2016 National Architecture Awards: Commercial Architecture Commendation

Cape York Partnership Offices by Kevin O’Brien Architects Commercial Architecture: National Commendation Australian Institute of Architects

Jury Citation

In the Cape York Partnership Offices, a finely resolved and modern office environment has been created through minimal means. With tilt-up concrete walls and a coolroom panel roof, the structure and broad rectangular form are straightforward. However, this simple form is then layered, detailed, added to and subtracted from to create a richness in space and detail. A striking serrated gold screen hangs along the building’s length, forming a rich and patterned approach to the street edge as well as gilding the light that enters the workspace. The concrete panels are gently carved – a series of impressions alluding to an almost personal marking on their surface. A courtyard has been cut into the interior, bringing light and landscape into the deep plan. The building entrance leads into a central street, forming an urban space that separates the public and private components of the building’s program. Simple means combined with care and creativity have created both a successful and light-filled workplace and a sensitive and notable contribution to the streetscape in Cairns.


Kevin O’Brien Architects
West End, Brisbane, Qld, Australia
Project Team
Kevin O'Brien (Design Architect), Susan Ellison (Project Architect), Jessica Spresser Graduate of Architecture), Michelle Rehn (Assistant), Danielle Langston (Architect)
Builder La Spina Homes
Building surveyor Baker Building Certificatio
Engineer Tim Hall & Associates
Interior designer Twofold Studio
Landscape consultant Envirostudio
Project manager Kevin O’Brien Architects
Quantity surveyor Kay Associate
Services consultant Interior Engineering
Site Details
Site type Urban
Project Details
Status Built
Completion date 2015
Category Commercial, Public / commercial
Type Workplace



Published online: 3 Nov 2016
Words: National Architecture Awards Jury 2016
Images: Toby Scott


Architecture Australia, November 2016

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