More stories

  • in

    ‘Sydney is Beautiful’ competition winners announced

    Open to both Australian and international practices, “Sydney is Beautiful” is an ideas competition aimed at promoting timeless principles of new traditional architecture and urbanism.
    Street Level Australia launched the competition to explore major design issues and the opportunities of the subject site through hypothetical redevelopments.
    “The competition is designed to show that better is possible for new buildings,” said Street Level founder Milly Main. “We need to invest in the finest quality of building, particularly for public architecture, including ornament and artistry, so our children have something to cherish and protect.”
    The 2022 competition focused on a vacant block at 114 William Street, Woolloomooloo, owned by Transport for NSW, with submissions entailing new schemes for the site that incorporated beautiful, enduring and environmentally sustainable architecture and urban planning. Entries closed 16 January 2023 and winners were announced on 31 January at a ceremony in Glebe.
    Sydney-based M. J. Suttie Architects won the competition in a blind jury selection process from a field of 13 entries. The scheme utilised Sydney sandstone masonry, Australian hardwoods, and a selection of other natural and local materials, with a classical vernacular tied to Sydneys architectural traditions.

    View gallery

    Winston Grant-Preece’s scheme received second prize. Image:

    Winston Grant-Preece

    Second prize went to Winston Grant-Preece for a design that responded to sydney’s climactic conditions, with abundant outdoor space, roof terraces, and shaded pergolas, balconies and covered walkways. The building used language of the Doric order, with double-brick masonry with a rendered finish to allow for external colour.
    First prize for the youth submissions went to John Suttie, with second place awarded to Brandon Bosaz, both 16 years old.
    NSW minister for infrastructure and cities Rob Stokes launched an exhibition of entries on 31 January where he also awarded a separate Premier’s Commendation Award to Hector Abrahams, and a Youth Commendation Award to John Paul and Joseph Foong.
    Judges for the competition included Elizabeth Farrelly, Mike Day (Hatch Roberts Day) and Richard Economakis (University of Notre Dame).
    View the full gallery of entries here. More

  • in

    Design selected for Parramatta towers

    Located at 34 Hassall Street, plans for the development incorporate two towers, up to 44 storeys, containing 600 residential apartments as well as commercial spaces for retail and workspaces. Parramatta’s population is forecast to increase by nearly 70 percent in the next 20 years. The site is located close to the new Parramatta Light Rail […] More

  • in

    Koorie Heritage Trust set to expand

    The Yarra Building at Melbourne’s Federation Square, once destined for demolition, will soon be home to the first dedicated First Nations arts and culture centre in an Australian capital city. The Koorie Heritage Trust, which has until now occupied two floors of the Yarra Building, will expand to all three floors in August 2023. Designed […] More

  • in

    Perth Concert Hall celebrates 50th anniversary

    Perth Concert Hall celebrated its 50th anniversary on 26 January, marking half a century of some of the highest quality performances in the country, and arguably, the world.
    Built in 1973 and designed by local architects Jeffrey Howlett and Don Bailey (Howlett and Bailey Architects), it was the first concert hall to be built in Australia after World War II. The hall, which seated 1,891 people, is the primary venue of the Western Australian Symphony Orchestra, but it has hosted a suite of events and performances, from classical ensembles to jazz musicians, comedians, and celebrity chefs.
    Highlights over the years have included the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, as well as global artists like Billy Joel, Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone and Sting.
    Renowned for its enduring high standards of acoustics, Perth Concert Hall was voted in 2011 as the best venue of 20 major Australian concert halls in a Limelight magazine survey performers and critics. In 2016, the building received the Australian Institute of Architects’ National Award for Enduring Architecture, for its brutalist mid-century architecture.
    “What appears to be quite a simple, white, off-form concrete, post-and-beam construction is, upon closer inspection, understood as being completely innovative for 1973. The building is actually hung from itself, creating enormous free spans and all from one beautifully poured material,” the jury said.

    View gallery

    Perth Concert Hall by Howlett and Bailey Architects. Image:

    Courtesy of The City of Perth

    The Perth Concert Hall was built at a cost of $3.2 million (a remarkably modest budget compared to the Sydney Opera House, which was built for $102 million and completed in the same year). Its auditorium features a 3,000-pipe organ specially commissioned by Ronald Sharp, who was also responsible for the organ in the Opera House).
    In 2022, With Architecture Studio and OMA were appointed to design the redevelopment of the building, which will improve accessibility and better preserve the heritage features. The redevelopment is due to begin in 2024.
    Culture and Arts Minister David Templeman said the red carpets and winding staircase of the heritage-listed concert hall hold “special memories” for many Western Australians.
    “There are too many highlights to mention but I recall the Peony Pavilion taking place inside the hall as part of Perth International Arts Festival in 2000, and Perth Festival’s contemporary music hub set up in the hall in 2020,” Templeman said. “I remember seeing Billy Joel perform a magnificent concert at the Concert Hall which had the crowd whipped up to a frenzy… Here’s to another 50 years of artist and audience enjoyment at our wonderful world-renowned Perth Concert Hall.” More

  • in

    Editor’s picks: 2023 MPavilion program

    The opening of All Zone’s colourful temporary pavilion at Queen Victoria Gardens came with it a comparably vibrant program of talks, live music events and workshops. ArchitectureAU rounds up the top architecture and design events to explore from 1 February to 6 April.

    View gallery

    Mtalks BLACKitecture: Material Agency. Image:

    Jon Clements

    BLAKitecture: Material Agency
    Monday 6 February, 6:30 pm–7:30 pm
    MPavilion’s sixth annual BLAKitecture forum brings into focus Indigenous voices in a conversation about architecture, considering how the application of materials in the built environment contributes to the commodification of Country. In collaboration with program consultant Sarah Lynn Rees, this MTalk will consider the ability of materials to embed culture and knowledge, and suggest how Australian architecture might move to a regenerative model of consumption. More here.

    View gallery

    MTalks Labour in Architecture: The Future of the Profession. Image:

    Courtesy of Architectural Workers – United Voices of the World (UVW SAW)

    Labour in Architecture: The Future of the Profession
    Tuesday 4 April, 6:30 pm– 8 pm
    In collaboration with Matthew Borg (OVGA), Rory Hyde (University of Melbourne), and Professional Architects Australia, this talk look at how the industry can move forward to an empowered, future-proof profession. The panel considers the historically exploitative workplace culture in architecture and related design fields, where “passion” is used to rationalise underpayment and overworking. In light of emerging movements around the world to counter the worsening plight of architectural workers, Professional Architects Australia presents a talk between local and international practitioners, advocates and academics. Guest speakers will open the conversation to the audience to share their experience. More here.

    View gallery

    MTalks Future Homes: Melbourne’s Liveable Apartments. Image:

    Illustration by Board Grove Architects

    Future Homes: Melbourne’s Liveable Apartments
    Tuesday 28 March, 6:30pm – 7:30pm
    Presented by the Office of the Victorian Government Architect with Andrew Mackenzie (Uro Publications), this talk examines the Victorian government’s Future Homes initiative for family-friendly homes that enable ageing in place. Th initiative incorporates high-quality, liveable, and sustainable design principles into housing models that will be rolled out through pilot councils across Melbourne. Exemplar designs by four architecture firms – appointed through a competition launched in 2020 – are now released for public consideration and available for public purchase now. More here.

    View gallery

    MTalks Propelling or Pathological? Heritage in Urban Design. Image:

    Derek Swalwell

    Propelling or Pathological? Heritage in Urban Design
    Tuesday 6 April, 5:30pm–6:30pm
    Kerstin Thompson (Kerstin Thompson Architects) has curated a panel discussion with Christine Phillips (RMIT), Dan Hill (Melbourne School of Design) and Felicity Watson (Wyndham City Council), facilitated by Stuart Harrison (Harrison and White, and host of Restoration Australia), that will consider our built heritage and how it can be interlinked with urban design imperatives and opportunities. Thompson’s practice, along with BVN, received the 2022 Urban Design Award at the Melbourne Awards for Queen and Collins. In this talk Thompson poses the question, what might it be like to have the spheres of heritage and urban design more productively entangled. More here.

    View gallery

    MMeets Experimental Architectural Writing. Image:

    Les Anderson via Unsplash

    Experimental Architectural Writing
    Wednesday 22 March, 6:30 pm–7:30 pm
    This MMeets workshop facilitated by Anna Kate Blair (Writers Victoria) explores how language can expand our relationship with architecture. The workshop will experiment with a range of creative literary techniques and strategies to expand your architectural knowledge and literary practice. Emphasising process over product, this workshop invites participants to look at a history of imaginative responses to architecture, and to share their own ideas and experiments. More here.

    View gallery

    MTalks The Afterlife of Concrete Image: Supplied

    The Afterlife of Concrete
    Tuesday 21 February, 6.30 pm—7.30 pm
    Concrete is currently the largest contributor to construction and demolition waste in Victoria. In this talk, architects and landscape architects encourage audiences to think outside of the knock-down-and-rebuild model to think differently about how we value existing materials. Architecture Media’s Emily Wong (Landscape Architecture Australia) joins Millie Cattlin, Runjia Chen and Amy Seo and Shahar Cohen of Second Edition for a deep-dive into the process of demolishing and recycling concrete, offering insights in how we might use concrete in more creative and sustainable ways. More here. More

  • in

    Architects recognised in 2023 Australia Day Honours

    Two architects have been recognised among 1,047 recipients in the 2023 Australia Day Honours List, celebrated for their meritorious and conspicuous contributions to the country.
    Former NSW government architect Christopher Johnson was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) for “distinguished services to urban design an architecture, to planning form and compliance, and to the community”.
    Johnson was government architect for 10 years from 1995 to 2005. He was also the chief executive for Urban Taskforce Australia from 2011 to 2019. He has held a number of advisory roles, including as a member of the Australian Building Codes Board and of the Complying Development Committee for NSW Department of Planning.
    Johnson has been a judge on design excellence panels and a coordinator for charity fundraising for the St Vincent’s Prostate Cancer Centre and Warrah Homes. He has authored a book titled Mid-Rise Urban Living (2021), making a case for the mid-rise as an essential component of growing cities, and he has been an advisory consultant for urban planning since 2019. Johnson is a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects and a former member of the Planning Institute of Australia.

    View gallery

    Eli Giannini, director MGS Architects. Image:

    Courtesy Eli Giannini

    Elisabetta Giannini has been appointed a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) “for significant service to architecture, and to the arts.”
    Born in Rome, Italy, Giannini moved to Australia when she was 15 years old. She studied at RMIT before landing her first job at Williams and Boag Architects in 1983. Giannini has been a registered architect since 1985, and after completing her registration, she moved to Godrey and Spowers in 1987 before becoming a director at MGS Architects – a position she currently holds.
    Giannini was president of the Victorian Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects and National Councillor from 2002 to 2004, and was deputy chair of the National General Equity Committee from 2014 to 2016.
    Giannini has been a member of the editorial panel for Architect Journal, and the recipient of numbers RAIA awards as design principal of MGS, including a National Architecture Award or McIntyre Drive apartments, and for Public Architecture for Bendigo Library.
    Governor General David Hurley said it was “encouraging” to see an increased diversity among this year’s Order of Australia, with a 48 percent female representation for the General Division recipients.
    “Congratulations to the outstanding Australians recognised in today’s Honours List,” he said. “The recipients have had a significant impact at the local, national and international level and are, quite simply, inspiring.” More

  • in

    What’s on in February 2023

    Do Ho Suh Experience Do Ho Suh’s first solo exhibition in Australia at the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia this summer. The South Korean-born artist is known for large-scale sculptures and architectural installations that address the complex relationships between bodies, memories and spaces. Media include sculpture, drawing and printmaking that span three decades of practice. […] More