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Two Sydney architects at Hassell, John Choi and Tai Ropiha, have won from around 700 entrants a New York City competition to redesign the ‘tkts’ discount ticket booth at Times Square. Their scheme, right and below, sets up a grandstand/staircase of red resin seats/steps at the north end of the Duffys Square traffic island. This concept symbollically lays a red carpet (or hangs a red curtain) behind the existing statue of Father Francis Duffy, the local priest in the 1920s. Tucked around the back of the steel-framed structure is the ticketing booth, with 10-16 windows and exuberant signage celebrating the Broadway theatre district.










Suters has recycled one of Newcastle’s prize heritage buildings – the Longworth Institute, above, built in 1892 in German baroque style by Frederick Burnhardt Mencken. Initially an auction house and headquarters for Woods Bros, wine and spirit merchants, it was later converted by the Longworth family into an art gallery, library and music recital hall. For the current owner, entrepreneur Paul McCloskey, Suters restored the long-neglected shell and installed a gallery and restaurant on the ground floor, with a commercial tenancy above.


Whittaker Hedenham Openshaw have gutted and transformed a 1970s concrete-framed warehouse at McMahons Point to become new offices for the advertising agency Leo Burnett Conaghan & May, left. Their design has cut a central void through the building’s three floors, allowing the installation of a spiral slippery dip as an iconic novelty and fast means of escape from the ‘creative’ top floor. At both ends of the building, flights of stairs arrive at casual meeting areas with coffee bars. Behind these are library/lounges and work areas in the centre of the building. Work zones have glass meeting rooms, common areas and team ‘pods’ arranged on an ‘urban street grid’


Perth architect Joe Chindarsi has been designing a studio-residence for a Bridgetown farm owned by his grandparents. His design, above, stems from a poetic idea of “flipping heaven and earth on their side” in response to the steep site. Near the foot of the hill, this solar-powered, two-bedroom pavilion will be built with a south wall of rammed earth, an east wall of ply or fibre cement sheet and a west wall of hay bales. The north wall will be glazed with an irregularly fractured pattern reminiscent of looking up to the sky through tree branches. A substantial roof will hover over the structure and fold down one side of the building. Vertical rail tracks will lead to the front door.



In planning an economical portal-framed factory and showroom, left, McGauran Soon used a cookie-cutter strategy to “bite into” the 200 metre-long shed. The cut-out areas are landscaped as courtyards which separate the building into a ‘head’ containing administration facilities and a ‘body’ containing the factory. Two street frontages provide visitor access to the south and delivery trucks to the north. On the west side, another semi-circular cutout marks the workers’ entrance.



Heffernan Button Voss has completed its competition-winning housing scheme for Parcel 6 of the Better Cities-funded urban renewal program at Wapping, near Sullivans Cove in Hobart. In this development of 45 apartments and townhouses, right, construction is rendered masonry elaborated by balcony balustrades of perforated metal, deck dividers of seraphic glass and courtyard screens of timber slatting. Internal finishes are plasterboard, carpet and tiles to wet areas. 


Image: Richard Eastwood


The seventies-vintage Australia Centre Business Park at Homebush is expanding alongside new Olympics venues. One recent arrival is the Soka Gakkai Buddhist Cultural Centre, left, designed by Cox Richardson (Nick Tyrrell) for the park’s owner, now called Bovis Lend Lease. This 3000 sq m single-storey pavilion is used as a conference centre and offices by the Australian arm of a lay Buddhist group from Japan. The highlight of the steel-framed, glass and masonry shed is a metal aerofoil roof cantilevered three metres out from the facade to provide shelter and shade. It is penetrated by an elliptical dome marking the main meeting hall.

Image: Patrick Bingham-Hall


In East Perth, riverside industrial sites are being rapidly redeveloped for up-market housing – including many neo-Classical mansions. A more contemporary addition to the area is Eastbrook Village, a six-storey mixed-use development, right, designed by Eames & Associates (Fernando Faugno). The project comprises two buildings, one oriented to a small lagoon of the Swan River and the other facing Royal Street, separated by an internal avenue running east-west across the site. Cafés, shops and offices are provided on lower levels, with apartments facing north and south on upper floors.





Image: Martin Farquharson.

At a Wye River site on the exposed southern coast of Victoria, a cocoon for weekend living is being built to a design by Michael Bellemo and Cat Macleod. Their scheme, below, uses engineer Pier Luigi Nervi’s 1950s ferro-cement boatbuilding techniques to create an insulated concrete shell, formed around plywood ribs and externally expressing a shape claimed to relate to local river pebbles. Inside, sleeping cabins at the rear of the structure are curved as they would be in the bow or stern of a boat. In the front part of the house, a cubic living, dining and cooking area has been fitted within the spherical shell; it opens to a timber deck facing south.





Published online: 1 Mar 2000


Architecture Australia, March 2000

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