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The City Projects division of the City of Sydney has recently completed the Ultimo footbridge, a key element of the city’s east-west pedestrian network. The architects comment that “the level of design for the pedestrian bridge is often, well, pedestrian”, and note that the city usually discourages bridges. This footbridge attempts to redress the situation by bringing design quality back into public infrastructure, while also providing a visually permeable, safe pedestrian environment. The bridge envelope and lift are glass infill set within steel trusses and a steel frame lift shaft.

The trusses, spanning approximately 25 metres, exploit the existing rise in Quarry Street to provide access to the bridge’s eastern end. A grand concrete stair with glass balustrades lands in Wentworth Park at the west. Fabricated off-site, the bridge was installed over one night with minimal traffic disruption to the major arterial road beneath. Photos Brett Boardman


Denton Corker Marshall have been commissioned to design a gateway to Nanning, Southern China.

Promoting themselves as a “green” city, the planning bureau were keen to pursue the idea of a “flower”. The scheme, now in construction, presents two “flowers”, one on either side of the road. These are first seen as one passes through the tollgates from the interstate freeway system. Proceeding up the highway, towards the crest of the hill, Nanning comes into view and the flower on the right delaminates into a series of petal elements, coming out of the roadside cutting. The architects suggest that this shifting, movement-dependant quality changes the gateway into a space/time experience rather than a static one


Archibett have been commissioned by Maroochy Shire Council to design a pedestrian boardwalk at Coolum. Running 350 metres along the shoreline cliffs between the Surf Club and Point Perry, the boardwalk will become the main southern access path into the town of Coolum. A second stage is planned to continue the boardwalk southwards, around the spectacular headland cliffs, to Point Arkright, eventually forming a 1.5 km nature walk. Passing through groves of existing mature Pandanus and Norfolk Island Pines, the walk willl provide coastal views northwards to Noosa. The boardwalk is designed to minimise impact on the undeveloped terrain. The idea began as a local community initiative and was then adopted and funded by Council. Funding has been approved under the Community Jobs Program to recruit and train unemployed people to fabricate the boardwalk off-site


Peter Elliott Architects are refurbishing Melbourne’s former Records Office on Queen Street, designed by S.E. Bindley, and built between 1900 and 1904. The building will accommodate Victoria University’s School of Law and will also be used to conduct legal education programs in association with Cambridge University’s Continuing Education Board. The adaptation involves the refurbishment of the internal spaces, based around the original cellular plan configuration, to provide offices, common rooms, computer laboratories, tutorial spaces, teaching facilities and new core infrastructure elements.The main entry will be refocused to the central courtyard, with new steps leading to reception and a new lift shaft accessing all other floors. The existing strong room, at the rear of the site, will accommodate two new 150 seat lecture theatres, with two new floors constructed above to house the library, which will be connected to the main building via a new glazed link. The complex has been designed with consideration for the possibility of future expansion on the adjacent site to the west


Randles Hill Straatveit Architects are currently designing a new 61 hectare residential quarter in Dubai. The project includes 3,600 dwellings, school, hospital and other communal and commercial facilities, landscaped courts and parks, street networks and services. Drawing on the theme of Arab irrigation systems, the development is structured around large water bodies that refer to local landscape types. The scope of architectural work involves the design of three prototype residential buildings, developed up to, but not including, construction documentation.

These three building types will be varied throughout the development to provide a textured urban grain


Space, The Residence is the first large scale residential project designed by Bruce Townsend and Associates. An attempt to develop larger, high-quality apartments through a re-evaluation of existing “developer” models, Space is being marketed in terms of Townsend’s reputation for refined, carefully crafted domestic architecture, and his commitment to “the architecture of first principles”. The project is located on Northbourne Avenue, in Canberra’s inner northern suburbs. The first stage comprises two buildings – 23 apartments in a three story building, and 66 in an eight storey building – with a second stage of two further buildings, containing 76 apartments, following shortly



Published online: 1 Nov 2001


Architecture Australia, November 2001

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