2019 National Architecture Awards: The Nicholas Murcutt Award for Small Project Architecture

Jock Comini Reserve Amenities by Kerstin Thompson Architects.

Jury citation

Located adjacent to Victoria’s busy Calder Highway south of Bendigo, the Jock Comini Reserve Amenities building is a welcome rest stop that appears crystalline during the day and radiates a welcome glow at night. Commissioned by Vicroads at a strategic location for travellers, the building has a low-lying roof that forms a distinctive intervention between the highway and the landscape.

As part of a building typology that prioritizes hygiene and safety, the project deploys a resilient material strategy to ensure durability, ease of maintenance and graffiti removal. Simultaneously, it offers a light-filled experience of beauty and delight. Composed of a minimal palette of glass and stainless steel, the walls shift in plan to reflect the surrounding bushland – an unexpected discovery for the visitor. A concealed structure supports an expansive cantilevered roof that generously extends to shelter cubicles as well as circulation and car spaces. Rainwater harvested from the roof is stored onsite and re-used for handwashing and toilet flushing.

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Repeated elements of translucent U-channel glass snake underneath the singular roof, framing secure, private amenity units. Mindful of the social and cultural sensitivities of such spaces, the geometry equalizes the normally gendered spatial order of roadside public facilities. The glazed, undulating wall establishes a safety margin of light around the perimetric circulation path, eliminating blind corners to prioritize personal safety. Stainless steel T-wall units ingeniously divide zones and contain the operable elements and fittings for each cubicle.

The repetition and rhythm of the building’s elements permit various configurations of this small, rigorous design for future sites. The Jock Comini Reserve Amenities building is an exemplar for public facilities that bring delight and appreciation of the landscape to the rest-stop experience.

Jock Comini Reserve Amenities is located in Ravenswood, Victoria and is built on the land of the Dja Dja Wurrung people of the Kulin nation.

Credits

Architect
Kerstin Thompson Architects
Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Project Team
Kerstin Thompson, Scott Diener, Claire Humphreys, Michael Archibald
Consultants
Building services TJ Consulting
Building surveyor Regional Building Surveying Services
Civil consultant Regional Roads Victoria
Cost consultant Slattery
Geotechnical consultants Vicroads
Landscape architect CBPS Projects
Structural engineer Perrett Simpson
Site details
Location Bendigo,  Vic,  Australia
Category Commercial / public buildings
Type Amenities
Project Details
Status Built

Source

Award

Published online: 7 Nov 2019
Words: 2019 National Awards Jury
Images: Kerstin Thompson

Issue

Architecture Australia, November 2019

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