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    Build-to-rent development in Perth ‘ticks all the boxes’

    A $100 million mixed-use building comprising 219 build-to-rent residences in Boorloo/Perth has been given the tick of approval by federal and state governments.
    Both governments have committed funding for the establishment of the building at 195 Pier Street, with the federal government allocating $88.6 million and the WA government contributing more than $40.6 million.
    The proposal, designed by Hassell and Plan E Landscape Architects, features mixed housing options across 29 storeys. Thirty percent of residences (66 apartments) will be made available to social housing tenants and 20 percent (44 apartments) to affordable housing tenants. The remaining dwellings will operate as market rate build-to-rent dwellings and specialist disability accommodation.

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    The building will accommodate a landscaped podium on level seven, containing several communal offerings, such as a shared kitchen, workshop, laundry and outdoor area. Image:

    Hassell and Plan E Landscape Architects

    The design team has adopted a “blind tenure model” in its design of each apartment, ensuring that every residence is created to the same specifications, in a move that aims to remove visible distinctions between different housing types. The high-rise features an activated ground floor with flexible co-working spaces, a corner food and beverage tenancy and an office space. The building will also accommodate a landscaped podium on level seven, containing several communal offerings, such as a shared kitchen, workshop, laundry and outdoor area.
    Alex Jones, a senior associate at Hassell, said the building has been designed to reflect the location’s historical connection to print media. The Government Print Hall once operated on Pier Street, while the nearby Stirling Street was the site where many esteemed newspapers such as The West Australian, The Sunday Times and The Australian, were printed. These references can be seen in the east and west elevations – which mimic book and newspaper covers – and a spine that expands the entire height of the tower.
    “The design captures the printing past of the area. It builds upon the great connections the building has to the city and surrounds to create a vibrant and inclusive urban community. Here, residents can feel supported and safe, embrace the opportunities provided, and, most importantly, have a place to call home,” said Jones.
    Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said the project “ticks all the boxes” in its effort to provide more “safe and affordable” housing options. “It will mean key workers can live and work in the same community and provide new homes to Western Australians in need, including older women at risk of homelessness,” the prime minister said.
    Construction will commence in mid-2024, with the project expected to be complete in 2026. More

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    Architecture firms’ gender pay gaps revealed

    Australia’s Workplace Gender Equity Agency (WGEA) published gender pay gap data for more than 5,000 private employers with 100 or more employees for 2022-23, which includes architecture and landscape architecture firms.
    The data collected by the agency on individual employers is released for the first time, after reforms passed parliament in 2023.
    Federal minister for women Katy Gallagher said, “The release of employer gender pay gaps marks a historic step towards transparency and accountability in addressing gender inequality.”
    The data indicates the national workforce composition is 51 percent women and 49 percent men, while the upper pay quartile is composed of 35 percent women and 65 percent men.
    The national median total gender pay gap across the whole workforce sits at 19 percent, however 50 percent of all employers have a gender pay gap of more than 9.1 percent.
    The data also found that across the nation 30 percent of employers had a median gender pay gap within the target range between -5 percent and +5 percent.
    Among the architecture and landscape architecture practices that reported data to the WGEA, none were within the target range, nine had greater gender pay gaps than the national average, and all but two practices are among the 50 percent of employers with a gender pay gap of more than 9.1 percent.
    Group GSA had the lowest gender pay gap of 5.6 percent, while Mode Design had the greatest gender pay gap at 26.9 percent.

    Company

    Median total gender pay gap (%)

    Total workforce gender composition (women/men)

    Upper pay quartile gender composition (women/men)

    Had a gender pay gap policy

    Undertook payroll analysis

    Took action on results of analysis

    Group GSA

    5.6

    59/41

    39/61

    Y

    Y

    N

    NBRS Partners

    6.7

    49/51

    46/54

    N

    Y

    Y

    Woods Bagot

    9.4

    51/49

    43/57

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Tract Consultants (The Trustee for Tract Consultants Unit Trust)

    13.6

    55/45

    45/55

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Francis-Jones Carpenter

    15.3

    52/48

    37/63

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Grimshaw

    16.3

    46/54

    30/70

    N

    Y

    Y

    Aspect Studios

    16.6

    55/45

    36/64

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Cox Architecture (The Trustee for Philip Cox and Partners Unit Trust)

    17.1

    45/55

    26/74

    Y

    Y

    N

    Bates Smart

    17.5

    55/45

    39/61

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Billard Leece Partnership

    18.2

    56/44

    48/52

    Y

    Y

    Y

    BVN

    18.5

    50/50

    28/72

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Conrad Gargett

    19

    44/56

    29/71

    n/a

    n/a

    n/a

    Hayball

    19

    44/56

    32/68

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Architectus

    19.3

    47/53

    31/69

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Buchan Group

    19.8

    36/64

    28/72

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Nettleton Tribe (The Trustee for Nettleton Tribe Practice Trust)

    20

    48/52

    15/85

    N

    Y

    Y

    HDR

    21.1

    39/61

    20/80

    N

    N

    N

    Designinc Sydney

    23.8

    58/42

    32/68

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Hames Sharley

    23.9

    47/53

    26/74

    Y

    Y

    Y

    GHD Woodhead

    26.1

    36/64

    20/80

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Hassell

    26.4

    52/48

    34/66

    Y

    Y

    Y

    Mode Design

    26.9

    42/58

    24/76

    Y

    N

    N

    Table: ArchitectureAU. Source: Workplace Gender Equity Agency’s 2022-23 Employer Census.
    One of seven large practices (Billard Leece Partnership) of the Champions of Change Architecture Group is close to parity in the gender composition of the upper pay quartile. The Champions of Change members aim to increase women’s representations at the highest levels of the profession.
    “All employers should be aiming for a gender pay gap within +/-5%. This range allows for normal business fluctuations and employee movements, while signifying that an employer has a focus on identifying and addressing inequalities and is taking action to ensure there is gender equality throughout an organisation,” said WGEA CEO Mary Wooldridge.
    “Particularly for those employers whose gender pay gaps are higher than their industry peers, publication of the results today is a catalyst for action and change.
    “The gender pay gap is a widely used, internationally recognised measure for gender equality. Publishing employer’s gender pay gaps brings transparency to those employers who have low median gender pays gaps and those that don’t.
    “The time for talk and excuses is over. Change takes action and employers need to double down on ensuring all employees are fairly represented and equally valued and rewarded in their workplace.” More

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    Save the dates: 2024 Australian Architecture Conference

    The dates for the 2024 Australian Architecture Conference have been revealed, with the national event returning to share fresh insights into the value of architecture, as well as the opportunities and obstacles that lie ahead for the industry.
    Following a successful conference in Canberra in October 2023, this year’s national event is scheduled to take place in Melbourne from 8 to 11 May, with Hamer Hall – designed by Roy Grounds with a later redevelopment designed by ARM Architecture – confirmed as one of the conference venues.
    The program will feature a suite of panel discussions, symposiums and networking opportunities. Some of the international speakers set to take the stage during the conference include the 2023 RIBA Royal Gold Medallist, Yasmeen Lari; Paul Monaghan, the executive director at Allford Hall Monaghan Morris, and Barbara Bestor, the principal of Bestor Architecture.
    One program highlight to be presented on 8 and 9 May is the Wellbeing of Architects Symposium hosted by the Wellbeing of Architects: Culture, Identity and Practice, an interdisciplinary consortium comprising researchers at RMIT and Monash University’s Department of Architecture and Department of Management.
    The 2024 Australian Architecture Conference steering committee comprises Cameron Bruhn (CEO of the Institute), Stuart Tanner (national president), Kerstin Thompson (2023 Gold Medallist), Julie Eizenberg (2019 Gold Medallist), Samantha Rouche, Jessica Spresser, Levi Birks, Owen Kelly, Ilion George, Jamileh Jahangiri, Alvin Zhu, and Kate Concannon.
    Registrations for the 2024 Australian Architecture Conference will open on 29 February, with a limited number of early bird tickets to go on sale at a discounted price. More

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    Institute’s Queensland chapter appoints new president

    Brisbane architect Russell Hall has been appointed new president of the Australian Institute of Architects’ Queensland chapter. Hall is the architect behind the iconic Carpenter Hall House in Wilston, notable for its dodecagon shape, which is listed on the Institute’s register of Nationally Significant Architecture. “Well-designed homes and buildings use less energy, are healthier and […] More

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    Perth Design Week 2024 celebrates local design

    The program for the second Perth Design Week (PDW) has been announced. The annual public festival showcases good design and celebrates the local design community and its leaders.
    The 2024 program comprises more than 80 events, including exhibitions, films, talks and experiences.
    Organizers for Perth design week have also announced a new collaboration with global architecture practice OMA and Italian furniture brand Unifor who have created a bespoke installation for Cathedral Square titled “Principles Square.”
    The installation will host a public screening of Point of Origin – a film that documents the OMA founder Rem Koolhaas’s process designing a house on an impossibly steep and narrow plot of land in Austria.
    “Many of the successful Design Weeks around the world attract and engage not only local but international audiences, we are aiming high. PDW is an impactful event for Perth, allowing the city to proudly present and showcase our local design talent and their work,” said co-creators of Perth Design Week, architect Sandy Anghie and designer David Smith.
    “Significantly, PDW was chosen as the first location after Milan, to host the highly innovative, interactive and inclusive installation.”
    Other highlights of the festival include WA Homes – S, M, L exhibition, which explores a range of housing types in Western Australia, from small houses, medium-density developments, and multi-unit apartment blocks.
    There will also be a number of panel discussions covering topics such as the new Medium Density Code, artificial intelligence in design, the future of the suburbs, and 20 years of the government architects office in WA.
    New host Lawson Flats will be home to a panel discussion with Perth architect Nic Brunsdon and a design dinner, as well as the closing party.
    Perth Design Week will also include architecture tours of Perth Arena, Boola Katitjin and a sketching and networking event laced with gin.
    Perth Design Week runs from 14 to 21 March 2024. See the full program here. More

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    Plans unveiled to transform a 90s arthouse cinema in Paddington

    Plans to redevelop an arthouse cinema in Sydney’s Paddington have been released, with the charming movie theatre set to be redeveloped into an eight-storey, mixed-use building. Located on a 1,138-square-metre corner block at 17 Oxford Street, the building is brimming with history. Originally constructed in 1946 as an industrial facility, the premises was obtained by […] More

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    City of Melbourne unanimously supports Queen Victoria Market towers

    City of Melbourne councillors have voted unanimously in support of the development plan for a $1.7 billion precinct at the southern end of Queen Victoria Market.
    Designed by NH Architecture, Kerstin Thompson Architects, 3XN Australia, Searle × Waldron Architecture, Openwork, McGregor Coxall, Lovell Chen and Urbis, Gurrowa Place will comprise three towers, a Market Square, a cultural and civic building, new car parking and the restoration and revitalization of the Franklin Street Stores.
    Tower One will be a 125-metre-tall commercial office tower with a stepped design that mimics the approved design for the neighbouring building at 388 Williams Street. Tower two will be a 162-metre-tall residential building with 15 percent of the net floor space allocated to affordable housing. Finally tower three will rise to 183 metres and will accommodate student housing.

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    Under the plans, three towers would be constructed providing a mix of student accommodation, residential apartments, and work spaces. Image:

    NH Architecture, Kerstin Thompson Architects, 3XN Australia, and Searle × Waldron Architecture.

    Addressing a meeting of the City of Melbourne’s Future Melbourne Committee, NH Architecture director Nick Bourns said the project is about “bringing the city into the market, rather than [the existing] road system of car parks and roundabouts, all of which are a huge heat island problem.”
    He also said the proposed Market Square would be “a more respectful use of the land that used to be cemetery” and that the development would be an exemplar of how large developments can integrate parkland with living and working environments.
    In supporting the development plan, acting lord mayor Nicholas Reece said it was a “significant step forward on this project.”
    “It will be one of the biggest [developments in Melbourne’s history,” he said. “It’s been nearly 30 years since we’ve seen a project of this scale on a single site in Melbourne.”
    Reece also commented on the “exciting” architectural team working on the project.
    “This needs to be world class and with a team like that coming together on the project, I feel very confident that it will be.”

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    City of Melbourne councillors have unanimously supported the development plan for Gurrowa Place. Image:

    NH Architecture, Kerstin Thompson Architects, 3XN Australia, and Searle × Waldron Architecture.

    Councillor Rohan Leppert said the development plan was “an extraordinary response to a constrained site with really intricate heritage constraints.”
    He added that the plan had been through five separate sessions of the Office of Victorian Government Architect’s design review to ensure that the design strategies and principles for the project would “ensure that what is designed in this place meets the expectations that a design city would have for a very, very high quality outcome.”
    The City of Melbourne endorsed Lendlease as the preferred development partner for the Queen Victoria Market Southern Precinct in 2023.
    In December 2023, Heritage Victoria issued a heritage permit for the development.
    The City of Melbourne resolved to advise the Victorian Department of Transport of Planning that it supports the development application. The Minister for Planning will make the final decision on the application.
    If approved, the project will be delivered in seven stages, beginning with the basement construction below towers one and two, the restoration and revitalization of Franklin Street stores, followed by the construction of tower three, tower one and tower two in succession, with Market Square and the Queens Corner Building making up the final stages respectively.
    Construction is expected to begin in 2024 and with the stages to be completed over the next five years. More

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    Latest round of architects selected for design of Sydney’s Erskineville Village

    BVN has won the City of Sydney Council’s Design Excellence Competition for Buildings G and H of the Erskineville Village project. The buildings form part of a wider proposal for a $1.5 billion mixed-use precinct with 1,000 build-to-rent residences at 155 Mitchell Road, Erskineville. The announcement follows Bate Smart being awarded the design of Buildings […] More