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    Energy-efficient private hospital completed in Brisbane

    Located 200 metres from the Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital, Herston Private Hospital has been completed in Brisbane’s Bowen Hills.
    In recent years, the city’s aging and expanding population has placed greater strain on its healthcare facilities. With public and private operating theatres booked to near capacity, a new private hospital was needed to address lengthy waiting times and an under-availability of beds.
    Designed by Thomson Adsett, this ten-storey, $100-million development incorporates innovative green design features, and achieves five stars on the National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS).
    The new hospital is located within a Queensland government priority development area. “The trade-off from the state government was it had to be an innovative building, which it is,” said senior architect David Lane.
    “It’s a building built for tomorrow: there are two skins to the building, the inner waterproofing skin and then an environmental skin to reduce air conditioning load and support the exterior greenery.”

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    The vertical garden called for strong quality control on concrete density and reinforced steel. Image:

    Thomson Adsett

    The vegetation sits outside of the waterproof outer skin, and Lane said the design for the vertical garden called for strong quality control on concrete density and reinforced steel to cope with the weight.
    At night, a distinctive fluid lighting pattern on the facade, which comprises a series of aluminium hexagons, is designed to partially obscure the five-level car park onto the top floors.
    Solar panels have been installed on the rooftop to generate a quarter of the building’s energy needs, and rainwater harvesting facilities will supply 80 percent of the hospital’s non-potable water.
    According to Lane, the project required some complex solutions to drill footings into the tough volcanic rock foundation, which is reportedly 226 million years old. But ultimately, the architect was satisfied with the building process and outcome.
    “It’s a fantastic location and most innovative to the Herston Precinct and we are very proud of how it turned out,” said Lane.
    As the largest tenant in the mixed-used development, Herston Private Hospital was awarded naming rights over the building. Designed to host a day hospital and specialist medical suites, the building is now 70 percent leased, with fertility clinic operator Genea being another major tenant.
    The hospital is expected to be operating by mid-July, with other tenants to follow shortly after. More

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    ‘Dignity and stability’: Andrews government dispatches modular homes across Victoria

    The Andrews Labor government is delivering 114 energy-efficient prefabricated modular homes to provide housing for those at risk of homelessness across Victoria.
    Designed by prefabricated architecture practice Arkit, the sustainable modular homes will be concentrated in regional areas, where construction shortages and supply issues can often impact the building of new houses. Homes are currently being dispatched across Warrnambool, Horsham, Glenelg, East Gippsland, Swan Hill, Mildura and the Colac Otway shire.
    The state government has committed $30 million to Arkit to build the 114 homes, which are currently under construction, in the process of being assembled onsite, ready to move into or already tenanted.
    A spokesperson for the premier said a modular method was selected because homes can be constructed quickly, easily transported, and permanently placed on vacant or underutilized land to immediately address housing shortages and reduce reliance on emergency accommodation and transient housing.
    To ensure comfort and reduce costs for the tenants, the houses have been fitted with solar panels, heat pumps and energy-efficient appliances. They are also oriented to capture the northern light for effective passive heating.
    “Modular homes are addressing a need to provide housing for those who need it across Victoria, while also employing both local and non-local businesses,” explained housing minister Richard Wynne.
    “These homes will provide hope, dignity and stability for people living here so they feel part of a community and get ahead and thrive.”
    The 114 homes are part of the 1,000 new public housing properties promised under the state’s Building New Homes to Fight Homelessness program. In addition, the government’s $5.3 billion Big Housing Build is set to deliver more than 12,000 new social and affordable homes. More

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    Redevelopments underway for Melbourne beachfront landmark

    Works are now underway on a major upgrade to one of Melbourne’s favourite piers.
    Designed by Jackson Clements Burrows (JCB) Architects, the new St Kilda pier will feature a spectacular curved design across a 400-metre length of Australian timber sourced from a First Nations certified company, extending to Catani Gardens.
    The new pier and boat landing will feature a wider, more accessible walkway, a communal seating terrace and pavilion, additional toilets, and a new community space near the existing kiosk.
    Stage one will also include the construction of a new penguin viewing platform, designed to better protect the famous local colony and enable visitors to view the birds’ return to their burrows each evening.
    “The new community pavilion offers an arrival point and gateway to the Little Penguin platform, with its subtle curves referencing the kiosk architecture,” said JCB.
    “Timber offers warmth and comfort for sitting and reclining, mesh is used at the platform so visitors can almost feel the action underfoot as waves crash against rocks, while concrete enables a more tactile experience for climbing.”

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    The curves of the new design reference the architecture of the existing kiosk. Image:

    JCB Architects

    The Andrews Labor government has dedicated $53 million to the redevelopment to ensure the pier’s longevity in the face of a changing climate, while also preserving its quintessentially St Kilda heritage elements.
    JCB has worked closely with Site Office landscape architects and AW Maritime to deliver the designs, which were developed through extensive collaboration with Parks Victoria. The architect has carefully considered environmental and ecological factors as well as heritage integration.
    Barge and excavator works are about to begin, including the installation of the first of more than 220 steel pipes that will make the pier more resilient to rising sea levels and reduce its impact on the sensitive marine habitat over the next 50 years.
    A “wave wall” is designed to respond to wave and climate change modelling and to better ensure the safety of pier users.
    Minister for ports and freight Melissa Horne said that this is one of the biggest projects of its kind in Melbourne’s history, and demonstrates the government’s commitment to preserving St Kilda’s beachfront character.
    “St Kilda Pier is one of Melbourne’s most recognizable landmarks and this project will transform the much-loved bayside icon, providing an even better experience for the hundreds of thousands of Victorians and tourists that visit each year,” said Horne.
    Where possible, the existing pier will remain open during construction until the completion of the new pier in 2024. More

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    Green light for Oxford Street revival project

    Planning approval has been awarded for a $200 million transformation of three heritage blocks in Oxford Street, Darlinghurst, at the original heart of Sydney’s gay community.
    The development, to be overseen by architecture firm FJMT, was approved by the City of Sydney on 18 May.
    It will be the first major refurbishment for the area in 25 years, transforming the tired strip at the intersection of Kings Cross, Hyde Park, Paddington and Surry Hills into an office, retail, hospitality and creative precinct.
    Sydney investment house Ashe Morgan purchased the three blocks in 2019. The trigger for the investment was a plan by the City of Sydney to reactivate the area, which has been steadily declining in popularity since the introduction of the NSW government’s controversial lockout laws in 2014, and preserve its place as a focal point for LGBTIQA+ culture.
    “To ensure LGBTIQA+ culture and communities are visible and reflected across the precinct, public art, positive messaging, flags, banners and other creative concepts for public spaces will be explored,” said a spokesperson for the City of Sydney.

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    Designs by FJMT will restore the heritage buildings and retail frontage along Oxford Street. Image: FJMT

    FJMT’s plans for the development will retain the heritage facades fronting Oxford Street, overlooking the Sydney Harbour, while enhancing the precinct for the community.
    “Our concept is to create a carefully crafted interplay between the beautiful turn of the century heritage buildings and a new dynamic series of glass and metal forms that hover above,” FJMT design director Richard Francis Jones said upon preparation of the designs back in 2020.
    “This composed integration of heritage and advanced architectural form will create sustainable and inspiring places to work, while reinvigorating the street life of Oxford Street and the authenticity of its laneways.”
    Developer Allan Vidor said the revival will “pay homage” to the historic buildings and preserve their LGBTQI+ legacy, while promising to bring new vitality to the precinct. A new shared laneway between the buildings will feature a prominent public art installation alongside restaurants, bars and boutique shopping.
    “The proposed redevelopment has already created a lot of qualified interest from well-regarded local and international commercial, cultural and retail tenants alike, and this approval will now allow us to progress the rejuvenation of the Oxford Street precinct with confidence,” Vidor said.
    The completion of the Oxford and Foley precinct is earmarked for 2023, in preparation for Sydney to host the WorldPride Festival in February. More

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    Lust for Lifestyle: Modern Adelaide Homes 1950–1965

    In 1956, Adelaide’s architectural imagination was flying. Bates Smart McCutcheon’s MLC Building was rising above Victoria Square as the city’s first International Style highrise, and as one of Australia’s first buildings to use full curtain wall construction. Robin Boyd’s Walkley House, with its striking glass box design, defied its heritage surroundings in conservative North Adelaide. And Adelaide’s own young meteors – including Brian Claridge, Newell Platten, Keith Neighbour and John Morphett – publicly announced their challenge to orthodoxy with an exhibition of 12 temporary modernist buildings and art in Botanic Park at the Royal Australian Institute of Architects’ Sixth Australian Architectural Convention.
    Emboldened by increasing public acceptance of modern design, The Advertiser appointed young architect John Chappel as the newspaper’s official architecture correspondent that year. Over the following three decades, Chappel wrote weekly columns, accompanied by glamorous depictions of contemporary residential architecture, that stirred consumer aspirations for the good life of a modern family home.
    The State Library of South Australia’s exhibition Lust for Lifestyle: Modern Adelaide Homes 1950–1965 is the direct beneficiary of Chappel’s remarkable archive, accumulated over those 30 years – a trove of photographs and plans occupying 2.5 metres of archival storage that documents his own projects and those submitted by 97 architecture firms, most of them local, seeking coverage in his weekly reports.

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    House at Cross Road, Unley Park, designed by owner Langdon Badger, architectural drawings by Lawson, Cheesman, Doley and Partners (1958). Image:

    Photography courtesy of State Library of South Australia

    Lovingly curated and meticulously researched by James Curry (School of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Adelaide) and the State Library, the exhibition is a spectacular immersion into some of Adelaide’s finest modernist houses, and offers an insight into the lives of their well-heeled and socially mobile owners and the new breed of pace-setting architects.
    In one of five short films that accompany the exhibition, James lays out his intent: “The exhibition is structured around an argument. It’s not just a list of buildings. We wanted to say more than ‘Adelaide had modern architecture as well.’”
    The result is an eye-popping exploration of the ways that modern living was depicted during the era, inspiring many of Adelaide’s social elites to leave or demolish their traditional family home to commission or move into a modern, architect-designed home.
    The display of homeowners who made that leap is a dazzling who’s who of mid-century Adelaide society, including the Michell wool family, interior design and furniture impresario Langdon Badger, pioneering lawyer Pam Cleland, intellectual Robert Clark, Austrian consul Tony Nelson, and speedway, jazz and art-collecting bon vivant Kym Bonython. The postwar confidence and optimism of this generation radiates through personal photographs of family occasions and holidays, their inclusion in the exhibition enriching the stylized black- and-white architectural photos that are as alluring as those of Wolfgang Sievers or Max Dupain.
    Of the 15 houses profiled, several may be familiar to enthusiasts of this period: Langdon Badger’s house of 1957–58, designed by Badger with architectural drawings by Lawson, Cheesman, Doley and Partners (Unley Park’s answer to Philip Johnson’s Glass House), Robin Boyd’s 1956 Walkley House in North Adelaide and Peter Muller’s 1964 Michell House in Medindie.

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    House at Palmer Place, North Adelaide for Gavin Walkley by Robin Boyd (1956; photograph taken in 1959 by Ingerson-Arnold Studios). Image:

    Photography courtesy of State Library of South Australia

    But what makes this exhibition such a revelation are the homes created by Adelaide’s architects and landscape designers who have been largely lost to history, along with their buildings: Don Thompson, Dickson and Platten, Brian Vogt, E. Caradoc Ashton (later trading as Woodhead) and Chappel himself.
    Concepts of access and accessibility, economy and excess, the house as a place for working, and living in the garden are all explored through the design of these houses and the stories of the people who lived in them.
    There are some cracking anecdotes included, too: the time Kym Bonython knocked on the door of Günter Niggemann’s house in Tennyson (Lawson, Cheesman and Doley, 1953) and bought it on the spot, hours before Niggemann departed Australia by ship. The luxury car collection – comprising an Aston Martin, a Ferrari, a Lamborghini and a Mercedes – accessed via a concealed driveway at the Billam House in North Brighton (John Chappel, 1963–64). And the exclusive, strictly word- of-mouth visits to Pam Cleland and Fred Thonemann’s Waterfall Gully home and garden (Don Thompson/John Chappel, 1952–65) enjoyed by A-listers including the Rolling Stones, Liberace, Sir Robert Helpmann and Rudolf Nureyev.
    Archival media clippings documenting these houses are also featured – highlighting the interdependence of the media and architects as advertisements of the new – alongside original floorplans, sketches, drawings and recent video interviews.
    James Curry, the State Library and contributors such as the University of South Australia’s Architecture Museum have created one of Australia’s most compelling exhibitions of modernist architecture – one that should raise appreciation of, and help reduce the demolition or irreversible vandalism of, this vulnerable era of buildings.

    Lust for Lifestyle: Modern Adelaide Homes 1950–1965 is on at the State Library of South Australia until 24 July 2022. slsa.sa.gov.au More

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    First look at Melbourne secondary school upgrade

    The Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA) has released a first look at the designs for the upgrade and modernization of a secondary school in Melbourne’s outer suburbs. Designed by Architecture Architecture, the South Oakleigh Secondary College upgrade will include an extension of the gymnasium, a major refurbishment of the science block, a new tiered amphitheatre […] More

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    Hassell designs first hotel for Sydney Aerotropolis

    Hassell has designed a $70 million, 200-room hotel that will become the first in the new Western Sydney Aerotropolis. Featuring an all-day dining restaurant, a cafe and bar, fitness centre and 580 square metres of meeting and ballroom space, the future hotel will help secure the potential of the burgeoning Sydney city. The international hotel […] More

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    SANAA celebrated in Sydney's Japanese Film Festival

    The Japanese Film Festival (JFF) Fringe returns to Sydney screens this June with an off-season program of contemporary Japanese films exploring matters of art and design.
    Presented by the Japan Foundation Sydney, the 2022 season’s program follows the theme of ‘In the Presence of Space,’ featuring a selection of documentaries that survey the intersection of Japanese contemporary art, music and architecture in film.
    In acknowledgement of the near-completion of the highly anticipated Sydney Modern project at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the series spotlights its designers, Japanese architects Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa of SANAA.
    Architecture, Time and Kazuyo Sejima, directed by Takashi Homma, is a close examination of Sejima’s creative process from concept to completion. The documentary covers the three and a half years over which Sejima created the new building for Osaka University of Arts.
    A Room of Her Own: Rei Naito and Light, directed by Yuko Nakamura, is an appraisal of an immersive artwork, Matrix, constructed in collaboration with SANAA architect Rye Nishizawa at the Teshima Art Museum. The art documentary attempts to get close to the essense of illusive artist Rei Naito, who refuses to be recorded on film, without ever pointing the camera at her.
    Architectural film makers Bêka and Lemoine also have two films as part of the festival.
    The JFF Fringe launched in 1997, this year marking a quarter of a century of celebration of Japanese film on Australian screens. The festival will run from 24-26 June and each film will screen twice, at Sydney’s Palace Verona or Palace Central.
    Click here to view the full program. Tickets are now on sale at the Japanese Film Festival website.
    Films
    Architecture, Time and Kazuyo Sejima dir. by Takashi Homma (2020)
    Tokyo Ride dir. by Bêka and Lemoine (2020)
    Moriyama-San dir. by Bêka and Lemoine (2017)
    A Room of Her Own: Rei Naito and Light dir. by Yuko Nakamura (2015) More