Brisbane: Christmas Stage SetStephen Milton, a fourth-year architecture student at the Queensland University of Technology, is returning for an encore after his success in designing the stage set for last year’s Queensland Performing Arts Trust ‘Spirit of Christmas’ concert. His 1995 concept, prepared as part of a class project set by senior lecturer Jim Woolley, incorporated three 15 metre-high "sculptures in light" constructed of suspended steel elements; some partly wrapped with translucent fabric. These were the focus of numerous lighting spectacles, including a ‘waterfall’, and were thought so impressive that they’ll be joined by four more sculptures for this year’s Christmas concert.
Sydney: Showground Exhibition Halls
A key facility scheduled for the new Royal Agricultural Society showgrounds at Homebush Bay is a 350 metre-long exhibition pavilion designed by Ancher Mortlock and Woolley to a low-budget, fast-track program emphasising ecological sustainability and the potential to host Olympic sports. The main halls will be a 22,000 sq m space under 67-metre trusses which will be principally timber, if practical. At the south-west end, a 100-metre domed space can be fitted out as a 10,000 seat volleyball stadium.
Kilaben Bay, NSW: James House
The Royal Institute of Architects of Ireland has given an Overseas Award to a four-bedroom house beside Lake Macquarie, NSW, designed by Professor Lindsay Johnston, Head of Architecture at the University of Newcastle. In response to client preferences, the design provided a classic modernist form with a flat roof, white masonry structure and a serpentine glass wall dividing the living areas from a wet-edge swimming pool and expansive terrace overlooking the lake. The glass wall (facing south and west) is shaded by a 2.5 metre roof overhang. The interior layout comprises a central living/dining/kitchen area with a children’s area to the west and master suite to the east. In his citation for the RIAI award, juror Sean Madigan (who didn’t personally visit the house) noted that "the design solution transcends the height covenant … by introducing a low enclosure with an impressive curved glass wall, cantilevered canopy and level floors which skillfully blur the inside/outside definition, dramatically merging the waters of both lake and pool when viewed from within. Lovely!"
Canberra: Air Terminal Competition
Adelaide architecture graduate Karl Traeger is clutching a round-the- world ticket as winner of this year’s national architectural students ideas competition sponsored by the Concrete Masonry Association of Australia. His scheme for a new terminal at Canberra Airport arises from his interpretation of its function as a gateway for transportation from land to sky. This notion is expressed through changes of materials and treatments between the land and air sides of the building. Horizontal, rectilinear, human-scale elements are emphasised on the arrival side, while a vertical, monumental and curvaceous sensibility becomes evident near the tarmac. Vital to the scheme is a forecourt mosaic-paved to a design by central Australian Aboriginal artist Heather Shearer.
Recently inserted into the Victorian shell of Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building, the Quadrivium (Latin word meaning ‘four ways’) gallery is a 325 sq metre showplace for art and craft objects of East, West, contemporary and traditional inspiration. Designed by Kooi-Ying Mah and Berlin Ng of M+N Architects, the gallery includes freestanding walls to establish a clean background, moveable fabric screens to define different display spaces, and a reception desk, illuminated display cabinets and plinths made principally of glass.
Canberra: Australian Geographical Survey Organisation
Melbourne architects Eggleston McDonald have lifted their profile as energy-efficiency specialists, following good responses to their ecology conscious design of a geo-scientific research complex at Symonston, ACT, for the Australian Geographical Survey Organisation. Now under construction, the project comprises a main building of concrete clad with metal and concrete panels, with a skylit metal roof; plus a steel-framed support building clad with cement sheet, light concrete panels and aluminium-framed glazing. ESD features include passive solar strategies and an innovative geothermal airconditioning system.