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    City of Sydney supports development of two new tallest buildings

    City of Sydney councillors have unanimously voted in support of the development of two new towers in central Sydney, set to become the tallest in the city.
    In a council committee meeting on 22 July, property developer Lendlease presented plans for a precinct covering a 6,737 square metre area across 1–25 O’Connell Street and 8-16 Spring Street. The O’Connell precinct features a 309-metre-tall, 72-storey commercial and retail tower. The proposed building will also match the height of the spire tip of the Tower Eye, Sydney’s tallest structure.
    The planned O’Connell Street Precinct site contains six existing office and retail buildings, including a building known as 1 O’Connell Street and three heritage-listed buildings: the former Rofe Chambers, the former Orient building and the former Chatsworth House. The proposed project would retain the 1 O’Connell Street building and the facades of the Orient building and Chatsworth House. It will also preserve and adaptively reuse the former Rofe Chambers.
    An indicative design for the precinct has been completed by Matthew Pullinger Architect and Stewart Architecture, however, final designs will be subject to a design competition. These indicative plans include a shared logistics hub with loading dock spaces and a through-site link to improve pedestrian access between O’Connell and Spring streets.
    During the meeting, a second proposal regarding the development of a 3,288 square metre area spanning 56-60 Pitt Street to 3 Spring Street was also supported by council. This proposal, filed by property developer Dexus, included a 310-metre-tall, 70-storey commercial and retail tower, a new public plaza, a retail activated through-site link connecting Pitt Street to Spring and Gresham streets and a shared logistics hub with a loading dock and car parking. The plaza will be dedicated to public use with plantings and artworks to be integrated throughout the space.
    An indicative design for the Pitt Street development has been completed by FJC Studio, with final designs also subject to a design competition.
    Both proposals will target a 6-star green star rating and net-zero targets.
    During the meeting, City of Sydney director of city planning, development and transport Graham Jahn emphasised that both proposals align with population growth, job demand and sustainability targets. “We need to be able to deliver on future workplaces that meet sustainability targets,” Jahn said. More

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    Competition to design new chancellery and residence at German embassy in Canberra

    The German government is conducting a single-stage design competition for a new chancellery and residence at its Australian embassy in Canberra.
    The German embassy is located on the corner of Empire Circuit and Turrana Road and is currently occupied by a series of buildings constructed in 1958. The existing chancellery will be demolished to make way for a new building, which the existing residence will also be renovated.
    The German government seeks a design that will represent the Federal Republic of Germany in Australia, as well as fulfil the functional requirements of a chancellery and residence.
    The existing chancellery building is required to be in use until the completion of the new chancellery and residence.
    The competition brief calls for high quality architecture and design of open spaces that take into account climatic conditions. The German government has a a climate policy target of achieving almost climate-neutral building stock by 2045, and as such they require the new buildings to be low-tech and achieve six-star Green Star rating.
    Applications close 25 September 2024. Entrants will be provided documents for the competition in January 2025. Designs and models to be submitted in April 2025. The jury will meet in July and an exhibition of competition pieces will be held in Berlin in August 2025.
    For more information and to submit, click here. More

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    Sydney Opera House seeks new members for two advisory groups

    Sydney Opera House is seeking expressions of interest for built environment experts to join its Design Advisory Panel and Conservation Council.
    The two groups provide specialist advice on the principles that underpin decision-making on conservation and heritage-related issues, as well as the implementation of the Conservation Management Plan, Utzon Design Principles, Heritage Action Plan and other key documents.
    The Conservation Council was established in 1996 while the Design Advisory Panel was formed in 2010. Since then, the two groups have contributed a series of renewal works leading up to the 50th anniversary of the opera house, including the renewal of the Concert Hall.
    Members of both groups will be appointed for a three-year term. Applicants are required to have a minimum of 15 years experience and Design Advisory Panel members will also need to be registered with the NSW Architects Registration Board.
    Expressions of interest for the Design Advisory Panel and Conservation Council can be submitted on the Sydney Opera House website. More

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    Plans unveiled for leaf-shaped tourist centre in WA

    The Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale, located outside Perth, has unveiled concept designs for a new visitor centre inspired by the shape of jarrah tree leaves.
    The proposed Jarrahdale Trails Centre on Millars Road will serve as the gateway to the trails. The centre will be used as a sheltered area for trail users to plan their trek, rest and learn about the surrounding walks, parklands and nature reserves.
    The motivation behind establishing the new centre is to assist the town in becoming a renowned trail destination, with plans envisioning the building as “an attraction in its own right” that can be seen from the main road. The preferred site for the centre is a parcel of land next to an accommodation park – a strategic position that aligns with the goal of increasing visitation.
    Preliminary concept designs have been completed by S2 Architects. The concept design report states the building will be multipurpose, containing a flexible exhibition and function area, a visitor information and administration zone, a commercial tenancy, and the possibility of a semi-outdoor gallery. The centre will adopt an inclusive and accessible plan to accommodate diverse visitor groups – from school groups, hikers and locals to tourists and mountain bikers.

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    The proposed siting will allow for a split level or two-storey facility. The building will be responsive to its site, stepping down the terrain with entry at grade at both levels. The roof form references the shape of leaves, allowing natural light and ventilation to filter through the gaps between the leaves. The material palette includes concrete, copper patina, jarrah and weathered steel, complemented by a colour scheme of terracotta, eucalypt, mid-grey and dark grey.
    According to the design report, the project will be developed in three stages. Stage one will involve the development of half the building, including the exhibition and function area, the visitor information and check in zone, a grassed play space and a covered terrace and outdoor dining area. Stage two will mirrors the shape of the first half of the building and will involve the inclusion of a commercial offering and kitchen. The final stage will include the addition of an amphitheatre, research areas and additional offices.
    Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale councillors have unanimously agreed to use the concept plan to seek funding. More

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    Heritage Victoria grants permit approval for proposed Robur Tea House redevelopment

    The site of the 135-year-old Robur Tea House building in Melbourne’s Southbank is one step closer to being redeveloped into a mixed-use precinct after Heritage Victoria granted a permit for seven interconnected buildings on the site.
    The proposal, designed by Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta and Aspect Studios, features seven linked buildings ranging from three to thirty storeys surrounding the tea house at 28 Clarendon Street. The heritage permit also approves the partial demolition and adaptation of the 1887 tea house, previously occupied by the Fergus and Mitchell Robur Tea House.
    The developer, Monno, submitted its first proposal for the site in 2022, which Heritage Victoria later rejected in May 2023. Following feedback, Monno revised the proposal and resubmitted to Heritage Victoria with adjustments relating to the feedback that was received upon the initial rejection.
    In its approval of the revised plans, Heritage Victoria said the suite of conservation works, including the reconstruction and revealing of significant heritage details, would result in “a positive heritage outcome.” At the same time, the development would contribute to greater economic use of the tea house.
    “Refusal of the permit application would substantially impact the reasonable and economic use of the place. The design, materiality and detailing of the proposed development is of high architectural quality. The proposed setbacks would allow for the Robur Tea Building to sit proudly in the streetscape and retain some landmark qualities.”
    Under the plans, the tea house facade would be retained, and the exteriors of any new buildings would be sympathetic to the character of the original structure.
    The mixed-use precinct comprises a hotel, a hotel lobby, dining and retail offerings, and office spaces. Pedestrian walkways will be established within the precinct, creating better connections to the buildings and a new garden forecourt, as well as the nearby Melbourne Exhibition and Convention Centre and the Yarra River promenade.
    Construction is anticipated to begin in 2025. More

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    Creative director sought for Australia’s 2025 Venice Biennale exhibition

    The Australian Institute of Architects is seeking expressions of interest for creative director(s) to lead Australia’s exhibition at the 2025 Venice Architecture Biennale.
    Curated by Italian architect and engineer Carlo Ratti, the biennale will be themed “Intelligens. Natural. Artificial. Collective.”
    “The title Intelligens is linked to the modern term “intelligence,” but it also evokes a wider set of associated meanings,” Carlo Ratti said of the theme. “In fact, the final syllable, “gens” is Latin for “people”. A new, fictional root emerges, suggesting a future of intelligence that is inclusive, multiple, and imaginative beyond today’s limiting focus on AI.”
    The Institute is seeking an inspiring and bold exhibition to be delivered by an individual or partnership with their nominated team.
    “Given the timeframe for delivery, while not essential, it is anticipated they may be building upon existing research or projects as a springboard to create a compelling, bold and theme-relevant exhibition for Venice,” the Institute said.
    The creative director(s) will be selected by a curatorial committee comprising Claire McCaughan (director of Custom Mad and cofounder of Archrival), Kate Goodwin (independent curator and writer, and adjunct professor at the University of Sydney), Maggie Edmond (principal of Edmond and Corrigan and Australian Institute of Architects 2003 Gold Medallist), Michael Jasper (professor at the University of Canberra), Ivan Ling (Hogg and Lamb and member of the Emerging Architects and Graduates Network), Jane Cassidy (national president of the Institute), and Cameron Bruhn (CEO of the Institute).
    “The 2025 Venice Biennale Curatorial Committee’s vision is to tell a rich and engaging story, showcase original ideas and describe the depth of our architectural expertise. It also provides the opportunity to promote the value of architecture nationally within Australia,” Cassidy said.
    Applicants must have prior relevant curatorial experience, detailed knowledge of contemporary architecture in Australia and internationally, and experience working with the media and stakeholders. At least one member of the creative director team must be a financial member of the Institute.
    Applications close 7 August 2024. The winning team will be notified in September. The winning team will be paid an honorarium of $30,000.
    For more information and to submit an application, see the Australian Institute of Architects website. More

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    Queensland’s 2024 Minister’s Award for Urban Design announced

    The Queensland government has announced the winners of the 2024 Minister’s Award for Urban Design.
    The award recognises contemporary Queensland urban design projects of the highest quality.
    Heritage Lanes by Woods Bagot and Aspect Studios with Mirvac was selected a winner of the Minister’s Award. The jury congratulated project team for “creating a distinctly Queensland urban experience […] that is truly subtropical in nature and a living demonstration of what it means to be connect to place through a highly porous ground plane.”
    Nicholas Street Precinct won both Minister’s Award for Urban Design and the Movement and Place Award. The jury praised it “as an example of best practices in urban design.”

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    The project integrates climate responsive features such as passive cooling, solar energy and recycled water. It also enhances natural systems with extensive green spaces and native plantings, as well as promotes biodiversity and mitigates urban heat.
    “The thoughtful design promotes flexibility and adaptability in how the space can be used and curated, supporting efficient day to day operation as well as a venue for markets and major community events,” said the jury.
    The final award, the Malcolm Middleton Award for Outstanding Liveable Design went to Mari-Mari-Ba – Affordable Housing by Deicke Richards with EDGE Consulting Engineers, JHA, ACOR, Place Design Group, Stantec, Coastline Certification and Litoria Environmental with the Department of Housing, Local Government, Planning and Public Works.

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    “[This] project is an example of a challenging project brief on a sensitive site – one with a long history of cultural engagement – and all within a tight public housing budget,” said the jury.
    Nominations for the 2025 awards will open in March 2025.
    The winners and commendations are:
    2024 Minister’s Award for Urban Design
    Heritage Lanes – Woods Bagot and Aspect Studios with Mirvac
    Nicholas Street Precinct – Ipswich City Council, Buchan Group, Vee Design, Bornhorst and Ward, WSP, Strategic Spaces, Savills, Ranbury, RLB and Hutchinson Group with Ipswich City Council
    Rockhampton Museum of Art – Conrad Gargett, Clare Design (Lead Design Architects) and Brian Hooper Architect with Rockhampton Regional Council
    Mount Isa Masterplan and Centennial Place – Tract Consultants, Bligh Tanner, SJM Hydraulics, Multitech Solutions, C-Change and Peddle Thorp with Mount Isa City Council
    Brisbane Green Factor – Brisbane City Council
    Urban Change Readiness Index – Studio THI
    2024 Malcolm Middleton Award for Outstanding Liveable Design
    Mari-Mari-Ba – Affordable Housing – Deicke Richards with EDGE Consulting Engineers, JHA, ACOR, Place Design Group, Stantec, Coastline Certification & Litoria Environmental with the Department of Housing, Local Government, Planning and Public Works
    Turner Avenue Homes – Push, David Pennisi, Bligh Tanner & Place Design Group with Eurocom Projects
    2024 Movement and Place Award
    Nicholas Street Precinct – Ipswich City Council, Buchan Group, Vee Design, Bornhorst and Ward, WSP, Strategic Spaces, Savills, Ranbury, RLB and Hutchinson Group with Ipswich City Council
    Hanlon Park / Bur’uda Waterway Rejuvenation – Brisbane City Council, Epoca Constructions, and Tract (in collaboration with Belinda Smith, UAP, Core Consultants, Littoria, Webb, EDAW / AECOM, Norman Creek Catchment Coordinating Committee) More

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    Location uncertain for planned $70 million AFL training centre in Tasmania

    The proposed $70 million AFL High Performance Centre in Tasmania’s Rosny faces an uncertain future with an ongoing elector poll allowing City of Clarence residents to vote on whether the proposed sites should remain parklands or be repurposed as football training grounds.

    In May 2023, the Tasmanian government signed a deal with the AFL to create a Tasmanian AFL and AFLW Club, set to join the leagues and start competing in 2028. According to Tasmania Infrastructure, the AFL High Performance Centre will be the teams’ training base and will “play an important role in setting the club up for success from the outset.”

    Populous was appointed to design the centre, while Rosny Parklands and Charles Hand Park were selected as the preferred sites. The main training ground has been proposed for the southern end of the Rosny Parklands, with a second oval to be built at Charles Hand Park.

    In July 2024, a $200,000 elector poll was opened, providing community members the opportunity to vote on whether the sites should remain publicly owned parklands. The poll was launched after a petition opposing the development site, containing more than 1,000 signatures, was lodged with the Clarence City Council. The poll will remain open until 8 August 2024.

    Concurrently, the state government is seeking tenders for surveying services to determine the scope of work required on the proposed sites.

    If approved, the grounds will be used for community recreation, as well as elite athlete training. The final design is expected to comprise a full-sized oval, grass training spaces, a 9,000 square metre building, indoor training amenities, areas for strength and conditioning, locker rooms, medical facilities, administrative offices, parking, and community accessibility.

    Tasmania Infrastructure anticipates that the facility will be ready to use in 2026. More