with an inscription on the stone indicating details such as the construction date. This is an important cultural component of western architecture and is also a key metaphorical symbol in sacred architecture.

Before asking the Vice Chancellor to unveil the foundation stone I indicated that for New College the foundation stone symbolized at least three things:

• The fact that the building has commenced
• That what we do at New College is founded on Christian faith and values.
• The fact that the New College Village is a direct outcome of the vision and energy that drove the founders of New College, and one could well add the founders of UNSW, who understood the power of community to change lives.

It was an exciting event attended by senior University staff, representatives of Lipman (as builder), Allen Jack+Cottier (architects), financiers, residents, staff and board members of New College, heads of other colleges, alumni and friends. The Vice Chancellor commented:

"This is a very important development for UNSW. It is aligned with our strategic directions and we are grateful to New College for its initiative."