The Seven Wonders of UTS
UTS doesn’t have any statues. It doesn’t have any ancient ruins or Renaissance art galleries. But it is undeniable that this great university is a place of wonder, and it is impossible to overlook. There are Seven Wonders of the Ancient World that commemorates structures that remain architecturally, historically, and symbolically significant. So, naturally, I thought it would be more than appropriate to compile a similar list of the Seven Wonders of UTS, featuring renowned and adored buildings that both inspire and empower.
The Great Tower of Ultimo
(The Great Pyramid of Giza)
Starting off with the oldest and most obvious inclusion to the list, the Tower Building is named Building 1 for a reason. As the most ancient, simplistic and hideous wonder on the list, the Great Tower has earned itself a reputation as the “scar in Sydney’s skyline”, adopted by UTS as the beloved symbol of this wonderful university. Much like the Great Pyramid’s neighbours in Egypt, Building 2 tries to steal student attention by associating itself with the main building. But, similar to the Great Pyramid, the Great Tower simply dominates its sister in size, practicality and historical importance. It’s no wonder this Jenga brick prison is first on the list.
Library of Quay Street
(Temple of Artemis)
The temple of Artemis was an enormous structure with rows upon rows of ionic columns holding together an enclosed space for citizens to worship the moon goddess. The UTS library features all the same characteristics, albeit in a way far more suited to a 21st century university. Inside this wonder, hoards of students worship the god of knowledge and four bar Wi-Fi strength, spending many of their waking hours reciting incantations (or class presentations) and reading the sacred texts (916 pages of Constitutional Law bought at the Co-Op for the same price as a Toyota Corolla). And much like the ancient Temple of Artemis, this church has been ravaged by floods time and time again until, one day, eventually the second Wonder of UTS will be lost forever. But it’s all good, we have another one already built!
Hanging Gardens of Central
(Hanging Gardens of Babylon)
King Nebuchadnezzer’s marvellous construction of hanging gardens in Babylon were nothing but a myth until, in 2013, Central Park constructed the world’s tallest vertical gardens. The Babylonian King’s dream had come to fruition and now these glorious vined walls, suspended above Broadway, capture students’ awe whenever they walk to Daiso for a $2.80 bargain. It may be cheating to have the Hanging Gardens of Central on this list considering they’re not actually part of UTS, but the Hanging Gardens of Babylon weren’t even proven to exist and yet they were included on the Ancient Wonders list. If you ask me, I say they fit in just fine – we’ve basically adopted them as our own anyway.
Green Room of Haymarkets
(Mausoleum of Halicarnassus)
The Green Room down in Haymarkets Campus is quite simply the place where dreams and social life go to die. With less social activity and vitality than even the library, the Green Room is the mausoleum for all law and business students who once had spare time and paying jobs. Things that have since been replaced with study sessions and internships. For many first years, the overwhelming green and the clusters of students cramming for tests, catch them like a deer in headlights. Be warned; speaking in this zone will lead to swift and immediate execution. It is, by far, the most depressing inclusion to the list.
(Lighthouse of Alexandria)
As the most modern inclusion to the Seven Wonders list, Building 11 has adopted an array of appropriate and affectionate nicknames, including The Cheese Grater, The Engineer’s Delight, and Progressive Hogwarts (take that, USyd!). The practicality and architectural ingenuity of Building 11 is comparable to the brilliance of the Lighthouse of Alexandria, boasting a visually captivating use of escalators, concrete, metal, and glass to form a symbol of everything advanced and awesome in UTS. A stark contrast to the Great Tower, Building 11 excites the senses and promises students who enter that fun times will be had while navigating the labyrinthine staircases until they eventually, inevitably, find themselves sitting at a table in the Penny Lane Café.
Bell Tower of Ultimo Rhode
(Colossus of Rhodes)
Get it? Ultimo Road? Ah, forget it. The Colossus of Rhodes was a giant statue of the Greek titan-god Helios positioned in the harbour of Rhodes to welcome incoming ships, built to commemorate their military victory over Cyprus. There is only one comparable formation in UTS; the Bell Tower on Ultimo Road. As a reminder that students won a major victory in being accepted to the university, the Bell Tower serves to welcome all students, current and new, to the electrifying life of UTS. Both impractical and ignored by most passers by, the UTS Bell Tower is possibly the most accurate reincarnation of the Colossus of Rhodes this great university has to offer. It also has a bell, but I’ve never heard it rung before. Hmm…
(Statue of Zeus)
There is nothing physical proving that the Statue of Zeus even existed, but we know it did. Does that not sound like the mythical location of Blackfriars? Blackfriars is the alias the government gives a rogue soldier when their location is unknown. Blackfriars is the El Dorado of UTS; not even the Spanish Conquistadors can locate it. Blackfriars is a poem incarnate; “Only when you lose yourself can it truly be found”. Unlike the Statue of Zeus, the building itself is unremarkable, but the story behind it is what earns Blackfriars a position on this list. Nary another building in UTS has built itself such a prominent reputation despite no one having actually seen it.
The new Building 8, a.k.a. Frank Gehry’s Oasis, may one day make the list of the Seven New Wonders of UTS, but for now we’ll leave it aside and give time to breathe.
Written by Ben Chappel