Posts tagged with "Australia":

Foster + Partners revises Melbourne Apple store

Frequent Apple collaborator Foster + Partners has gone back to the drawing board for their plans to build a flagship Apple store in Melbourne, Australia’s Federation Square. The original scheme was unveiled back in December of last year, and the public pushed back over the location, the “Pizza Hut pagoda” design, and the potential demolition of the Yarra Building. Federation Square spans nearly eight acres and serves as Melbourne’s main public square, the result of a government-mandated reclamation of the industrial land on the banks of the Yarra River in 1999. The architectural design competition for the square was won by a coalition of teams including Lab Architecture Studio, led by Donald Bates, Karres en Brands Landscape Architects, and the local firm Bates Smart. Donald Bates is acting in an advisory role for the proposed Apple store project. The original Federation Square design includes an eclectic collection of three-story buildings organized around a central plaza. Each building is clad in zinc, glass, and sandstone, often in a seemingly-random, fractalized pattern. The square contains a number of cultural resources, including the Ian Potter Centre for Australian art, and the Koorie Heritage Trust in the Yarra Building. The group responsible for maintaining the square, Fed Square Pty Ltd, has been quick to point out that the area has always had private retailers, and that the square operates on a commercial model. Foster + Partners’ original plan for Apple Federation Square would have replaced the three-story Yarra Building with a two-story glass “pagoda” meant to open up views of the river. The glass cube would have been enlivened by two bronze skirts, resembling a double-height version of Foster’s flagship store in Chicago. After Melbourne residents took to the internet, local council meetings, and workshops to protest, a steering committee was set up to gather input on what the public would like to see included. The revised building takes the aforementioned concerns into account and attempts to better engage the existing buildings in the square and the landscaped river to the south. The new building is much blockier and top-heavy than its previous iteration. The large rectangular top half seems to levitate when viewed from above as it cantilevers off of a smaller base and creates space for an array of rooftop solar panels. The change includes a public balcony overlooking the river and over 5,300 square feet of public space. Still, these changes aren’t enough for those who feel an Apple store is the wrong choice for Federation Square, full stop. The group Citizens for Melbourne is vowing to fight the addition, arguing that Foster + Partners have simply swapped a “Pizza Hut pagoda” for an “iPad”. If construction continues as planned, Apple Federation Square will open in 2020. Demolition on the Yarra Building is slated for 2019.

Diller Scofidio + Renfro and Woods Bagot win competition to design Adelaide Contemporary art center

Only three weeks after a star-studded shortlist of architects for the Adelaide Contemporary International Design Competition was revealed, arts organization Arts South Australia and competition organizers Malcolm Reading Consultants have chosen the Diller Scofidio + Renfro (DS+R) and Woods Bagot team. The winning plan for the new art gallery and accompanying sculpture park will create a new cultural anchor for the state of South Australia. In their winning scheme, DS+R and Australian firm Woods Bagot have envisioned a dramatically inclined art space for Adelaide’s North Terrace. The arts center will rise on the site of the former Royal Adelaide Hospital, and in the brief, teams were asked to design dynamic, but people-friendly, spaces. The team has designed what they call a “charismatic soft beacon” meant to reflect the sky during the day, and glow from the gallery spaces at night, creating an open and inviting atmosphere. The Adelaide Contemporary will include a sunken performance lab with multiple tiers, a “Super Lobby”, floating top-floor galleries, and a rooftop garden that will hang down into the upper levels’ gallery space. The entire building is a mixture of purpose-driven spaces with unique massings and heights, with programming inherently baked into each room’s layout, but its most unique feature is how most of the building will cantilever over the outdoor gallery spaces and public square. By virtue of the competition guidelines, all of the submitted proposals drew from vernacular Aboriginal art and culture, as well as the history and traditions of Adelaide. “The design foregrounds South Australia’s exceptional collections and capitalises on the momentum of the Art Gallery of South Australia’s recent successes in celebrating Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander art and culture,” said Michael Lynch, chair of the jury and the Art Gallery of South Australia Board’s Special Advisor. “The jury was impressed by the winning team’s assured understanding of the future of art, performance and 21st-century programming, as well as its flair for placemaking.” DS+R and Woods Bagot beat out 107 teams from around the world (from over 500 individual firms), including proposals from studios like David Chipperfield, BIG, Adjaye Associates, and SO-IL. A full list of the received proposals, and views of their submissions, can be viewed here. The full biographies for all nine jury members can be viewed here. No cost estimate or completion date for the project has been released at the time of writing.

Adjaye, BIG and DS+R reveal shortlist designs for Adelaide Contemporary

On May 11, Arts South Australia’s design jury revealed the design proposals from the six shortlisted teams selected in the Adelaide Contemporary International Design Competition, a planned art gallery and sculpture park in Adelaide, Australia. The 160,000 square-foot Adelaide Contemporary will house a significant portion of the Art Gallery of South Australia’s 42,000 piece collection, which currently only has a fraction on display due to a lack of space. The museum will draw upon its substantial Aboriginal collection to create the Gallery of Time, which will combine indigenous pieces with European and Asian works. This shortlist's designs follow.  Adjaye Associates & BVN’s design draws upon Aboriginal vernacular architecture through the use of a surrounding canopy, providing shade in one of the more arid corners of the country. With the canopy screening significant portions of the four elevations, the design will largely use skylights and balconies to filter natural light into the central atrium and stairwell. With a twisting, serpentine layout, Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) & JPE’s proposal is inspired by Aboriginal sand painting, which often embeds abstract natural elements within a landscape. Through the use of rooftop landscaping, the team hopes to integrate their design with the adjacent Botanic Garden. David Chipperfield and SJB Architects’ is the only timber structure proposal. The principal elevations are composed of wooden screens, and the structure is topped by sloped roofs. In a statement, Diller Scofidio+Renfro & Woods Bagot describe their proposal as a “matrix of unique spaces unbound by disciplinary categories range in size, height, infrastructure, and light quality.” The bulk of exhibition space is located on the second story, which is cantilevered over an outdoor gallery and public square. Hassell & SO-IL incorporate a central plaza into their design proposal, which the team describes as an attempt to bring “nature, art, and people together.” The central plaza serves as a circulation node and public square connecting the gallery’s semi-independent spaces, which are further laced together by a draped, metal brise-soleil. Khai Liew, Ryue Nishizawa & Durbach Block Jaggers proposal consists of a sweeping, perforated canopy supported by a series of pilotis. Beneath the canopy, the site is split roughly evenly between park and curatorial space, the latter presenting sweeping views of the adjacent Botanic Garden. Arts South Australia’s design jury will meet again in May, with a winner expected to be announced in June.

Adjaye, DS+R, Ryue Nishizawa and SO-IL on shortlist for Australian contemporary art museum

Adjaye Associates, SO-IL, BIG, and Woods Bagot are among the 13 firms the Government of South Australia has selected to produce concept designs for a new contemporary art museum in Adelaide, South Australia's capital.

The Adelaide Contemporary International Design Competition, as it is officially known, asked firms to design both a museum and public space for events around the future Adelaide Contemporary, which will be part of the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA) network.

The six chosen teams, a mix of Australian and international firms, are now at work on concept designs that will be revealed to the public in April 2018, right before the competition jury convenes. London's Adjaye Associates was matched with Sydney's BVN, while SO-IL and Melbourne's HASSELL are working together on a concept. BIG – Bjarke Ingels Group (Copenhagen) and JPE Design Studio (Adelaide) are paired up, as is Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York) and Woods Bagot (also from Adelaide). London's David Chipperfield Architects and Sydney's SJB Architects working together on the design, and a team of three firms—Khai Liew (Adelaide), Office of Ryue Nishizawa (Tokyo) and Durbach Block Jaggers (Sydney)—makes up the final grouping. The firms were selected in the competition's first stage from over 100 teams (525 firms) representing five continents. To create the final teams, organizers paired international winners with shortlisted Australian firms. "This is an extraordinarily rich list of diverse creative partnerships of architects looking to complement their talents by working with both peers and smaller talented practices. There is a strong thread of Australian professional expertise running through the entire list with Australians taking both equal and collaborative positions," said Nick Mitzevich, director of AGSA, in prepared remarks. "The six teams all showed a strong connection with Adelaide—and understood that our aim is not to create an off-the-peg architectural icon but a piece of Adelaide, an entity that will be sustainable and polymathic in the way it enhances the social, cultural and architectural fabric of the city." The final jury will be announced in early 2018.

Peter Corrigan, rebellious voice in Australian architecture, passes away

Dr. Peter Corrigan, AM, the dean of a vigorous and difficult brand of Australian architecture passed away on December 1, 2016. His passing marks the end of an era—one in which, initially by his own doing, the Melbourne wing of Australian architecture refused the polite modernist postures of a Seidler or the pastoral narratives of a Murcutt and became a full-throated and, one might say angry critique of post-colonial culture. Corrigan was only 77 but had fought illness for a decade. In a half century Peter Corrigan, with his life and work partner Maggie Edmond, had achieved a career that would be enviable on any continent, but especially in Australia. Australia is a country as challenging as any to establish an architectural practice, let alone one with such a passionate and some might say rebellious voice. Corrigan leaves behind a grand legacy: of many buildings and countless awards received; of numerous protégés and perhaps some enemies; of wild ideas shared selflessly with many students in Melbourne and elsewhere; of an architectural voice in the wilderness built of dreams and hopes set against the small-mindedness of the local political leadership and the usual numbing logics of the construction market. There are few parallels to Corrigan’s work anywhere in North America or Europe left to mention these days, especially in light of the limited recent output of Denise Scott Brown and Robert Venturi. Corrigan was a student of Venturi’s at Yale in the late 1960s and yet somehow also a lifelong admirer of Aalto and Schraroun. Despite his vast output he remains, perhaps by design, an internationally undervalued pioneer of what later would be called Postmodern architecture. Charles Jencks and Kenneth Frampton never sang his praise and Corrigan never sought it. However, the life-work speaks to something more than what came to pass as Postmodern in the United States: faux historicism and silly façade games. If Corrigan’s early work too often took up the challenges posed by Kahn’s late work or Venturi’s Guild House and Mother’s House then the mature work extended a unique voice and timbre—as if by kaleidoscopic projection—into an idiomatic and local Australian expressionism. Wildly regional and local in its references and in-jokes, the oeuvre remains oddly imbued with the cosmopolitan and intellectual generosity that characterized the man as a teacher and a scholar. Indeed, Peter was no ordinary architect. His “Cities of Hope,” buildings as varied and often incongruous as suburban churches and fire stations, oddly iconic small home additions, schools, university buildings, galleries, and many designs for single family homes (designed and built or sketched and unexecuted) seem, in retrospect, too provocative for our age. In the place of the needless and endless banality of “next-generation,” technologically-generated, parametric or now object-oriented, nonsensical and mean baubles that get paraded around the schools and the competitions, Corrigan offers us only the sort of aesthetic charms that a Bertold Brecht could understand. Edmond and Corrigan’s work was unstylish, unrefined and lowly (for a love of the Untermenschen and not the Superman). It was sometimes poorly made but never boring, never inoffensive, never generic. The work was ridiculous in the best possible way and always theatrical. In fact, Corrigan spent a great deal of his career designing for the theater and opera, working recently with Barrie Kosky on Falstaff in Graz. His sets were otherworldly. Peter Corrigan was difficult in an age that demands smoothness of both architecture and architects. He was sometimes horrible, even terrifying. He remained a challenging character well into in a time in which upsetting the commons by speaking honestly was increasingly frowned upon. His exhortations to his students were searing and scathing and his demands as a teacher were unrelenting because he knew the world is always so much crueler than the classroom. “Symmetry is Asinine!” he roared one late afternoon to my class. “Architecture is not for Philistines! Next time you come to class bring your brain!” Corrigan was not politically correct but neither was he a bigot. He was usually irate and sometimes publically inebriated, even when he taught a now infamous design studio at Harvard. Yet, as a teacher he supported and nurtured the weakest voices and endured, with patience, the slowest students. As long as his students showed up with work, had hope, or could dream, Peter was their champion as he guided them with a genuine kindness so that they find might their own voices, their own resolve. It would be odd, perhaps, to conclude this dedication without explaining my personal connection to the man and my memories of him, formed over the decade I spent in Melbourne, studying at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT, previously a night school: the Working Men's College of Melbourne where my father studied architecture and design as a European refugee). RMIT, like other independent schools of architecture that formed new voices in the 1980s, was Peter’s laboratory and his ideas were lightening rods for a generation of Melbourne architects who have since reshaped the city. That said, I was never his student or a follower and I never had the desire (or perhaps the will) to endure one of his now famously grueling design studios. In retrospect, I regret the lost opportunity. I did, however, have a few run-ins with Peter. As a first-year or second-year student, I was asked to use some crude and slow early version of CAD to draw up a small project of my choosing. I decided, wrongheadedly, to try draw up one of Edmond and Corrigan’s most complicated projects, the Athan House in Monbulk, Victoria (1986-1988) and I approached his office to acquire the plans. Invited to meet him and then, not surprisingly, made to wait in his remarkable studio library for what seemed like hours, he arrived after what must have been a very long lunch. Corrigan vigorously quizzed me about my intentions and then after vaguely explaining the project to me he instructed me to return for the copies of the plans. I picked them up a few days later but we didn’t speak again for half a decade. The next time we spoke was at an exhibition after party in St. Kilda, a beachside suburb of Melbourne. I don’t recall our conversation exactly but I do remember he and I mixing some red wine and white wine to extend our evening’s merriment. He called it Rose. I thought we were just making do with the night’s leftovers. The house itself is mysteriously a chevron in plan that decided to sprout a series of neo-expressionist spikes, bizarre decks, outriggers, a small masonry bridge and various other unnecessary but crucial appurtenances. Naturally, the house turned out to be nearly impossible to document digitally. While I did eventually manage to faithfully draft up the plans and I returned copies on a floppy disk to his office, I don’t think he ever bothered to review them. Perhaps Peter suspected this would be the case given his suspicions of technology. His office has already painstakingly produced ink on vellum plans and perspectives that were infinitely more refined than anything I could conjure on the computer. Later, as a teacher, I spent the better part of half a decade in RMIT’s Building 8 on Swanston Street, a riotous and rude imposition on an earlier unfinished building by John Andrews (the architect of Harvard’s Gund Hall). At the time I found Corrigan’s polychrome masterwork to be ugly and challenged. But in retrospect I was perhaps too callow to understand his work and even more that a little scared of it as a symbol his formidable and restless intellect. Peter’s impact remains with me over half a globe away and almost two decades on. When I drive or ride around Southern California’s suburbs and communities I have often wondered why so many architects here have elected to see them only as blank canvases for various futurisms or nostalgic recreations instead of places imbued with an extraordinary, beautiful, and melancholy ordinariness. Sometimes I daydream about what an evocatively idiosyncratic but generous architecture might look like in place of the saccharine and anodyne nonsense we render and reproduce, relentlessly in the name of advancing architecture. Last week I looked again with new eyes at Peter Corrigan’s work and I remembered an architect who accepted and valorized the local and the ordinary, an architect who made the most use of the poorest and most mundane materials, accepting the ersatz and kitsch as a good things, not as repulsive things, making the most with the least. Vale Peter Corrigan.

From penguin watching to healing gardens, see the best Australian landscape architecture from 2016

The Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) has presented this year's National Landscape Architecture Awards. The winners span an eclectic mix of typologies ranging from penguin viewing platforms to waterfall trails and healing gardens. The AILA chose 40 state-level finalists from ten categories: Civic Landscape; Parks and Open Space; Infrastructure; Cultural Heritage; Land Conservation; Tourism; Urban Design; Research, Policy and Communication; Communities; Gardens and International. "The winners range in focus and theme, but all have appreciated the merit of urban green spaces and sustainably minded infrastructure to promote health, social and economic prosperity for urban and regional communities," the AILA said in a press release. AILA National Civic Landscape Award of Excellence Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital, Brisbane Conrad Gargett Landscape architecture firm Conrad Gargett were duly rewarded for their inclusion of a "Healing Garden" at the Brisbane hospital. With the design based around the concept of a living tree, 11 gardens—primarily used for therapy and recreation—can be found on the rooftops. 23,000 plants can also be found on the building's green extensive roof.
AILA International Award of Excellence Nanjing Tangshan Geopark Museum Hassell According to the AILA, the project is an "experiential and immersive gateway and forecourt" for the Nanjing Tangshan Geopark Museum, which was designed by Parisian architect Odile Decq. Multidisciplinary firm Hassell integrated a network of pathways and gardens into a 15-hectare park that includes a 300 million-year-old Paleozoic quarry.
AILA National Award for Parks and Open Space McCulloch Avenue Boardwalk Site Office Completed on a "modest" budget, the McCulloch Avenue Boardwalk sets travellers within the diverse topography and landscape of the site. "What could have been a simple boardwalk through a dune has become an experiential journey that rewards the user with a sense of pride and enjoyment," said the AILA. "No longer will be the destination be the focus."
AILA National Parks and Open Space Award of Excellence MacKenzie Falls Gorge Trail Hansen Partnership Creating new routes through Grampians National Park, urban design, planning, and landscape architecture firm Hansen Partnership were able to cast MacKenzie Falls Gorge (one of Australia's largest waterfalls) in a new light. Bolted steel bridges and mesh pathways are able to endure flooding and fires (but can't protect you from spiders).
AILA National Gardens Award of Excellence Forest Edge Garden Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture approached this project with the view to blend the garden into the terrain. The result was a subtle and elegant series of interventions that kept the existing landscape in harmony with the dwelling through careful design, plant species selection, and water management.
AILA National Tourism Award of Excellence Penguin Plus Viewing Area Tract Consultants with Wood Marsh Architecture On Phillip Island, tourists can catch glimpses of penguins both inside and outside this curvaceous, topographic timber structure by planning and design firm Tract Consultants with Wood Marsh Architecture. "The work is beautifully detailed and provides a replicable prototype for the development of other components of this fragile landscape into the future," said the AILA.
AILA National Award for Communities Get Sunflowered OUTR Research Lab, RMIT University Get Sunflowered saw new life come to the Latrobe Valley in Victoria, Australia. Community events include cleaning, planting, weeding, watering, and "harvesting"—all accompanied by local live music, food, and entertainment. The AILA praised Get Sunflowered for making use of a forgotten place which has been subject to a population and economic shift.
AILA National Award for Civic Landscape Glenorchy Art and Sculpture Park (GASP!) Stage 2 McGregor Coxall Multidisciplinary firm McGregor Coxall's work the second stage of the Glenorchy Art and Sculpture Park pays extensive tribute and homage to the dramatic landscape of Wilkinson’s Point. The "build it and they will come" approach has paid dividends and is, according to the AILA, a well-used civic and cultural space. "It has captured the imagination of locals and visitors as well as being recognized nationally and abroad."
AILA National Award for Infrastructure Sydney Park Water Re-Use Project Stage 2 Turf Design Studio and Environmental Partnership Juggling numerous constraints, Turf Design Studio and Environmental Partnership educate visitors to Sydney Park on environmental issues and the value of inner city green space. Integrating ecology, play, stakeholder management, engineering and sustainable water management requirements within an existing and well-loved inner city park is a difficult brief in any context," the AILA said. "The project beautifully expresses the forms, shapes, context, ecology and management of water, while also focussing on people, place, habitat and ecology."
AILA National Award for Land Conservation Shipwreck Coast Master Plan McGregor Coxall Shipwreck Coast in South Victoria is a popular tourist destination on the Australian southeast coast. Tourists, however, are the issue at hand with their presence threatening the site they flock to. Tackling this challenge, McGregor Coxall (in their 4th mention in the full list of 40) tie in habitat preservation with investment opportunities while maintaining and amplifying the sight-seeing experience–something which is a must for the economic prosperity of the area.

Major upgrade unveiled for Jørn Utzon’s Sydney Opera House

The government of the Australia's Southeastern state of New South Wales (NSW) has released images of an upgrade to the Sydney Opera House. Designed by Pritzker Prize winning Danish architect Jørn Utzon and built in 1973, the opera venue is listed as a World Heritage Site. The interior refurbishment will be the building's biggest upgrade in its 43-year history. Carried out by "controversial" Australian studio ARM, the work is part of a $155 million (USD) Cultural Infrastructure Fund scheme put forward by NSW state authorities. This year, ARM were awarded the Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal, the country's highest architecture award. NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for the Arts Troy Grant said the work represents the "biggest upgrade to the Opera House since it opened 43 years ago.” As for the upgrades themselves, extensive changes will be made to enhance the hall's acoustic performance. According to a survey from 2011, the Sydney Opera House was named as the third worst classical music venue in Australia in a list of 20. Changes then will see automatic drapes installed along with bespoke acoustic reflectors and in the concert hall. New automated stage risers will also improve acoustical performance meanwhile, for performances using amplified sound, a 3D surround-sound system will be put in place. In addition to this, a new, quieter air-conditioning system will be installed in a bid to reduce background noise. "For the first time the Concert Hall will deliver the true ambitions of the original creators of this incredible building,” said Sydney Symphony Orchestra Managing Director Rory Jeffes. The building's acoustic properties however, while a primary focus, aren't the only changes in line. Accessibility will be greatly improved thanks to the addition of 26 wheelchair seating options inside the concert hall along with numerous elevators installed throughout the building. “The Opera House, a ‘masterpiece of human creative genius,’ belongs to us all and is central to our identity as Australians,” said Louise Herron, CEO of the opera house. “These renewal projects are designed to ensure the Opera House continues to evolve, welcoming and inspiring people in as many ways as possible.” Meanwhile, Sydney resident Graham Sachse commented how it was "remarkable the opera house was being refurbished. "Sydney-siders tend to take the Harbour Bridge and the Opera House for granted," he said speaking to AN. "They sort of just blend into the cityscape in the day to day rush. The NSW State Government does not have a great track record with historic building conservation or public works especially in the 1960s and '70s. The Queen Vitoria Building was saved minutes away from the wrecking ball and we lost iconic hotels like the Australia Hotel and the Adams Hotel and all but one of the grand old picture theaters." Sachse went on to add: "Let's hope that whoever is designing the refit [ARM] gets it right." Construction for the upgrades is expected to begin in 2019 with the building being opened and available for use again in 2021 two years before its 50th anniversary in 2023.

U.S., Australia, and New Zealand reach reciprocal architecture license agreement

U.S. architects will be able to more easily pursue work internationally thanks to a new Mutual Recognition Arrangement (MRA) among the architectural licensing authorities of the United States, Australia, and New Zealand, according to an NCARB News post. NCARB led the movement towards this arrangement, which was signed by the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia (AACA) and the New Zealand Registered Architects Board (NZRAB). “In an increasingly global marketplace, this arrangement will benefit architects seeking to expand their careers internationally,” said NCARB President Dennis S. Ward, FAIA. The agreement requires a minimum of 28 U.S. licensing boards to sign the arrangement by December 31, 2016. Over two years of research and negotiation led to the agreement; analysis had indicated that the licensing procedure in the United States parallels those of Australia and New Zealand. A similar agreement currently exists between the United States and Canada. The requirements to earn a license in Australia or New Zealand requires:
  • 6,000 hours (approximately three years) of post-licensure experience in the home country.
  • Validation of licensure in good standing from the home authority.
  • Citizenship or lawful permanent residence in the home country.
  • Licensure in the home country not gained through foreign reciprocity.

ARM Architecture claim Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal for 2016

This year, the Australian Institute of Architects has chosen to award "controversial" firm, ARM Architecture, the Gold Medal. The prize is the country's highest architecture accolade. In the competition's 56-year history, it is only the second time the Gold Medal has gone to a group of three.
Founded in 1998, the practice from Perth in South West Australia have a history of "dividing opinion" and producing bold, contemporary, and daring designs that often showcase elaborate forms with bright colors. In the jury comprising the Institute's National President, Jon Clements, former President David Karotkin, Alice Hampson, Annabel Lahz, and Professor Carey Lyon, no opinions were divided as they lauded the trio as "highly talented individuals." The firm’s directors Stephen Ashton, Howard Raggatt, and Ian McDougall received the award on Friday 29th April, with the Institute stating that they have "built a successful large-scale practice which has had a profound impact across the national design landscape." "This is a practice that has been a genuine leader, influencer, provocateur, culture builder and disseminator of ideas for nearly three decades, and at the core of the practice are three outstanding architects who have created some of the most extraordinary buildings in the short post-colonial history of this country," said Clements. The award acknowledges their notable works, including the Perth Arena in Western Australia, Storey Hall at RMIT University, the refurbishment of Hamer Hall, Melbourne Recital Hall and the reconfiguration of Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance, a project that took ten years. On receiving the honour Ian McDougall said "We’ve always been interested in architecture that tells stories about our lives, about our cities. It is humbling to have our ideas acknowledged in this way." Past winners of the Gold Medal include Glenn Murcutt, Jørn Utzon (known for the Sydney Opera House), Brit Andresen, Harry Seidler and Robin Boyd.

Australian infrastructure project receives digitally sourced facade cladding system

Complementing the transit nature of the tunnel environment, the façade design generates a sense of visual movement and energy for vehicular traffic and passers-by.

RPS Group has designed a facade cladding system to Brisbane Australia’s Legacy Way project – a $1.5 billion tunneling project that included the urban and architectural landscape design as well as tunnel portals, ventilation facilities, noise barriers, and roadside landscapes. The project was recently named Australia’s top project at the 2015 National Infrastructure Awards. One key aspect of the design is a facade cladding system developed in collaboration with UAP Factory. The metal bar assembly attaches to the concrete walls and an open facade of the ventilation facility to provide a patterned effect for high-speed vehicular traffic. The digitally sourced pattern is fabricated by twisting steel bars arrayed perpendicular to the viewer. They are selectively twisted to produce momentary thin nodes. These nodes, spread throughout the field of the system, produce a pattern legible at a large scale to high-speed traffic. The assembly is noteworthy for its ability to produce image-like effects with factory-controlled fabrication techniques and conventional installation details. Prefabrication of the panels further added to the economy of the system.
  • Facade Manufacturer UAP Factory
  • Architects RPS Group
  • Facade Installer UAP Factory
  • Location Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
  • Date of Completion 2015
  • System custom metal screen wall cladding
  • Products powder coated aluminum by UAP Factory
“Our aim was to balance Legacy Way’s design and infrastructure components to create an attractive, safe and seamless connection that integrates with local communities,” RPS Landscape Architecture Principal Philip Kleinschmidt explained in a press release. The design team tracked their movements around Australia for one year via GPS, and translated the resulting patterns into a layered graphic patterning system. A base layer of flatbars on edge is fixed back to the building on two horizontal rails. A secondary layer was established by mechanically twisting the flatbar ninety degrees to create undulating fields of solid and void. A tertiary system introduces a ridge detail via triangular fins to create depth change across the facade. These visual effects were then tested through an iterative digital modeling phase. “3d visualization and modeling was used to test pattern applications and understand the overall aesthetic once the system was rolled out en masse,” Amanda Harris, UAP’s Senior Associate and Design Manager, told AN. Harris said that this was a project concerning material properties: “The major constraint was ensuring efficiency of material, investigating and proving up the density (and therefore overall linear meterage) of material required to create the desired visual impact.” Digital models, scale physical models, and eventually larger mockups were produced to allow physical testing of the assembly and to confirm its desired visual effects. Harris said the mockups provided an essential feedback loop: “The twisting process itself was limited by the material, and it was important to understand and avoid twisting radiuses becoming too tight, to avoid causing stress and tearing of the aluminum.”

Sculptural infrastructure and carefully crafted facade strengthen an Australian campus community

© Peter Bennetts © Peter Bennetts

"It has never looked the same on any two times I have been to site."

JCY Architects and Urban Designers have created a student services building on the Australian campus of Edith Cowan University that acknowledges the cultural identity of local Aboriginal community while providing sculptural infrastructure linking the campus community through a series of landscaped environments. The major elements of the building are an elevated concrete podium helping to negotiate a steep grade change, and a perforated aluminum solar shade. The project acts as a web with a central internal vertical spine atrium linked to various programs with a set of interconnected timber clad stairways. An elevated concrete podium navigating a significant grade change is formally derived from fluid dynamics studies of the flow of water through Australian billabong waterways. The podium's folded and sculpted white concrete soffit and faceted columns create their own seductive landscape, 'eroded' and opened up as would be found in nature when stone is sculpted by water. The architects designed the building in a way that makes future conversion to classroom space possible. This was achieved by incorporating “bubbledeck” concrete floor plates. This voided-slab forming system reduces the weight of the slab, increasing efficiency and reducing overall cost. The long span system allows for more slender columns, a generous structural grid spacing of around 30 feet by 30 feet, and a reduction of the shear walls required within the open plan layout. The architects also accounted for the maximum future utility spaces that would be required with a future change of use, which they say required over 30 percent redundant floor area.
  • Facade Manufacturer Penguin International Pty Ltd
  • Architects JCY Architects and Urban Designers
  • Facade Installer PACT Constructions (Contractor); Penguin International (Sub-Contractor); CR Steel (Structural Steel)
  • Facade Consultants ARUP (Facades); BG&E (Structural Steel)
  • Location Joondalup, Western Australia
  • Date of Completion 2015
  • System faceted concrete podium and a gold perforated aluminum sun-shading skin, ceramic frit glazing
  • Products Alucobond Spectra; gold anodized perforated aluminum by Penguin International, Fielders TL-5 (roofing); Darley Skywall 150mm Unitized Curtain Wall Double Glazed System (Supplied/Installed by Penguin International)
Embedded within the fabric of the interior and exterior skins are a number of themes which were developed through a collaboration between the architects and ECU’s Cultural Liason Officer from Kurrongkurl Katitjin and the local Noongar community.  One outcome is a gold anodized perforated aluminum screen that folds around three upper levels of the building. Patterning is derived from curved, overlapping patterns of the chest feathers of a Carnarby Cockatoo, and creates a layered undulating effect. The perforation of the panels derived from manipulations to photographs of chest feathers from a black cockatoo. Hole diameters correspond to light values on the photograph – the darker the pixels, the larger the openings. Data from the open percentage of each panel was used in shading calculations to comply with Building Code Glazing Performance Criteria. Will Thomson, Principal at JCY, says the major constraints with this shading system were related to costs: “We could have no more than 8 different hole punch diameters to fit the project budget, and once these had been determined they were carefully set-out at 1:1 shop drawing over the panel drawings. They varied between 20-40% open area to meet the ESD requirements.” This aesthetic is introduced to the interior glazing system through a custom ceramic frit pattern and textile design of the carpeting. The fabrication and assembly process included several full size prototypes, which helped to resolve panel geometry. Thomson says the mockups resulted in many fabrication changes to allow for tolerance, movement of dissimilar metals, panel assembly details, material selections, and structural connection details. The anodized finish of the aluminum skin is inspired by the shimmering scales of a butterfly wing. Thomson says the anodized finish consists of a range of colors: “This has created an amazing patina of differing gold panels across large swatches of elevation and added a texture to the facade that would otherwise be lacking. The way the building changes color during the day, across the seasons is always a welcome delight. It has never looked the same on any two times I have been to site since the cladding works have been completed.”

Mark it Six: Zaha Hadid unveils another skyscraper in Australia, this time in Melbourne

Zaha Hadid is designing another skyscraper in Australia. Following designs for a trio of towers in Brisbane and a pair of towers in Gold Coast, the London-based architect has just submitted plans for another tower, this time in Melbourne. Like the Brisbane and Gold Coast towers, the proposed project, a 54-story mixed-use skyscraper, also employs a sculptural, tapered expression, creating more open space at the base. Despite the notion that Melbourne is reaching an oversupply of residential housing units, the tower will comprise 420 apartments, 118,000 square feet of retail space, and 60,000 square feet of commercial office space. “If more residential units are not supplied to meet demand, prices will simply become too expensive,” Zaha Hadid Architects Director Gianluca Racana told Australia’s Financial Review. Other features of the project include a public ground-level plaza as well as a new north-south laneway connecting Collins Street, where the tower will be located, with adjacent Francis Street. Due to recent height and density restrictions for the Central Business District set forth by Minister of Planning Richard Wynne, the development of Hadid’s newest Australian tower was delayed. Plans for the project underwent significant height reduction to comply with the new rules, which have been criticized by developers since they were announced this past September. Even with the alterations to its design, the project’s plot ratio is still beyond the maximum requirement allowed under the new law. The developer is hoping that the project’s proposed contributions to the public realm, including the public plaza and the new thoroughfare, will prove exceptional when plans are sent to the minister for approval.