With Trade Practices Act penalties of up to $10 million for corporations and $500,000 for individuals now applying to the professions, the federal government is turning up the heat on ‘anti-competitive’ practices >> NSW and SA have increased employment for architects while other states have declined, indicates the RAIA‘s latest Staff Levels Survey of 400 firms >> The federal government supports introducing private certification of building approvals in all states by 1998 >> In a large article in The Australian’s property section, Sydney lawyer Michael Mobbs criticised architects’ "don’t blame us" mentality-prompting RAIA CEO Michael Peck to reply that architects would shoulder blame if also allowed to control their designs >> The RAIA‘s Environmental Design Guide is threatened by the federal government’s abolition of the sponsors, the Energy Research and Development Corporation. Michael Peck described the decision as "more than a backward step-it’s like going out of the room completely".
|New South Wales|
Cameron Chisholm & Nicol’s Sega World complex at Darling Harbour, Sydney.
Expatriate developer David Brice has proposed a vision for East Circular Quay that amalgamates a line of sites north and south of the Cahill Expressway, reveals the Botanic Gardens and Opera House, and demolishes the Quay West apartment tower (with apparent approval from owners) to rebuild it much taller. No design has been released but Ken Woolley and Ken Maher are on the case >> Renzo Piano‘s scheme for the State Office Block has been approved by the Central Sydney Planning Committee although his towers-in-a-plaza design contradicts the city’s build-to-the-footpath policy- and there was a last-minute claim (strongly denied) that Lend Lease might sell the site to hotel developers after demolishing Ken Woolley ‘s fifties landmark >> Making Australian history as a woman architect, Kazuyo Sejima (Tokyo) has won the Museum of Contemporary Art ‘s $30 million cinematheque/"watering hole" after a week of jury presentations by foreign and Australian candidates. Surprisingly, the MCA didn’t host public show-and-tells by the visitors-but CityWest and the Sydney City Council arranged popular lectures by Enric Miralles from Barcelona >> Certain developers are playing serial monogramy with their architects: employing one firm to tweak the DA, another to maximise the cost benefits and a third to add market-conscious styling-often leading to regrettable clashes of aesthetics. A response recently initiated by the Sydney Cove Authority is to rule that the DA architect stays on board >> Ignore much of AA’s last-issue coverage on the Olympic Village- the Cox Richardson, Peddle Thorp and HPA (Henry Pollack Architects) masterplan has been recast, along with most of the housing designs. HPA’s design manager for this development, architect Peter Cotton, is now being aided by Andrew Andersons (design feedback), Bruce Eeles (design advice for public spaces) and Bruce Vote (unit planning). New concepts are promised soon >> USydney has interviewed candidates for a new Dean of Architecture but has declined to announce the selection committee’s decision, while UTS decided not to meet applicants for the professorship vacated by Neville Quarry >> Health care entrepreneurs Doug and Greta Moran have purchased Sydney’s largest private residence, The Swifts (1876) at Darling Point, and plan to restore the estate "as a national treasure" >> The Sega World virtual games centre, designed by Cameron Chisholm & Nicol, has added a riot of colour to once-white Darling Harbour >> The sunshades of John Andrews‘ classic American Express Tower have been stripped off as part of Rice Daubney ‘s refurbishment >> Architecture-trained comedian Vince Sorrenti has criticised Sydney for lacking architectural homogeneity- describing the city as "a rats’ basket of stuff" >> Back in court, Harry Seidler has won a case against Wingecarribee Council over its DA delays on his latest house scheme-and is due more than $15,000 in costs >> Glenn Murcutt‘s drawings (220 rolls) have been acquired by the NSW State Library to join its collection of 80,000 designs by prominent NSW architects since the 1820s >> Eight environmental groups have attacked reforms of NSW’s planning processes proposed by the Minister for Urban Affairs and Planning, Craig Knowles. They say his ideas "reduce transparency" and aid development interests with little regard for impact on community values or ecological sustainability >> Controversy continues about the Defence Department‘s proposal to subsidise the costs of removing 1000 staff and facilities away from its 84 hectare base at Middle Head by selling nine hectares to a housing developer >> The NSW government is rejuvenating the Conservatorium of Music >> The RAIA‘s NSW manager, Mary Lou Jarvis, and professional development manager, Raelene West, have departed >> After resolving disputes with the Sydney City Council over two "poor quality" apartment schemes, Meriton Apartments has commissioned a relatively decorative concept from Wilkinson Candalepas for a site at White Bay >> BIS Shrapnel analyst Frank Gelber has forecast a return to office developments in Sydney’s CBD after several years of focus on apartments >> Construction has begun to clarify Bondi’s beachfront Campbell Parade >> The National Trust opposes and the Heritage Council supports a Peddle Thorp scheme for Walsh Bay to demolish and rebuild in modern style a one-storey wharf to the two storey height initially proposed and cut a slice across the shore and jetty sheds (just behind the Hickson Road facades) to build apartments overlooking a waterfront promenade. Government Architect Chris Johnson is shepherding the concept, suggested by Paris consultant Philippe Robert >> Jørn Utzon‘s Opera House entrance systems, Lawrence Nield‘s shipping terminal and Allen Jack + Cottier‘s ferry wharves are being reconsidered in a government strategy to improve Circular Quay >> Belt Collins‘ MD, Adrian McGregor, has cautioned against allowing building professions to design urban environments-he says landscape architects are better qualified on more holistic grounds >> Bligh Voller and Lawrence Nield & Partners are on the verge of marriage.
|Australian Capital Territory|
Cox Richardson are planning a $27 million redevelopment of Bruce Stadium >> In an interview with The Canberra Times to celebrate his honorary doctorate from UCanberra, Aldo Giurgola called for a planning quality review board to give qualified guidance on ACT’s development as an antidote to "forces which are not really educated". Meanwhile, his design for a new tourist information centre on Northbourne Ave has been criticised as "a pukey-pink eyesore" >> One of Canberra’s key assets-its gardens-is being run down by the ACT bureaucracy, claims landscape architect Dianne Firth >> The ACT government is looking for Aboriginals with architecture and arts clues to oversee design of the cultural centre at Acton Peninsula-up again for its third architectural competition >> Mitchell/Giurgola & Thorp have won a $20 million revise of the War Memorial.