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Architecture AustraliaArchitecture Australia

Architecture Australia July 2017

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


access_time3 min.
international futures: a journey of renewal

The National Architecture Conference is the most important part of the calendar for the Australian Institute of Architects, so it was wonderful to experience such a dynamic and well-attended event in May. Praxis explored the essence of the practice of architecture, asking a diverse group of local and international speakers to talk about the how and the why of their practice. Presentations were well considered and communicated and the conference has been widely applauded for its richness and intellectual breadth. The success of the conference and the insightful selection of speakers are due to the efforts of the curators Helen Lochhead and Ken Maher, whom I thank greatly. There was a particularly poignant moment when the energetic Indian architect Rahul Mehrotra observed, “As architects we face a complete misalignment [between] our…

access_time2 min.
the global reach of australian architecture

The global market for built environment expertise is creating new opportunities for Australian architecture. The profession’s international growth over the past thirty years has been nothing short of remarkable. It has expanded the reach of Australian architecture and has the potential to reshape its identity. Australian practitioners have been living and working internationally since the 1960s. Significant achievements from this foundation period include buildings in Canada and the United States by John Andrews, who is arguably Australia’s first internationally recognized architect. University and banking projects by James Birrell in Papua New Guinea from the early 1970s and the regionally sensitive buildings of Kerry Hill, who relocated his eponymous practice from Australia to Asia in 1971, started a new conversation with the region. In the mid 1980s the construction of the new…

access_time6 min.
east sydney early learning centre

Among the early explorative drawings for the East Sydney Early Learning Centre, large-scale urban mappings were prepared alongside collage-like diagrams of “play space.” The maps are precise and analytical, the diagrams intimate and speculative. The maps discover and reveal local patterns, searching for qualities to endorse or reshape. The diagrams layer and interweave enclosure around children, furnishings, greenery and toys, in active constellations. If the maps promise to invest architectural form with an urban experience, the diagrams enliven, even exaggerate, this ambition. Working to invoke the city in the spaces for play, Andrew Burges Architects has transformed a 1920s building and adjacent playground into a spirited new childcare and community facility. Conceived as a miniature city, the project amplifies the urban condition and its potential to support imaginative play and…

access_time7 min.
brimbank community and civic centre

John Hedditch, mayor of the City of Brimbank, is almost erupting with happiness and pride in the new building in which we are standing. Along with the architects, Carey Lyon and Clare Connan of Lyons, we are up on the sixth-floor roof/deck/balcony of the Brimbank Community and Civic Centre, looking out over the suburb of Sunshine and the heat and flatness of Melbourne’s western suburbs. Hedditch says that four thousand people came through the building on its first open day, thrilled and amazed that the council would build such a thing for them to use. But he makes the most interesting point in passing, as we turn to descend. “People used to think there was no tree cover in Sunshine,” he says. “Until this building was finished and they came up…

access_time7 min.
united petroleum

United Petroleum’s new service station by Peddle Thorp Architects stands as something of an architectural marvel on the industrial outskirts of the second city of Victoria. Glinting in the sun, with its bold blades cutting into the sky, it could be an arts centre or a sculpture. As a futuristic petrol station in Corio, north Geelong, it represents perhaps a number of futures in fuel retailing and industrial building design. Entering Geelong from the booming metropolis of Melbourne along a flat and featureless road, drivers have long been confronted with the messy edges of this city – box retailers selling fitness and discount furnishings, a supermarket and modest housing – as well as some of its critical employers – the Shell oil refinery and the Ford engine plant as well as…

access_time6 min.
north lakes veterinary hospital

Consistency is difficult to achieve in architecture and nearly impossible to maintain. As offices grow, changes in staff and the types and scale of project work, not to mention the changing demands of clients and architectural fashion, can all shift the output of an architectural practice in unpredictable ways. It is for this reason that the singular work of Vokes and Peters stands out. For more than fourteen years, the work of the office and its partners’ antecedent firms has remained strikingly consistent – a fact that Stuart Vokes attributes to the partners’ profoundly similar design sensibilities, which they have regularly applied to a common set of design problems in suburban contexts. It’s a clear strength of the practice, which has built an impressive portfolio of mostly residential works with…