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Architecture AustraliaArchitecture Australia

Architecture Australia January 2016

Ask architects which Australian magazine they choose to read or to publish their work and the answer is most likely Architecture Australia. If you want to be up to date with the best built works and the issues that matter, then Architecture Australia is for you. Its commissioned contributors are independent, highly respected practitioners, architectural thinkers and design commentators and each article is supported by images from leading architectural photographers. Provocative, informative and engaging – it is the national magazine of the Australian Institute of Architects.

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6 Issues


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The Institute has faced a number of significant challenges recently and our National and Executive Councils have come to the conclusion that it is an appropriate time to substantially reform the organization through the development of a sustainable operational model supported by a more effective strategic plan. It is important to understand that while we can do a lot, we can’t do it all. We intend to commit to less than we have in the past so we can more effectively deliver on the commitments we do make. The process of reform is currently a work in progress and a more targeted operational model will focus on member services, education and advocacy. We also intend to reinforce and elevate our critical position as the first voice for our profession. Our current councillors…

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This issue of Architecture Australia follows the trajectory of Australian housing. It is a contemporary record of projects and thinking and the latest contribution to a series of issues focused on multiresidential architecture and urban development. The issue has three components: previews of projects in planning, design or construction; reviews of buildings at completion; and reflections on processes, outcomes and aspirations. The last is used to recast the relationship between the house and housing and to re-examine exemplar projects from recent history with the benefit of first-hand hindsight. Prior to this, our most recent housing-themed issue was May/June 2014, guest edited by Sydney-based architects and critics Laura Harding and Philip Thalis. Laura and Philip made an empirical and qualitative study of urban housing projects and the critical role of these buildings…

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This issue is ordered according to project scale, from single dwelling to apartment block. The projects are viewed through three lenses that intersect the trajectory of Australian housing at different points in time – the near future, the present and the recent past. In Development surveys multiresidential projects across a range of scales, types and locations. The eighteen unbuilt projects, which span from duplexes to highrise towers, together present a preview of future housing in Australia. At Completion reviews new projects, exploring delivery models, experimentation, ageing in place and why “density is our destiny.” Housing plays a critical role in the making of our cities, and these projects are acknowledged for setting the standard in contemporary living. On Reflection re-examines exemplar housing projects from recent history with the benefit of…

access_time7 min.
apartment house

In the glut of apartments spawned across Australian cities in the last decade, very few leap out as models for doing something better. The drive for maximum yield in large part guarantees a dead hand on experiment. There are a few exceptions, like Hill Thalis’s award-winning Studios 54 in Surry Hills, where deference to context and an acceptance of generic apartment plans offer unseen flexibility. In such a case the bespoke can inform broader thinking, but this is rare. The same rather bitter reflection might be directed towards the architect-designed house – that its purpose-built, made-to-measure nature might not offer lessons beyond itself. But in a new house built by Kerstin Thompson in Toorak – her first in that affluent haven – there are lessons for both single and multiple…

access_time12 min.
single house—no future?

“On the one hand, a work of architecture … can be characterized by a condition of uniqueness ... On the other hand, a work of architecture can also be seen as belonging to a class of repeated objects, characterized, like a class of tools or instruments, by some general attributes ... the essence of the architectural object lies in its repeatability.”– Rafael Moneo If there is one aspect of architecture that garners considerable public appetite, well nourished by our media, it is the one-off dwelling. The vivid details of another person’s life – often stylized – fuel the aspirations of Australian homeowners. Kerstin Thompson Architects (KTA) houses are among these stories about uniqueness: of client demands, site specifics, neighbourly battles and planning triumphs. But if we widen our gaze beyond the…

access_time7 min.
3 houses marrickville

Marrickville is a Sydney suburb that is noticeably diverse, both culturally and architecturally. The council area is home to some 83,000 people and has welcomed waves of immigrants from southern Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The peak of migration was from the 1950s to the 1970s and each of these groups “colonized” the neighbourhood with its own cultural character. The 2006 Census indicates more than 30 percent of residents spoke a language other than English at home. This diaspora is where architecture is most needed and least often seen. The site that David Boyle has spent the last five years working on is tucked down a small street but occupies a prominent corner. The existing house was originally built in the 1930s or 1940s. It had been extended a number…