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    Pritzker laureates to lead Australian social and affordable housing symposium

    Pritzker laureates Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal are curating the inaugural Rothwell Chair Symposium in April 2021, alongside the University of Sydney’s School of Architecture, Design and Planning. The pair, renowned for their “never demolish” approach, were appointed the university’s inaugural Garry and Susan Rothwell chairs in architectural design leadership in 2020, prior winning architecture’s […] More

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    Taubmans relaunches campaign to support disaster affected communities

    Taubmans has once again partnered with not-for-profit organization Givit to raise money in support of Australian communities affected by bushfire, drought, and flood. Originally launched in 2020, the In it Together campaign raised $155,000, surpassing its initial goal of $120,000. “The incredible donation was used to purchase essential items and services needed by people and […] More

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    Council approves Candalepas Associates' Green Square project

    Sydney councillors have given the green light to a pair of buildings in the Green Square development area designed by Candalepas Associates. The two buildings at 12-22 Rothschild Avenue, Rosebery, eight and nine storeys respectively, will house 176 apartments, one retail tenancy and two levels of basement parking. An open courtyard will sit between the […] More

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    Transformative Newcastle development ‘reinvents’ the city

    Three mixed-used buildings each designed by a different architecture firm have been completed as part of the “transformational” Newcastle East End development.
    The development is located on the Hunter Street Mall on the eastern side of the CBD. The first three buildings – the Perkins and King building designed by SJB, Fabric House by Durbach Block Jaggers and Washington House by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer (with interiors by Turner) – are among 11 buildings in the urban renewal project, to be delivered over four stages. Aspect Studios is leading the landscape design, creating bew shared green space.
    Initially spearheaded by the state government’s Urban Growth NSW development agency, along with co-owner of the land GPT Group, the Newcastle East End project is now being developed by Iris Capital, who bought the site in 2016. It’s being pitched as a catalyst to “bring new life to the neglected centre of Newcastle.” The buildings include retail and hospitality tenancies on the ground levels, with apartments above.

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    Perkins and King by SJB.

    SJB began the process of masterplanning the site in 2013, and were later selected as executive architect in partnership with Durbach Block Jaggers and Tonkin Zulaikha Greer.
    The architects worked with Newcastle City Coumcil’s Urban Design Consultative Group throughout 2017 to reconsider the alignment and form of the buildings from the approved masterplan to better respond to the immediate site and surrounding context.
    For SJB’s Perkins and King building, the height and massing were shifted to allow for an open public space to be created at the centre of the block. Durbach Block Jaggers’ Fabric House had its building envelope adjusted in a way that allowed the new architecture to better respond to the existing 1930s style brick architecture. And at Washington House by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer the building envelope was rotated 90 degrees so that all apartments gain access to light and views and the built form running east-west along Hunter Street Mall that would have otherwise blocked northern light to the central public space could be reduced.
    The firms said the collaborative planning process allowed them to execute design manoeuvres that would have been inhibited by a typical Design Excellence Competition process.

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    Fabric House by Durbach Block Jaggers.

    “To reinvent a city you need to reinvent the processes that bring new buildings to fruition,” they said in a joint statement.
    “Newcastle East End sets a wonderful benchmark for how a collective of architects and local councils can work together to achieve development that is characterful, vibrant, viable and sustainable.”
    Each of the building responds to the heritage context of the area. SJB’s design for Perkins and King employs green-hued concrete, “structural rhythm,” and “decorative geometries” to knit the new building into its surroundings.
    Durbach Block Jaggers’ Fabric House, meanwhile, features a tonal gradient of bricks and curvaceous edges to “honour the brick architecture of the existing building and the iconic heritage buildings in Newcastle’s East End.”
    And Tonkin Zulaikha Greer’s Washington House has a ground floor lobby and retail spaces that celebrate “the old-world glamour of Newcastle’s beloved David Jones department store.”
    A fourth building being delivered as part of stage one, the QT hotel designed by SJB, is still under construction and is expected to be completed in early 2022. The second stage will comprise the Soul and Lyrique buildings by CKDS Architecture with interiors by Turner. More

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    Terroir appointed to revamp Launceston icon

    The City of Launceston has appointed Terroir to design a new entrance to the historic Albert Hall. The new entrance to the eastern wing is part of a $10 million, three-stage project to upgrade the Launceston icon. Terroir won a competitive tender for the project and the council endorsed the Tender Review Committee’s recommendation at […] More

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    Snøhetta unveils rammed earth design for Adelaide’s Heysen Art Gallery

    The concept design for a new South Australian art gallery has been revealed. Designed by Snøhetta’s Adelaide studio, the proposed Heysen Art Gallery will be a purpose-built at the Hans Heysen Foundation’s property, The Cedars, in Hahndorf in the Adelaide Hills. It will also include a restaurant, gift shop, and bushfire safe storage for the […] More

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    Council backs heritage protection for early Robin Boyd house

    A Melbourne council has voted unanimously to continue its bid to protect a significant Robin Boyd house in North Balwyn, despite a setback in its efforts.
    Wood House at 12-14 Tannock Street came to the attention of council when it was listed for sale and marketed for redevelopment in 2020.
    Melbourne academic and practitioner Jacqui Alexander launched a petition calling on the council to protect the building, which has now received more than 6,000 signatures. Boroondara councillors voted to proceed with the preparation of a permanent heritage overlay for the property and asked the state’s planning minister to place an interim heritage protection order on the house. The request was refused on the grounds that there were no active planning applications on the property, but the minister authorized the public exhibition of the permanent overlay.
    The proposed planning amendment was placed on exhibit from 3 December 2020 to 1 February 2021, with 20 submissions in support and six opposing. One reason put forward in opposition to the heritage protection was the potential impact on the price of the property – council officers noted in a report recommending approval of the overlay that “The potential private economic impacts are not a valid consideration when determining whether a property should be included in the Heritage Overlay or not.”

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    The Tannock Street house by Robin Boyd, documented in 1948. Image:

    Real estate listing

    Council officers found that Wood House was remarkable for representing a variety of stages in Boyd’s career. Boyd designed the building for pharmacist Don Wood in 1948, and client commissioned Boyd to expand the house two more times, in 1959 and 1971, the year of Boyd’s death.
    “The additions, made by the original architect, cannot be considered unsympathetic or intrusive; rather, they add an additional layer of significance for the way in which they demonstrate how Boyd, at various later stages of his career, approached the problem of extending one of his earliest houses,” the report states.
    The house is one of relatively few surviving examples from the early stages of Boyd’s career, prior to his partnership with Roy Grounds and Frederick Romberg. A 2015 heritage study of the area, which recommended heritage protection for the Tannock Street house along with 17 other post-war houses, found the house provided “rare and valuable evidence of the innovation, boldness and fresh design approaches of a young architect on the cusp of an illustrious career.”
    Jacqui Alexander, through a statement read at the council meeting on 12 April, called on the councillors to concur with the 6,000 community members who had signed her petition and protect the home.
    “The house encapsulated many ideas such as opening planning, spilt levels and window walls – in this case an improbably large plate glass window – that were extremely innovate at the time, particularly in the context of post-war Melbourne, when materials and labour were till limited,” she said. “It is a symbol of Australia’s growing optimism and enthusiasm when Melbourne’s eastern suburbs were expanding and new ideas about contemporary living were explored through the vehicle of the modern home.”
    Another person to speak in support of the heritage overlay was Mary Dross, a former councillor of the City of Camberwell who had been instrumental in instituting measures to protect heritage in the area.
    “We have to save our history…we have to protect the heritage for future generations.”
    The council will now request the state planning minister to appoint a planning panel to consider the proposed heritage overlay. More

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    Major upgrade to Sydney high school

    The “overstretched” Mosman High School in Sydney is set for some major building works, with Woods Bagot preparing designs for a four-storey multi-purpose building that will expand its capacity by 100 students.
    Enrolments to the school in the harbourside suburb have already exceed capacity, according to School Infrastructure NSW, and the new building is needed to meet growth demands by 2031.
    Woods Bagot’s design incorporates new spaces for performing arts, including a new theatre, along with science teaching spaces, a library, rooftop games court and outdoor learning spaces. Black Beetle is the landscape architect for the project, which will include a newly landscaped courtyard and rooftop.
    In total the new building will have capacity for 1,200 students, compared to the 1,116 students currently attending the school.

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    The proposed building at Mosman High School designed by Woods Bagot.

    “The proposed built form sits within a conservation area and the rich heritage of Military Road, respecting the scale and materials of its context,” writes Woods Bagot in planning documents.
    “The form of the scheme aims to provide a new entrance in the safer, more pedestrian environment of Belmont Road, which creates a protective built perimeter to enclose a central courtyard environment. This enhances the civic and heritage forms while providing a secure and noise and pollution-mitigating environment that expands the existing play space within.”
    The existing Military Road setback will be retained, meaning most of the existing trees on that edge will also be retained, while the building’s predominant parapet height has been designed to align with the eaves of the school’s historic Arts Building as well as the parapets of the retail buildings on the opposite side of Military Road. The upper levels, which will contain the library, rooftop terraces and games court, will be set back to maintain views of the sky from Military Road.
    In terms of pedagogical considerations, the scheme aims at a mix of open plan learning environments and more traditional enclosed classrooms organized into “learning neighbourhoods” focused on specific subject areas. Each learning neighbourhood will form a “wing” of the building.
    “Facing the courtyard, the rich mix of uses is revealed, through the hall and its garage style doors, and the theatre acting as a ‘jewel’ being the prominent feature of the courtyard,” writes Woods Bagot. “The courtyard facing facades feature covered open walkways that continue the circulation character of the existing school, while engaging the central courtyard.”
    A new “arts courtyard” will be formed between the new hall and the existing Arts Building conceived as a lively events space spilling out from the hall.
    The project will see the total demolition of two existing buildings, and the partial demolition of another.
    The state-significant development application is on public exhibit until 5 May. More