All posts by Brydie Shephard

Marisa Yiu

Hong Kong

Marisa Yiu is in a rare, reflective mood when we meet. For the most part, she doesn’t have time to be reflective: she runs multidisciplinary architecture studio ESKYIU alongside partner Eric Schuldenfrei; she works tirelessly as Executive Director for grant-funding platform and creative accelerator Design Trust; plus she’s mother to almost-five-year-old twins.

“It’s like super Google Calendar and Excel sheets,” says Yiu of her life and how she juggles her responsibilities. “As a mother, you become more committed and efficient. You let yourself lose certain hours of the day, but there are moments when you just have to make sure you’re home in time, because you commit yourself to seeing the little ones.”

For Yiu, wearing many hats and balancing different interests is the modus operandi; it has been this way since she came back to Hong Kong from New York in 2007 and set up ESKYIU with Schuldenfrei.

More than designing with intent, Yiu says with reference to the theme of this issue of Cubes, “It should be ‘designing with intensity’… and rigour. With Design Trust, we’ve just been going, going, going; with Design Trust Futures Studio (DTFS), mentor-mentee think tanks, coming up with these amazing partnerships with Royal College of the Arts, empowering new curators to come on board. Now, we’ve done all this, but where’s the next growth plan?”

And this is where we find Yiu on a sunny December afternoon, introspecting at ESKYIU’s studio in Hong Kong’s creative precinct, Wong Chuk Hang, when the protestors are quiet. Much like her, they are probably reflecting on the tumultuous year that has passed, and pondering what is to come.

“There’s so much going on in Hong Kong. I’m thinking about what could be done, and how design could have a positive impact. Is it about education, or just inspiring people? How can we move forward without politicising everything?” she queries. “People want to see change, but it’s about knitting the right people together.”

For Design Trust, says Yiu, “2020 is about outreach and bringing more Design Trust positive community energy overseas.” One Design Trust grantee group from Shenzhen is working with female entrepreneurs in Africa, while others – Xavier Tsang, plus Julie Progin and Jessie Mc Lin, who created site-specific works for the DTFS 2019 exhibition Heritage is Innovation at historic Hong Kong site Haw Par Mansion – have been selected to represent Hong Kong as part of a showcase at this year’s Milan Design Week.

“DTFS is really fascinating to watch,” says Yiu of the pilot program, which uses a mentor-mentee system to explore materials and production, and which gets the community involved in order to transform public spaces. “Some mentors are much more rigid and want to meet their mentees regularly. And then there are other models where it’s, ‘You guys figure it out, it’s up to you, we’ll advise and critique you.’ Either way, by questioning and dialoguing, or by having a conversation or being inspired by this amazing architect, one sees their own frame of reference changed.”

In Yiu’s world, challenging that frame of reference and questioning the status quo seem to be a constant. “I like being surprised by the results rather than saying ‘It has to be like this.’”

The DTFS 2018 project Play is for the People has provided an example of this in practice. Design mentees met with stakeholders and the community to understand how they could rethink some of Hong Kong’s parks. “It involved a lot of talking and dialoguing, bringing people together and really questioning expertise. How can we continue to learn regardless of age or demographic?” she recalls. Yiu hopes that a couple of the park concepts developed by the mentor- mentee teams will be built this year. “If even one gets built within 2020, I’ll be celebrating,” she says.

Yiu hasn’t just been busy with DTFS, however. ESKYIU has also been keeping her highly occupied. “We’ve got this mega-project that’s about to launch – a 22-storey building in North Point. We’ve been working on it as interior designers for four-and-a-half years. We’ve managed to work closely with the architecture team and impact the exterior, and we’ve added another layer of conceptual programming. We were asked to write the brief with the client for that project, which was really cool,” she explains.

And this, for Yiu, is the heart of it: designing within constraints and limitations that you can’t change, while still having the freedom to push the boundaries and find new ways to bring value to various communities through design. “You’re designing with a goal in mind,” she says. “But it only gets really interesting when you’re able to create something beyond that intent.”


Copy by Tamsin Bradshaw, featured in CUBES Magazine #98

Nonda Katsalidis

Fender Katsalidis

Nonda Katsalidis doesn’t believe he’s that interesting and supposes most people would think him quite boring. He is incredibly modest, that’s for certain. As one of Australia’s finest architects and a pioneer of central Melbourne’s urbanisation, his practice’s multi-residential, cultural, commercial, aged care and hotel portfolios have garnered numerous awards and accolades, including the prestigious Victorian Architecture Medal. He is not only well liked, he is utterly respected, making him a worthy recipient of a Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to architecture and sustainable construction innovations in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours list.

Born in Athens in 1951, he migrated to Australia with his family when he was five years old. They settled in Melbourne where Katsalidis would go on to study architecture at the University of Melbourne, completing his Master of Architecture at RMIT. Post-graduation, he worked for a building company as a contractor and he credits these experiences as helping to shape him into the architect he is today. “I definitely learnt as much from carpenters and concreters as I did from my academic training,” he says. “It’s good for architects to get out in the field. For me, it instilled confidence in how structures are built, how they can be altered and how to make decisions out of the ordinary, because I understood detailing and knew how buildings go together.”

This hands-on approach underscores everything Katsalidis does and has characterised his work at Fender Katsalidis, where his ‘search for better’ ethos has led to the development of new and more sustainable construction technologies. Establishing the practice with Karl Fender in 1996 (it was originally Nation Fender Katsalidis), he is proud to admit that it’s a company built on friendship and rapport.

“Architecture is that kind of business,” Katsalidis reflects. “And Karl and I were able to grow a significant practice because there’s more than one of us. It’s a collaborative endeavour and now we’ve got a team of 120 people across three offices as a vehicle that enables us to tackle big projects.” Indeed, the practice is best known for its tall building design and for redefining the urban fabric of cities like Melbourne. Eureka Tower, which was completed in 2006 and stands 297 metres in height, is one of the world’s tallest residential buildings, and the recently completed 108 Australia at 319 metres, is memorable for a golden starburst expression that intersects its slender glass form. Both located in Melbourne’s Southbank, these buildings create strong geometries in the sky and have become synonymous with the city’s bustling cosmopolitan identity.

But it’s not just about building bigger. Rather, Katsalidis takes great pride in creating good public realm design. “Contextualism is an important consideration in our work and we believe buildings should fit in with their respective environment and generate opportunities for interaction with the public. We always try to keep them open so you can walk through them. And we’re very much in favour of Melbourne’s laneway system and creating intimacy through that level of interaction,” he explains.

Katsalidis likes that architecture has constraints and a set of requirements. He finds understanding what can’t be done, along with what’s required, to be a creatively liberating process. From a business point of view, Katsalidis most enjoys the journey that’s travelled when working with people; bouncing ideas off each other and solving problems that leads to the realisation of a successful building. He’s especially passionate about his work with David Walsh on MONA (Museum of Old and New Art) in Hobart and regards it as more than an architectural commission, relishing the unique client-architect relationship involved in the project’s ambitious, seemingly never-ending development. It also taps into another of his personal interests.

“I have a farm that has a vineyard,” says Katsalidis. “It’s 100 acres and I’ve built some wetlands. I’ve also created a sculpture park and I’m working with a number of artists to populate the landscape. My buildings are sculptural and that reflects my interest in sculpture, so I want to combine art and nature in this little project.” He has owned Mount Monument Wines in the Macedon Ranges for 18 years and at this stage in his career, where he’s looking forward to achieving a work-life balance, he’s definitely spending more time outdoors, curating and also making his own sculpture.

Ask Katsalidis what he considers his greatest achievement and he doesn’t hesitate to mention building a practice with Fender. It’s about the people they’ve met and the people to whom they’ve given professional opportunities. He’s pleased with the friendly workplace culture they’ve fostered and for providing platforms for young employees who then go on to achieve greater success elsewhere. But ask him what his favourite Fender Katsalidis project is and he’ll succinctly say it’s always the next building.

Katsalidis’ current ambition is to pass on the baton to the practice’s new directors and for them to continue to thrive as a national practice known for exemplary design. When it comes to the topic of legacy, he humbly suggests that’s for the world to decide. “Fender Katsalidis has produced a large volume of work and it’s obvious we’ve made a significant architectural contribution in Melbourne and beyond. But how that stands up to the test of time and if it sustains interest is up to history.” It’s a sure bet Katsalidis and his work will be remembered for a very, very long time to come.


Copy by Leanne Amodeo, featured in Indesign Magazine #85

Meryl Hare

Hare + Klein

It’s no secret there’s something about Meryl Hare and those lucky enough to be in her orbit notice it immediately. She has a charisma that resonates, a warmth that envelopes and a humility that’s admirable. Her genuine excitement in what she does is contagious and her care for those she works with and designs for is palpable. Unsurprisingly, Hare is one of Australia’s most renowned interior designers, having especially made her mark designing some of the country’s best residential designs.

Born in South Africa and raised in Zambia and Swaziland, Hare was a graphic designer when friends started asking her to help them decorate their homes. “I realised I was in the wrong profession,” she openly admits. Following her heart, she decided to undertake some extra qualifications and then started practising interior design full-time. “As a twentysomething, I was incredibly optimistic, although it was a steep learning curve,” Hare says. “With young children, I was doing the balancing act. But I had always wanted to transform interiors not just adorn them.”

Hare was in her thirties when she migrated to Australia in 1988 and the following year established Hare + Klein. Now based in Sydney, she celebrates the way Australian architecture and design has come of age in the past two decades. Her contribution is a portfolio of beautiful interiors that are cohesive and harmonious; an elegantly resolved fusion of luxury and down-to-earth comfort. Each project exhibits a meticulous attention to detail, sensitive response to place and richly layered material and colour palette. And not to mention her unfailingly signature client-centric approach.

As Hare explains, “The most important opinion about Hare + Klein’s work belongs to the clients who live in the spaces we create for them. We like to take them beyond the brief and always make sure they’re heard and understood so we can help them realise their vision for a unique home.” Hare doesn’t have a favourite project and instead considers her greatest achievement to be her body of work, which includes the textured, fresh modernism of The Old Dairy and understated charm of Dover Heights House, as well as the austere stylings of Woolwich House and refined chic of Cloud Apartment.

Many of Hare + Klein’s projects have been shortlisted in national awards and a lot have deservedly won. Hare herself has received extensive industry recognition, most notably a citation for services to the design industry and being inducted into the Design Institute of Australia’s Hall of Fame in 2011 and the Australian House & Garden Hall of Fame in 2018. She is characteristically modest about such accolades, but counts them as significant milestones in her career, along with the publication of two books (Texture Colour Comfort, 2014, and Interior, 2020) on the practice’s work and rug collections handmade in Nepal and launched with Designer Rugs.

Ask Hare what she admires most and the answer is longevity in design. She thinks Patricia Urquiola is producing work that will be relevant for many years to come and likes Antonio Citterio for his humility and recognition that his work is first and foremost about a collaboration with makers and manufacturers. It’s something that Hare herself acknowledges when undertaking her own practice’s product design projects. “And while I appreciate what’s happening right now, I also really admire the architects and designers whose works have stood the test of time,” she says. Of those, Gio Ponti is a favourite and so are the Scandinavian mid-century designers.

As much as she is inspired, she inspires, and there’s perhaps no greater evidence of that than within the Hare + Klein studio. Hare makes it a priority to nurture a supportive, caring environment, where everybody’s achievements are celebrated and everyone lends a hand if someone is struggling. A great camaraderie exists amongst the team, which currently stands at 14 people, and she sees her role as that of a mentor, having trained many designers over the years. Passing on her values is certainly Hare’s greatest legacy, as is working towards enriching people’s lives through design. She is an example of commitment and grace, at a time when things seem to be particularly fleeting.

When she’s not at work, Hare loves travelling and has recently been cycling around Australia. In fact, she’s travelled all over the world with her bicycles – Cuba was the most fascinating and she’s been to India twice, as well as Vietnam and different parts of Europe, including Portugal, Croatia and France. It’s her passion and the experience of diverse cultures, art and architecture is what she finds most appealing.

There’s nothing Hare would do differently if given the chance to do it all again. And while her portfolio continues to be highly regarded, it’s also Hare’s distinctly generous, empathetic approach that will long be remembered. “When I look back at everything, it’s all about the people; those we’ve worked with for many years and the clients that return,” she says. “We’ve watched their families grow and watched their tastes change, seen them become collectors of art and become entwined in their lives. It’s been an amazing career.” One we can all aspire to.


Copy by Leanne Amodeo, featured in Indesign Magazine #84

32 Smith Street

Fender Katsalidis

The sustainably focused commercial building, 32 Smith Street, is an important gateway and civic space for Parramatta, New South Wales. Its innovative design delivers a world-class, leading-edge workplace environment through urban, sustainability and design philosophy-based solutions.

The sculptural tower’s low iron glass facade, hylomorphic shaped louvres and almost translucent exterior serves as a beautiful place to work that contributes to the public realm at both the street level and skyline.

Drawing inspiration from the nearby river, the tower is shaped as a ‘building in the round’ with its curved pebble form reducing glare and wind. An atrium with glazed lifts lets in natural light and offers panoramic views for building occupants, creating an unparalleled arrival experience.

The development provides an exceptional ground plane experience for both public and private use. The ‘urban room’ provides a welcoming display for all to enjoy via a thoughtful heritage interpretation embedded in the fabric of the building, which also recognises the local Darug indigenous community.

An environmental shading system, tree-lined open-air terraces and publicly accessible landscaped areas has made 32 Smith Street one of Parramatta’s most sustainable commercial office towers.


Furniture: Hub Furniture, dedece, RC+D. Lighting: Heyday Group. Finishes: Milliken, Briggs Veneers, Sam the Paving Man. Fittings & Fixtures: Pietra Bianca, Caroma.


Photography: Anthony Fretwell (Image 1), Sydney Site Photography (Images 2-4).

Pingelly Recreation and Cultural Centre

iredale pedersen hook architects with Advanced Timber Concepts Studio

Pingelly is a small town in the ‘Wheatbelt’ of Western Australia [WA] established in 1860, with a current population of around 1200. The term ‘Wheatbelt ’refers to the primary industry of farming sheep, wheat and other cereal crops. Pingelly Shire is faced with many of the issues that are common to farming in WA: a drying climate, salt-contaminated soils, and an ageing population.

Sport has always played a pivotal social and cultural role in both the Wadjela (white) and the Aboriginal communities. The community is made up of 12.4 per cent First Nations people and the town is the proud home of the “Pingelly Tigers”, the first all Aboriginal Australian Rules Football team which was formed in the 1960s when Aboriginal people were prohibited from playing alongside Wadjela, or the white settlers.

The facility consists of four pavilions linked by a long verandah.  The verandah faces east and provides an activity zone, shelter from the winds and the sun and acts as a viewing platform to watch field sports on the oval or lawn bowls to the north.

External verandah spaces are utilised extensively to provide flexible spaces for year-round activities. All zones are fully accessible for wheelchair and assisted users.

The verandah space is articulated to form a large “breezeway” welcome area between the two larger pavilions; and at the southern end forms covered outdoor activity areas for social gatherings, barbecues and a children’s playground.


Lighting: Pierlite, Thorn, Clevertronics, Lighting Options Australia. Finishes: Colorbond Steel Zincalume, Yellow Stringy Bark, Capral Doors and Windows, Ryan Bathroom Systems, Laminex Cabinets, Deluxe Professional Enviro2. Fittings & Fixtures: ACO, Caroma.


Photography: Peter Bennetts


AIM Architecture

HARMAY Fang is a project that was created to give back public space to the community. It encapsulates a community-centric design to the street and presents a new retail typology. With the historic fang as inspiration, old Shanghai neighbourhoods and alleyways, this neighbourhood cornerstone has re-interpreted the spirit and openness of the Shanghai alley life. Celebrating sustainability, this building is now enjoying a second or even third life renewal. The design is layered and complex, new, and old and a place for local patrons and visitors alike. HARMAY Fang is beyond a normal retail store, it is a statement to the city and its community.

The building has been treated as a “found shell”. It is a concrete structure like any other in China, and in this case, came with a very questionable copy-paste façade. The building has been insulated by wrapping another skin around it upwards from the second floor. The low and rough structure of the interior has been exposed and only functional additions have been added where necessary. A recyclable stainless steel staircase has been included in the centre of the floorplate and, while new windows have been included to afford connection with the surrounding environment, the former window openings are now new product displays. Finally an outdoor bar / public space was created under the building to connect with the outdoors rather than the indoors.


Furniture: AIM Architecture. Lighting: Shanghai Hengpin Design Decoration Co, Ltd. Finishes: Shanghai Hengpin Design Decoration Co, Ltd / 乱纹不锈钢/水洗石/瓷砖/木地板/红砖 / 红砖/乱纹锈钢 / 乱纹不锈钢/乳胶漆/红色不锈钢 / 上海跃奔装饰工程有限公司. Fittings & Fixtures: Shanghai Hengpin Design Decoration Co, Ltd.

Photography: Dirk Weiblen

ANZ Breathe


“Shape a world where people and communities thrive” is the driving force behind ANZ’s nationwide, 100 per cent carbon neutral in operations, new branch design known as “ANZ Breathe”.

ANZ set out to create a future, not just about returning money to stakeholders, but instead based around three important values – environmental sustainability, secure housing and financial wellbeing for all Australians.

The project is an elegant, sustainable branch design solution that considers the social and environmental impacts on the community and the planet at the core of every design decision.
ANZ Breathe is a simple kit of modular parts that come together, like Lego pieces, to form each branch. It’s simple and elegant, adapted easily with a system that can be replicated and scaled as branch requirements change. Materials are natural, honest and recyclable and the message to customers is one of financial responsibility and wellbeing.

Each branch is entirely constructed of sustainable materials that are natural and locally sourced, designed for disassembly and are either biodegradable or recyclable. Materials include a carbon capture selection such as cork and FSC certified timbers, recycled aluminium light fittings, and rubber flooring made from used car tyres.

Biophilic design is integral to the design with lush planter modules to increase the mental and physical wellbeing of staff and customers. No adhesives have been used throughout to allow for full reuse. Materials have been selected to support local trades by partnering with small and Indigenous-owned businesses wherever possible. The result is inviting interior spaces, beautiful and natural timber furniture, and lush (alive!) greenery. Branches are designed to be welcoming, safe, and familiar. ANZ Breathe evokes the feeling of home and talks to ANZ’s mission to provide access to housing for all.



Furniture: Winya, Ross Gardam. Lighting: Ross Gardam. Finishes: Sustainable Living Fabrics, Briggs Veneers, Zenith, Autex, Robertson’s Building Products, Interface wool carpet, Market Timbers flooring. Fittings & Fixtures: Sussex Tapware, Caroma basins, Assa Abloy

Photography: Tom Ross

BillionBricks Home

BillionBricks Homes with Architecture BRIO

A BillionBricks home is the world’s first self-financing home, that combines housing and solar energy into a single investible financial solution. It presents an extraordinary opportunity to shape the future of the world, where everyone can be a homeowner while mitigating climate change. The benefits of this are exponential when these homes combine to form communities. Each home feeds all excess energy and water produced to the community where it might be utilised for communal services.

A BillionBricks community is a triple bottom line solution that combines clean energy and social housing into a single financially viable business proposition.The community produces surplus solar energy which is then sold through Power Purchase Agreements, providing an essential guarantee to raise financing for the project. In addition to homes, it offers an ecosystem of facilities for education, jobs, healthcare, and recreation. The goal of a BillionBricks community is to bring families out of poverty in a single generation and help them achieve lower-middle-income standards.

There are three main objectives to the BillionBricks home and these include circular design principles, aiding the public service system and carbon neutrality. A BillionBricks home is designed to be self-sufficient, off-grid allowing residents to reduce their dependence on public utilities and curb the effects of climate change. Designed to last 60 years, the sustainable homes operate passively, add essential active sustainable technologies to become off-grid and achieve an almost zero footprint and homeowners are encouraged to care for consuming fewer resources and to keep their home and its systems well-maintained.

A typical BillionBricks community of approximately 500 homes can reduce the demand for public services significantly and the excess renewable energy harvested by the communities would then be able to aid areas where local governments struggle to provide basic services.

A BillionBricks home can achieve carbon neutrality in six years beyond which it becomes a carbon-negative home. A community of 500 homes would on average reduce the amount of CO2 being released into the atmosphere by approximately 4,687 tons a year, which is equivalent to CO2 sequestered by 16.5 km2 of forest area per year.


Lighting: Schneider Electric

Photography: Sebastian Zachariah

MPavilion 2021 – The Lightcatcher

MAP Studio

MPavilion is Australia’s leading architectural commission and design event conceived and created by the Naomi Milgrom Foundation. Every year a new temporary pavilion, designed by an outstanding international architect, is erected in Melbourne’s historic Queen Victoria Gardens. Over the summer, it hosts a dynamic program of free events including: lively talks, performances, workshops, installations and kid-friendly experiences

MPavilion’s cross-disciplinary program brings together local and international celebrated practitioners and theorists from across fields of architecture, performance, fashion, science, art, technology, music and more – to undertake new collaborations and participate in forward-thinking discussions around social and environmental change. At the end of each season the MPavilion is gifted to the people of Victoria and moved to a new permanent home, to continue to be engaged with by the community.

Since its conception in 2014, the Naomi Milgrom Foundation has chosen the architect for each pavilion on the strength of their international profile and the meaningful contributions they have made to the creative industries and the community at large. With the seventh iteration in the series, MPavilion 2021 – The Lightcatcher designed by Venetian architects Traudy Pelzel and Francesco Magnani of MAP studio.

The design brief for MPavilion 2021 was to create not only an architectural space, but a dynamic platform that actively engages with the urban landscape – a container of ideas incorporating the highest level of design thinking, innovation and experimentation and The Lightcatcher is a bright, vibrant, playful kaleidoscopic structure, which provides the perfect stage for MPavilion’s season.


Furniture: nüüd studio. Finishes: EPDM soft form rubber, Dulux, Avery Dennison.

Photography: Anthony Richardson (Image 1, 2), Casey Horsfield (Image 3, 4), John Gollings (Image 5)

The Cobargo Santa Project


This project is less about architectural design and more about the power that architects have to help neighbours. In the summer of 2019/2020 the Australian bushfires devastated many communities, but none more so than Cobargo. To this end, the Cobargo Santa Project was established, providing pro-bono Architectural services to a firefighter and his wife whose home had been burnt to the ground. As a couple they had fostered over 400 children during the past 30 years.

A team of Australian suppliers and colleagues were assembled and all contributed to the project in enormous ways. The many generous donations allowed the build cost to be minimised, and the project received 100 per cent electrical appliances, fixtures and fittings, cladding, roof sheet and plumbing, paint, windows, a hydronic heat pump, solar panels, ceiling fans and lighting.

The Cobargo Santa Project has been designed to withstand harsh Australian summers and importantly, the potentially devastating bushfire seasons. Zincalume cladding and roofing was selected for its durability, bushfire resistant qualities and ability to be fully recycled at end of life. The home is designed to be 100 per cent fossil fuel free in operation and there is no gas. A 6kW PV array was installed on the roof, there is a heat pump services hot water and hydronic heating throughout with ceiling fans to assist cooling. The house has been orientated to maximise northern aspect and solar access. Fixed shading to northern windows and the west window prevents excessive heat gain. Internally, recycled brick tile feature walls provide thermal mass to stabilise internal temperatures in both zones, while operable windows throughout enable adequate cross flow ventilation.

Materials selected have been recycled, have recycled content or are recyclable at the end of life. Floorboards and bench tops are recycled Australian hardwood timber and feature walls are recycled brick tile offcuts diverted from landfill. Materials have been fixed using no adhesives to ensure materials can be disassembled and recycled at the end of the building’s life. There are two rainwater tanks on the property which are connected to laundry, toilets and garden irrigation.


Furniture, Lighting, Finishes, Fittings & Fixtures: Many goods were generously donated for this project by Fisher & Paykel, Tradelink, BREC, Fielders, Taubmans, Accent Windows, Universal Fans, Form Brick, Automatic Heating, Studio All

Photography: Pablo Veiga

Gurriny Yealamucka Health and Wellbeing Centre

POD (People Oriented Design) with Coburn Architecture

Gurriny Yealamucka Health and Wellbeing Centre is a new place for primary health and community outreach services on Gunggandji Country in the First Nations community of Yarrabah, Queensland. Gurriny Yealamucka means “Good Healing Water” in the language of the Gunggandji Peoples and this narrative is embedded in the design of the new centre, in its response to Country, and in design features and elements within the building and landscape design.

The project demonstrates the power of collaboration between Gurriny Yealamucka Health Sevice, architects, builder, Yarrabah Arts Centre, Gunggandji Rangers, Yarrabah Aboriginal Shire Council and the community to deliver much needed health service spaces in a welcoming, appropriate and iconic design. The project was funded by the Australian Government’s Department of Health.

The progressive approach centred on POD’s intercultural design methodology to deliver meaningful project outcomes that respect community preferences and perspectives. The building design includes multiple exits and entries to respect local social structures and privacy. It contains welcoming and nurturing areas such as the reception, waiting and meeting spaces, and features integrated artworks by local Indigenous artists that tell ancestral stories about Country and healing. The landscape and outdoor areas include a bush food garden, with endemic plants collected by the Gunggandji Rangers, a yarning circle, flexible connected indoor/outdoor waiting spaces, and entry and exit options for different families and cultural groups.

Environmental sustainability aspects include, the redevelopment of an existing site, passive design elements such as natural ventilation and also allowing the stormwater to flow to its natural wetland. There is a 20kW solar array to reduce energy consumption, careful materials and finishes selections, ceiling fans and LED light fittings. There is a native, endemic bush food garden with some plants sourced locally from the community, rainwater tanks for garden irrigation and high WELS star fixtures throughout to save energy and water.


Furniture: Built in furniture, cast ochre tint concrete external, and timber built in joinery internally. Design by POD (People Oriented Design) and Coburn Architecture, built by HC Construction
Bespoke ‘Healing Water’ fabic design used on reception seating, fabric design by Philomena Yeatman (Yarrabah Artist). Various brands for loose furniture and medical equipment (Dexion, Eternity). Lighting: WE-EF, UNIOS, NLUMEX, PIERLITE. Finishes: Tarkett, Dulux, Echopanel, Woven Image, Colorbond, Aluminium art screen facade artwork via Yarrabah Arts Centre (artists Philomena Yeatman and Wayne Connolly & fabrication by local Indigenous supplier JM Fabrication. Fittings & Fixtures: Hunter Pacific, Oslo series 99, Bobrick, Halyard Medical, Koala Kare.

Photography: Scott Burrows

Mohalla Clinics

Architecture Discipline

The Mohalla Clinic is a solution developed for the Delhi Government, bringing affordable primary healthcare to regions with limited access to larger health facilities. The first two units have been set up in urban settlements of Rani Bagh and Shakur Basti, Delhi, India. In the next phase of deployment, up to 500 units will be stationed in various urban settlements in Delhi.
Made from recycled shipping containers, the clinic comprises a reception, a waiting lounge, an examination room, and a pharmacy accessible from outside, making it suitable for routine health checks, testing, vaccinations, and purchasing medicines.

Composed of two 20-foot-long containers, the Mohalla Clinic can be entirely prefabricated with minimal on-site construction and greater quality control. Because of this, the clinic can be deployed rapidly within three to fifteen days, depending on the time taken for container procurement. Factory production can minimise the duration to 2-3 days. In addition, the Mohalla Clinic can be situated virtually anywhere, and can even be airlifted to emergency situations such as disaster-struck regions or war zones.

The clinic’s interior finishes have been centred around creating an optimistic and clean environment for patients. The containers are thermally insulated for protection from heat and lined with VOC-free plywood. Interior finishes have been designed to be maintained easily, with anti-microbial vinyl flooring and medical-grade stainless steel countertops. The clinic’s air-conditioning system has been fitted with microfilters to maintain air quality and filter out pollution. Windows with heat-resistant glass allow the clinic to be naturally lit without excessive heat ingress.

By taking something forgotten and giving it a new lease of life, the Mohalla Clinics propose a sustainable solution to the global health infrastructure crisis.


Furniture: Rauf interiors. Lighting: Osram. Finishes: CCIL Armstrong, Asian Paints. Fittings & Fixtures: Hindware.

Photography: Jeetin Sharma

Nyul Nyul Community Packing Sheds

SJB with Promena, Van der Meer Consulting, The Orana Foundation, Bruno Dann and the Nyul Nyul Community

Grounded in traditional knowledge and practices, the harvesting of native fruits such as the vitamin C rich Gubinge, one of nature’s superfoods, by traditional custodians, represents an important form of sustainable business across Western Australia’s Kimberley region. To support the future growth of the native harvest business, this purpose-built community packing shed allows the community to process their harvest and store food leading to increased output, greater efficiencies and quality of supply. Its creation was initiated by Bruno Dann, a traditional owner and Elder of the Nyul Nyul people, whose family has been maintaining the Twin Lakes area for generations.

In one day, the shed can produce 20 litres of drinking water. Fitted with hydro panels that draw from the humidity in the air, this water is in part used for washing harvests. The shed is also fitted with solar panels, powering the freezers on site that store the produce before transport and can be assembled and disassembled in seven days.

A predominantly timber structure has been achieved using native hardwood dowels in combination with termite resistant treated Laminated Veneer Lumber and Plywood. Responding to the site’s ever-shifting environmental conditions, the shed has been designed to leave no trace when disassembled while the natural look and feel of the raw materials sit comfortably within the rugged bush landscape.

The new prefabricated packing shed also increases efficiency through their portability. Workers can disassemble their sheds with ease and move to a more fruitful location, giving harvests the ability to regrow.


Photography courtesy of SJB

Permanent Camping 2

Casey Brown Architecture with Jeffery Broadfield

Overlooking the Pacific Ocean and situated on the paddocks of Berry is Permanent Camping 2. Designed to provide the essential requirements for shelter – a bed, a deck, a fireplace, and a bathroom – this retreat has everything needed and distils the demands of living to the essentials.

The structure has been made from recycled ironbark that was sourced from a disused wharf. Water is collected on the roofs that feed the tank above the bathroom to supply water to the shower and kitchen. A potbelly wood-fired stove heats the cabin and solar panels on the roof provide power for lighting, while a ladder affords access to the roof and also doubles as a lightning conductor.

The environment was the driving concept for the design of this minimal shelter for two people, designed to be completely off-grid. The 100 per cent recycled timber structure is entirely protected from the harsh Australian elements by its fully enclosing copper skin that ensures there is no rain or sun damage to the Ironbark. When in-use, the structure has three manual winches to lift and lower the sides of the building and creates wide verandas with an overhang for sun protection while increasing the usable floor space by three metres on either side.

All doors and windows were fabricated from the same Ironbark to create a uniform internal and external palette. The building is sited on small steel legs to prevent any termite damage and can be moved if required with minimal disruption to the structure or the landscape.

The cabin is accessible only by foot. It can be seen from a distance in the landscape presenting itself as a small sculpture. The function is only revealed on close inspection as the side panels open up and the service tower becomes obvious.


Furniture: Kaare Klint, Moroso, Ozblock, Dalian Hivolt, Anibou, Koskela. Lighting: Futagami, Marset. Fittings & Fixtures: Mark Preston.

Photography: Andrew Loiterton

The Upcycling Hub


The DB Schenker’s Upcycling Hub demonstrates a sustainable future towards circularity for the logistics industry while creating awareness among users and visitors. When the project commenced in 2018, the 5,000 square feet (465 square metre) space was intended to be a lunchroom for the DB Schenker employees. However, creating over and above the client’s brief, scope and expectations, the project turned a “large room” into an Upcycling Hub, a bespoke space designed and manufactured with upcycled materials, incorporating waste management strategies and digital processes right from establishment.

With three years of research and development, the gathering space for DB Schenker, named “The Upcycling Hub,” fully committed to circularity. The pragmatic layout of space is organised in three bands: the red wall, away from the windows, where all designs are explained using technical axonometric drawings, addressing the complexity of the processes used during fabrication; the white band at the window side, maximises open views and natural light by the creation of a long table, where pendant lights are 3D printed from biopolymers: and the central area, where social activity is developed under the recycled PETG chandeliers, and around pallet tables, cardboard coffee tables and foam chairs.

To this end, more than 300kg of waste material has been repurposed and users feel empowered to find a solution to the daily waste problem. Secondly, the project has raised awareness among the employees and visitors, on how today’s technologies already impact our environment.

The Upcycling Hub is the first interior design in Singapore to implement cutting-edge technologies and digital design processes to repurpose waste into functional and beautiful interior spaces and it establishes the path for a completely new way of conceiving ornament, furniture, and spaces – all from waste.


Photography: Fabian Ong


Taylor Knights with Dr. James Carey and the Willum Warrain Aboriginal Association

Referencing Sir Roy Ground’s open-air courtyards in the original design of the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), this architecture and landscape installation comprises two key design elements: a body of indigenous plants and a body of water. Referring to the inland salt lakes in Victoria, pond[er] highlights the scarcity and political implications of water as a natural resource. The project includes beds of Australian wildflowers that bloom at different times throughout the installation, seeking to highlight the beauty, precariousness, and temporality of our natural ecology.

Envisioned as a space that becomes part of the NGV garden rather than a separate architectural object, pond[er] invites visitors to move into the installation through an accessible walkway, arriving at the pink pond where they can wade within. Through a slow engagement with pond[er], it is hoped that visitors project into the future with positive intentions, encouraging a custodianship and care of our local ecologies.

pond[er] directly addresses the current ecological adversities through an architectural and landscape response that touche the ground lightly, using water and flora as its core materials. It promotes water systems custodianship, education, and awareness of traditional foods through local, edible floras.

A truly democratic and accessible scheme, pond[er] raises awareness and issues for other creative practitioners, and the public at large, to think about how to positively live, work and play moving into the future. It is hoped that through pond[er]’s conceptual thematic, and its initial use and then re-distribution of ethically sourced materials to various Landcare, indigenous and community groups, that these techniques and processes might influence future generations of practitioners to think through similar ways of working and designing in, and for the world.


Finishes: Safety flooring, Terra Firma Industries.

Photography: Tom Ross (Image 1, 2, 3), Derek Swalwell (Image 4)

Two Good Co – Ocean Plastic Soap Dispenser

Two Good Co, Vert Design, Charter Hall

Two Good Co is a social enterprise that exists to change the course of the lives of women at risk of homelessness. This is achieved through employing vulnerable women throughout our food business. The mission is to employ and empower 60 vulnerable women a year, every year.

One of the ways to acquire funding for the program was through the sales of soaps and sanitisers. Two Good Co won the national contract to supply soap and sanitisers to Charter Hall buildings nationally, approximately 40 buildings across Australia. This was a real opportunity to increase revenue and drive profits into programs. One of the challenges faced was that many sites used a proprietary soap dispenser throughout a building, as cleaning companies loan soap dispensers for free that then require the use of only their soap. In order for Two Good Co to supply soap, an automatic dispenser was designed, in line with health standards.

The choice of material in a complex commercial grade product that required injection moulding was progressive. A difficulty at the production stage was the compounding down and moulding of fishing lines and nets of different ages, with six tooling modifications and subsequent off-tool samples produced in order to achieve the final product.

To date the Ocean Plastic soap dispenser project has used five-tonne of ocean plastic – all within the first manufacturing run of dispensers. Each dispenser requires 0.5 kilo of recycled ocean plastic and the dispensers are manufactured and assembled in Australia using no plastic packaging. The soap is manufactured, and the dispensers are made and assembled, in New South Wales and where batteries are required, these are rechargeable.


Photography: Ken Spain

Annie Clare Tyler

University of Technology Sydney

“Memorial on Country” is a celebration of memory that privileges the continuum of culture, a common ground between faiths. It is a place that welcomes “the other”- the body, the species, the marginalised, the ghosts, and facilitates a journey for all, into Country. The chapel does not seek to be a destination on a tour of ghoul, but a place with a depth of meaning and feeling. The chapel seeks to dispel violent colonial fears: of the landscape, fire and death, as being simply bad. Instead, it welcomes these and encourages a cyclical understanding and acceptance of life and death.

The project draws upon ancient Indigenous knowledges, that have been a privilege to learn, as well as ancient materials and building techniques to create a design that sits both comfortably and uncomfortably; remaining true to the history of a spiritually and ecologically crucial, yet traumatised landscape. The project is “new” in that it embraces the old and the existing, carefully carving the resilient landscape to embed natural tributaries, materials, plants and animals into the built form, instead of obliterating the natural world to create a blank canvas and perfect plinth on which to build.

Lester Lim Hai Heng

Singapore University of Technology and Design

The advent of autonomous electric vehicles in the near future will make the nature of mobile vehicles increasingly nebulous: what will be the difference between your living room and your car? This project posits that there will in fact be no difference – with the production and inhabitation of vehicles and homes mixed and no longer distinguished. This future implies a drastic change to our car-obsessed urban environment, promising not only as a more freely mobile future, but also one which permits us to redefine the sustainability of car culture and the suburban lifestyle.

This project thus questions if the new form of mobility explained earlier on can stitch spaces back together? It is mainly inspired by the idea of Woonerfs in the Netherlands, which translates to Living streets, where suburban neighbourhoods are far denser and sustainable, with common front yards and shared spaces for humans and vehicles to inhabit. This is crucial due to the fact that in typical metropolitan developments, vast amounts of building area are set aside for parking requirements, creating large, banal spaces that often feel dangerous and uninhabitable.

The resulting form is a terracing groundscraper structure that seeks to take back the streets for the people in this industrial wasteland, along with attempting to establish a vertical suburban form instead of resorting to skyscrapers, which are often criticised as alienating people from street life and the city.

It also challenges the boundary between cities and suburbs, by re-introducing this suburban concept into Detroit’s wider metropolitan area. This strategy draws the suburban population back into the city, as a counter thesis to the suburban sprawl growth model the American typically adopts for housing.

Ji Xiang

University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong, China

With increasing demands for public space, redevelopment schemes in Hong Kong led by the government and real-estate developers aim to create an image of clean alleys to relieve the urgency. Although the city’s back alleys are usually cramped with building service equipment that has negative impacts on the environment, the functionality of these spaces is not addressed in the schemes. By looking into environmental principles, the proposal treats back alleys as a filter rather than the source of environmental harm, reversing the negative connotations through passive and active strategies and eventually providing a hygienic and pleasant environment for the public.

This project examines the nature of back alleys in Hong Kong and seeks the potential of providing more pleasant public space not only from an aesthetic aspect but also environmental performance. Utilising residual space in Hong Kong is common because of its high-density nature. Unlike eradicating the original state and introducing new programs in these places, this project preserves the functionality of the backside of buildings, while harnessing the exhaust energy to improve the back alley environment. The waste and exhaust could have a positive impact on the micro-climate within the district, to improve the natural ventilation, collect and filter water, and nurture greenness.

One specific site was chosen as the testing ground for interventions, to provide guidelines to other places in high-density urban contexts and the design and research process tackled subjects from small scales like pipes and ducts to large scales including building façade and patterns.

Emilie Evans

The University of Melbourne

This speculative project, “Infrastructural Remains: Caring for Anthropogenic Ruins”, renders visible environmental stories of infrastructural care by exploring the possibility of architecture amidst Anthropogenic ruins. Juxtaposing temporalities of the deep past, the present and the deep future, the project situates itself in dialogue with the oldest concrete dam in Australia: Lower Stony Creek Dam, built in 1873 and located on the Victorian Volcanic Plains.

Once a site of significant industrial activity, today the Dam Wall is deemed a retired water storage facility and sits in the landscape as a post-industrial relic. The project proposes a suite of interventions which respond to the former life of the Dam and speculate upon its more-than-human futures; these include an Observation Tower (composed of a conglomerate of plastic debris), a Repository (housing relics, from industrial objects to Indigenous lithic artefacts), and a Seed Bank (storing collected seeds of endemic native plant species in an underground vault). In speculating upon distant planetary futures, the project foregrounds multi-species relations, nonhuman agency and more-than-human bodies, like the dammed body of water itself.

Balancing the poetic with the pragmatic, the project is a single experimental instance which responds to broader environmental concerns such as loss of biodiversity and ecological devastation and engenders ways in which we might care for and reimagine infrastructures once they are defunct.

Cheung Pak Yin

University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong, China

Dis-a-pier | Re-a-pier is a project which engages with the past, present, and future of Hong Kong’s Queen’s Pier and proposes multiple and partial reconstruction of the pier over time using different fragments of its original building materials. Demolished in 2007 in Edinburgh Square, Central, the government salvaged and stored most of Queen’s Pier’s dismantled parts in the Lantau Island depot. This project examines the pier’s multiple meanings, and then proposes to assemble the original fragments into different structures with distinctive programs in three sites around the city as a new way of dealing with Hong Kong people’s collective memory and injecting new life to the pier. In short, between the total disappearance and reconstructed cliché, this thesis proposes an alternative: turning the dismantled Queen’s Pier into a constant process of re-appearing, in each round to retell and re-make history, to re-live in the new reality.

To demonstrate the new possibilities of this disappeared architecture , the proposition is to reconstruct Queen’s Pier in three sites namely Edinburgh Square Urban Festival- to reactivate the colonial civic hub; Tamar Park Harbour Pool, to extend the public ground into water, and the Lok Ma Chau Border Theatre as a symbol of the shift in political power. In short, between the total disappearance and reconstructed cliché, this thesis proposes an alternative: turning the dismantled Queen’s Pier into a constant process of re-appearing, in each round to retell and re-make history, to re-live in the new reality.

Cindy (Jingyuan) Huang

University of Auckland
New Zealand/Aotearoa

The city centre of Tāmaki Makaurau Auckland is currently witnessing a social depletion due to dilapidating civic infrastructure and commercial competition at its waterfront. In response, this project seeks a social revitalisation of the city centre through a radical reconception of an existing social infrastructure- the Central City Public Library. In this project, the static enclosure of the library institution is centrifugally expanded towards a new urban learning network. In turn, the library is disseminated and intersected with the city to generate new social permutations and regenerative opportunities across social, cultural, and ecological dimensions.

This project challenges the existing operations of the library in both its archival contents and social interface. Library-City broadens the library’s archival collection via programmatic permutations with wider urban typologies (including a bank and a theatre) and ecological conditions pertinent to the site. As a result, the library collection expands beyond simply books to encompass other forms of embodied and performative knowledge practices from theatre to agriculture. Simultaneously, this permutation releases the library archive from institutional departmentalisation and knowledge accreditations towards new disseminated learning opportunities, which invite public collaboration in both the making and shaping of “knowledge” and library contents.

Matthew Connolly

University of Auckland
New Zealand/Aotearoa

This project stands on three primary pillars – ecology, heritage and social – and seeks to tie these aspects together in creating a supermarket-scaled food market, processing and selling produce from the surrounding landscape to feed the local population. The scheme critiques New Zealand’s current food production model which focuses primarily on export and large business centralisation resulting in poorer food quality and higher prices locally. Utilising aspects of sustainability, land use and economic strategy, the project is a complete package with the architecture being a vehicle for the larger system.

The project strives to achieve new harmony and positive collective future for the community in Northland, New Zealand, which is currently struggling culturally and financially. It looks to utilise rich geology of the chosen site in Te Waimate North, creating opportunities for employment, income and a positive future for this region. Using over 700 acres of high class growing soil, this research showed that it would be possible to feed the immediate population of 20,000 people from that land alone. This regional approach counters the centralisation of supermarkets, retaining employment, produce and profits in the region.

Rhiannon Brownbill

University of Technology Sydney

Burudi Gurad, Burudi Ora (Critical Spatial Relationalities of Care).
In Caretaking Relations, Not American Dreaming Kim TallBear stipulates that “Indigenous frameworks of relationality … [are] explicitly spatial narratives of caretaking relations”. Spatial webs of intimacy and memory that connect the human body to all the living: non-living entities of the Land. Spatial webs that are “… relentlessly erased when the extractive nation-state continues to be [actualised] …”.

Therefore, this project asks, within an urban framework and collaborating with local Aboriginal knowledges of Country, how can architecture create healthcare spaces that assert the complex relations of Country, knowledge, community and culture as fundamental practices of care alongside western medicine?

Located on the island of Memel (Goat Island, Sydney Harbour), the project was conducted through a ground-up research and design methodology alongside local D’harawal eora Elders and Knowledge Keepers (all Traditional Custodians of the site). As a non-Indigenous student, entering an industry dominated by non-Indigenous professionals, this project is defined by this emerging methodology.

Memel is Aboriginal land recently returned to local peoples and this project explores how, under the consent of Traditional Owners, non-Indigenous architects can follow local protocols to design with site and create architecture that is fully responsive to local knowledges, ecologies and Country.

Sean Lee Jun Wei

Singapore University of Technology and Design

The triumph of liberal democracy, the dominance of capitalism and the triviality of environmental and social issues in the grand scheme of things had been foretold by Francis Fukuyama in The End of History? It was to be that the Soviet Union would inevitably dissolve, and the evolution of ideologies come to an end. Democracy reigns supreme and minor resurgences in differing ideologies are but a slight deviance in mankind’s charted trajectory toward political homeostasis.
The resurgence of China and Russia, military coups, a global emergency in climate change and social unrest in Western liberal democracies have thrown a wrench in the works toward this “inevitable march” to the end of history.

This thesis aims to define the “Hyper Village”, a speculative projection of the post urban condition posited by Arata Isozaki. The post-industrial cities of the world are seeing an increasingly digitally enabled society and its effects permeating every facet of society, from economics to politics.

Cities remain a topic of contention among architects and planners alike in the last few decades. There is no doubt that cities provide infinite possibilities to the metropolitan, yet this promise comes at a gargantuan cost. In line with Rem Koolhaas’s recent interest in the countryside, the focus has shifted ever so slightly to the hinterlands where architects should seek to draw lessons from and adapt them into city planning and urban renewal. This thesis design, therefore, looks at urban renewal as opposed to the continued expansion of cities to meet the world’s needs. The project is situated in Singapore’s heartlands, where it explores the resuscitation of the countryside while building on existing city infrastructure. The projects seek to imagine a sustainable future that employs the efficiency of cities and the stewardship of resources in the hinterlands.

Subin Park

University of Hong Kong
Hong Kong, China

The fate of architecture in post industrial cities like Hong Kong often includes rapid erasure and reconstruction — an efficient, often linear process that tends to neglect the potential value and architectural information of what existed before. Every building is vulnerable to weathering through time, but current architectural practices emphasise resistance from natural processes of decay and deterioration over time. This project, titled Urban Archive, is situated within the reality of change. It applies weathering as a tool for design to break away from conventional modes of architectural design, construction, and representation. Ultimately, the project itself results from a process of design through making and unmaking, transforming the building into a device and index for documenting spatial and material transformation.

More than simply a meditation on the inevitability of decay, Urban Archive reconsiders how a specific method of construction (found object + cast + formwork) can be an alternative to contemporary trends of commemoration and commercialisation in architectural preservation. The texture of the old structure, imprinted on the new concrete cast, offers an opportunity for users to read it as material and spatial information about the past, from its tectonic relationships to its material specificities to the particulars of place.

As the project progresses, the red fragments representing the existing gradually fade away, replaced by the concrete and wooden frame structure, which itself composes the new red fragments over time. The design process does not end with the four time frames included, but projects forward, as an on-going and continuous process of deriving the new from the old. The Urban Archive highlights the design process as possessive of both a history, present, and future, while the architect’s method of representation transforms architecture into a changeable object that evolves from and with the city.

9-15 Young St

SJB & Richards Stanisich

9-15 Young Street is situated within Quay Quarter Lanes, a project that represents the rejuvenation of a city block in the heart of Sydney City at Circular Quay. The project comprises a collection of new and restored buildings and laneways.

Deep reflective window reveals have been positioned above a glazed commercial office façade below and steel awnings with polished brass soffits have been draped from the facade – creating an active pedestrian-scaled yet intimate street experience.

The base of the building incorporates a public arcade creating a connection through the site with boutique retail, cafes and dining tenancies, topped with three levels of light-filled commercial office spaces overlooking the revitalised laneways.

There are eight levels of apartments with landscaped rooftops and private views of Sydney Harbour and dwellings enjoy a thick perimeter wall, accommodating window seats while double-storey voids afford selected living rooms a sense of space.

The building has been designed to express solidity and depth through the use of solid masonry and deep angular reveals. Using this as the basis of the concept, a palette of sculptural chamfered details was developed that includes angled stone to the kitchen islands and concierge desk, bevelled edging to joinery and stone panels, over scaled chamfered door jambs to the lifts and apartments entries as well as deeply pitched ceiling details to the common areas. This was to draw the architectural themes of depth and solidity into the more intimate scale of the interiors.
The finishes palette was selected to provide a serene respite to the urban location and the use of spotted gum lends an east coast Australian quality to the project.

Operable windows have been provided through all lobbies for natural ventilation and lighting of these spaces. Main residential lobbies utilise durable, low maintenance materials and internally, energy-efficient light fittings, air conditioning, fixtures and fittings, and contemporary home technology reduce power usage and afford residents control from their smart devices.


Furniture: N/A. Lighting: Trend Lighting, Bella Luce, Euroluce, The Lighting Guide, iGuzzini, Via Buzzino, Light Culture. Finishes: N/A. Fittings & Fixtures: Sterling Products, Miele, Hafele, Astra Walker, Rogerseller, GWA Group, JD MacDonald.

Photography: Felix Forest (1, 2), Rory Gardiner (3, 4), Tom Roe (5)

17 Union Street

BKK Architects

This Brunswick building is a leading character in a masterplan, which transforms a run-down area into a thriving, transport-oriented village. The site borders Jewell Station, five kilometres from Melbourne’s CBD. Outside, the Upfield Shared Path (carrying up to 1000 cyclists per hour) cuts through the public realm between building and railway line. The building embraces the bike and public realm with boundaries that are respectful and implied.

The main focus of the design was to create a new public square that anchors the precinct and provide a focus for commuters, general public and the inhabitants of the new residential buildings. Two new mixed-use developments have been designed and consist of residential, retail, with other uses such as art studios, a barber shop, and a university satellite space.

Zigzag columns have been employed and a contemporary-styled loggia created to buffer the tenancies from the bike and train zones. Vines ascend the columns and soften the boundary further, while at the building’s south end, concrete seating and different-coloured pathways demarcate the territories of bikes and pedestrians. The project sets a benchmark for transport-oriented design and placemaking that has transformed a dilapidated and unsafe former rail storage yards into a vibrant new public square and village.

In a significant sustainability move, the entire building is designed for future adaptation. Its frame, a concrete grid, has been built to last for decades, while the apartments and tenancies could easily be replaced. To facilitate this, the primary structural frame is kept prominent and simple. Services are consolidated into accessible ducts at the back of the building, rather than distributed in multiple locations. These future-focused design choices mean the whole façade could be replaced or extended and items could be fixed to the concrete to reinvent the building multiple times throughout its lifespan.


Photography: Derek Swalwell

18 Loftus Street

Silvester Fuller

18 Loftus Street, anchors the South-West corner of the precinct with a primary outlook over Macquarie Place Park. Contained within the building are 36 apartments, six retail tenancies and precinct wide services.

Given the relatively small scale of the building and the collection of diverse buildings surrounding the site, the approach was to produce a building with a singular identity overlaid with an incremental transition that enables each apartment to respond to its specific location and orientation. Optimisation of view, sun, outlook, proximity and privacy takes place via subtle manipulation in the scale and orientation of openings. The outcome is a building which transforms horizontally and vertically from one typology to another.

The primary built form steps incrementally, approximating the allowable building envelope creating terraces to the sky and stepping away below shaping a new pedestrian laneway.. A primary orthogonal grid, of lightly coloured brickwork is subtly refined by a secondary softening to the window and balcony openings.

At the base of the building the brick skin is lifted, creating canopies and revealing retail frontages. Enhancing the retail tenancies on ground and level one is the addition of brass window frames, inviting views into these spaces, differentiating them from the private residences above. The natural materials chosen for the exterior of the building are intended to age with time and weathering as the building settles into its city location.

Prioritising health and wellness unlocked an opportunity to specifically craft the individual primary spaces of living, sleeping and bathing within each apartment. Consequently the material type, colour and tones change from space to space. Darker toned, cocoon-like spaces for sleeping contrast against brighter living spaces. Bathing spaces are bright also, with their wet areas formed from continuous surfaces, reducing joints and aiding cleaning. Touch points including handles and tapware were specified in brass for its antimicrobial properties.

Furniture: All bespoke integrated furniture supplied as part of the base build was custom designed by Silvester Fuller. Lighting: Buster and Punch, Inlite, Delta Light. Finishes: Brickworks, Austral Bricks, Mafi Timbers, Elton Group, Corian, CASF. Fittings & Fixtures: Allegion Australia, Astra Walker, Vola, Miele Australia, Gaggenau, CASF.

Photography: Thomas Walk (1), Rory Gardiner (2, 3, 4), Martin Siegner (5, 6, 7)