Australia Architecture Awards 2010
Other green features of the Surry Hills Library and Community Centre include extensive daylighting, automated fabric shade devices, a rooftop photovoltaic array, rainwater collection and recycling, low-VOC finishes, and alternatives to PVC for plumbing and electrical services.
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"Located on a busy inner city street front, the Surry Hills Library cleverly accommodates a variety of functions with relative ease and remarkable spatial accuracy," praised the jury, lauding the building's "beautiful glazed wall to the south."
New Rail Stations in Sydney
The Epping to Chatswood Rail Link expands the CityRail commuter rail line in the northern suburbs of Sydney. As part of the A$2.35 billion project, Hassell designed the three new intermediate stations, at Macquarie University, Macquarie Park, and North Ryde, each about 5,000 square meters (54,000 square feet) in size.
A curved glazed pavilion at the surface serves as the entry to each station. From there, travelers descend 25 meters (82 feet) by stair, elevator, and escalator to reach the passenger concourse.
The transparent louvered cladding of the pavilions directs controlled daylight to the concourse level below. With ticketing and amenities deep underground, a single employee can manage the station from a central location. The design also achieves efficiencies by ventilating public areas with train movement.
Below ground, the vaulted forms of the twin caverns reflect the self-stabilizing method of their construction in sandstone, with an asymmetrical cross-section that minimized costly excavation. The station's simple organization facilitates wayfinding, with the continuous curve of the cavern soffit describing an intuitive route to the surface.
"The entire project presents a remarkable clarity," commended the jury. "The lasting memory of the [project] is the clever movement through powerful contiguous space."
Green Bank in Melbourne
At 11 stories tall and 85,450 square meters (919,800 square feet), the new ANZ Centre achieves sustainable design on a large scale. Located in the Melbourne Docklands, on the Yarra River, the office building achieved a 6 Star Green Star rating — the highest-level Green Star rating possible — under the Office Design v2 subsystem, and it is registered for another Green Star rating for the office interiors.
Designed collaboratively by Hassell and Lend Lease design, with workplace design by Hassell, the building houses the new world headquarters for the bank ANZ, with offices, two parking levels, and 1,900 square meters (20,500 square feet) of retail and food outlets for visitors and the 6,000 employees on site.
The building was designed for flexibility and longevity. The office floors are configured to maximize daylight penetration, with a zoning concept to break down the expansive floor plates into more intimate spaces. Shared spaces are organized in and around the central atrium, and include meeting rooms, breakout spaces, and a 250-seat theater.
The onsite tri-generation plant generates electricity using natural gas, using heat from the process to feed the air-conditioning absorption chillers in the summer and the boilers in the winter. Other sustainable design features include wastewater recycling, rainwater harvesting, photovoltaic panels, a planted roof, wind turbines, an underfloor air-conditioning system, and 500 bicycle racks.
The jury praised this "vibrant and dynamic workplace," commenting that "[t]he end product is as much an exercise in human relations, as it is architecture."
Durbach Block Architects designed a commercial building for a tight triangular site in Potts Point, an inner-city suburb of Sydney. The 860-square-meter (9,300-square-foot) building at 5-9 Roslyn Street comprises four levels plus a basement and roof garden, and was designed to house a restaurant, a nightclub, and the architecture firm's own offices.
By taking "a new view of the thick masonry walls, small detailed windows and overhanging cornices typical of the area," the architects infused a sense of energy into a nonetheless restrained building. An exaggerated cornice curls up and over the sidewalk, its curve echoing the rounded narrower end of the building. The steel-lined windows create a visual rhythm, slightly offset and misaligned. And the facade combines tiles of white and off-white, gloss and matte finish, into a subtle but enticing crackled surface.
Several features increase energy efficiency, such as recessed reveals that transmit daylight while limiting heat gain.
The jury praised the apparent adaptability of the building and the "spacious quality created through its simple, elegant palette, column free space and good daylight penetration."
High-Rise Living in Bangkok
The Met is a 66-story, 370-unit condominium tower in the central business district of Bangkok, Thailand. Architecture firm WOHA sought to translate aspects of indoor-outdoor living from low-rise tropical housing into the design of this high-density high-rise, providing an alternative to the trend of sealed, glazed curtain-wall towers in the tropics.
The residential units face north and south. A staggered block arrangement gives all of them access to light and air on all four sides, providing cross-ventilation to minimize the use of air conditioning. Creeper screens rise up the full 66 stories, shading the facades, and the building incorporates a series of public and private outdoor spaces, such as breezeways, outdoor living areas, planters and gardens, and open-air terraces.
The jury hailed the project as "a great solution to the issues of density in tropical Asian cities, and excitingly, a model directly translatable to many Australian cities. "
Tree Memorial in Queensland
An unusual memorial stands in the small outback town of Barcaldine, Queensland: a dark, wood-screened box on stilts, rising high above the nearby buildings and the flat landscape. Inside that box are the remnants of a tree.
The tree, a ghost gum known as the Tree of Knowledge, had become a symbol for the Australian labor movement and Australian Labor Party after sheep-shearers were said to have gathered under the once-expansive branches during a seminal 1891 strike. After the tree was poisoned with herbicide in 2006, key remnants were preserved and now form the focal point of the Tree of Knowledge Memorial.
Working in association, Brian Hooper Architect and m3architecture designed the 324-square-meter (3,490-square-foot) structure to shelter the relic tree and evoke the scale of its canopy around the turn of the 20th century. On the exterior, charcoaled timbers create a veil, while inside, almost 5,000 individual timber members are suspended to suggest a tree canopy.
"Such a building in its simplicity is rare," said the jury, calling the memorial a "powerful, haunting, enigmatic structure."
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