When faced with the requirement of significant ramping to a upper level Childcare centre, how do you best exploit this architectural element in a way that gives back to the surrounding urban context?
To hybridise the ramp and landscaped urban space typology and create an inviting journey for visitors to our new Childcare centre in an existing shopping centre. The Landscaped ramp in turn enhances the existing retail precinct, encouraging shoppers to occupy the outdoor lane ways and spaces in an attempt to turn the shopping centre ‘inside out’.
Work will be underway soon, with the new intervention set to revitalise and enhance the existing coastal centre.
King George Square: an expansive space once proffered to be the civic heart of Brisbane, now a hot glorified passageway braved by pedestrians for a quicker route between Ann and Adelaide Street. With government elections imminent, debate posturing a more habitable future for the Square has re-surfaced with Labour Mayoral candidate Rod Harding pledging $7 million to green King George.
Rod Harding hosts picnic on fake grass to promote $7 million greening pledge
It is no secret that Brisbane’s public has yearned for a shadier, more hospitable square since its barely assimilated redesign in 2009, however before we jump to spending a chunk of taxpayer money on the installation and upkeep of ultimately sparse greenery it is well worth considering alternative solutions drawn from the successes and failures of current and past Square iterations.
The design unearths ideas of industrialisation and the contrasts that emerge between modern forms and eclectic symbols of cultural and historical significance to Kenilworth. Our nostalgic references intermingle with new technology to shape a unique amalgamation of machine and shelter in this highly unconventional and non-conformist creation.
At last we can reveal our 2016 National Gallery of Victoria Summer Pavilion competition entry. The genesis of our TETRA TECTONICS proposal lies in the notion of the triangle as the fundamental function of structure. Our structure was derived from early experimentation with basic shelter forms, where our
intention was to restrict the building’s components to basic geometric shapes in minimising materials and construction time and complexity. The triangle form operated as the key structural element in the scheme, given its inherent structural stability and its inter-stabilising angles.
The shelter was a catalyst for further explorations wherein the triangle form was isolated and tested for its structural capabilities. Our prototype was simplified further, with internal flanges removed to emphasise the structural strengths of the triangle. The outcome was a configuration of 6 triangles combined to form a 360 degree turn, and ultimately, an infinite and endless plane. When fixed with a 45 degree angled wing, these forms could also facilitate a 90 degree junction between horizontal and vertical planes, providing all the necessary ingredients for a complete structure.
TETRA TECTONICS exploits this pattern system to shape a sculptural landmark and unveil a
precursor to future modes of building. Our summer pavilion responds to the aesthetic needs placed upon a gallery-based pavilion by creating an innately sculptural and poetic design solution wherein all elements demonstrate a duality of purpose with both aesthetic and structural benefits.
At the inner Brisbane suburb of Teneriffe, the local Council has plans to “upgrade” a four way intersection (Commercial Road & Skyring Terrace) by installing traffic lights, removing car parking spaces and existing trees and creating right turn lanes for vehicles.
Back in 2012 Brisbane City Council published similar proposals for the four way intersection of James, Doggett, and Robertson Streets in Fortutide Valley. At that time we raised substantial concerns which were detailed here http://www.neylan.com.au/conversation/prioritising-vs-filtering-in-turn.
Fortunately Council’s plans for that intersection in Fortitude Valley did not proceed; consequently the pedestrian friendly nature and low vehicle speed environment of the area remains and life goes on.
Now similar proposals are actually about to be implemented in Teneriffe.
We reckon that everyone – not just Architects - would benefit from exposure to a couple of books which at first glance might seem completely unrelated.
Here is a link to William McDonough’s website which goes into more detail on the concepts detailed in the book. http://www.mcdonough.com/speaking-writing/the-upcycle/#.VhXpiPnzpGE
There is an interesting real world example of upcycling at this address http://www.theupcycle.nl/
Cities traditionally are made up of streets and squares fronted by buildings.
Our little city of Brisbane is on the cusp of having a sizeable chunk of its traditional CBD street pattern obliterated by a gargantuan new gambling casino complex. It looks like the architectural concept has been heavily influenced by the Marina Quays complex in Singapore – with a curvaceous viewing platform linking high-rise buildings more than 20 storeys above the ground and with building podiums straddling streets below. The activities flow down to the river edge with questionable spaces eventuating under and around the existing elevated freeway structures along the river.
All this is to occur in the most historic part of our city – where some of our earliest buildings erected in the mid eighteen hundreds have been preserved for posterity. These heritage buildings will be dwarfed by the proposed new homogeneous complex which interrupts the street pattern and which will eventuate in an unfriendly public street level experience for pedestrians.
Being a small business ourselves we were impressed by a recent address at the National Press Club by Peter Strong, CEO of the Council of Small Business of Australia.
'There is a small ruling class in Australia of institutions and large businesses that need to be disempowered and that power given back to the majority'
He includes in this business ‘ruling class’ Australia’s supermarket chain duopoly who, along with the biggest landlords, manipulate urban planning processes so that their malls become the only places to shop: he says that, at their whim, they will organize streets to be made one way, carparks outside their malls to be moved under or next to their malls, and for bus stops to be moved closer to their entrances. “…they capture the High Street and enclose it in a business ‘factory farm’… customers used to be ‘free range’ in the High Street. The High Street once again is owned by a medieval Lord…”
The three storey fit out of an existing office building in the heart of Brisbane's CBD is nearing completion, with finishing touches being made to the refurbishment. Housing 130 staff the project is designed to optimise flexibility and efficiency in the workplace whilst retaining a consistent graphic scheme.
No longer merely the site of excavation and foundations, construction on the Quay Street apartment complex is advancing nicely: visible progress apparent as the storeys continue to rise above the surrounding streetscape. The project aims to provide adaptable units with river views and close proximity to the CBD.