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Innovarchi’s entry for the US Department of Energy’s Sun Wall Competition, left, focused on improving the aesthetic qualities of photovoltaic (PV) arrays, working on the principle that this will assist the general acceptance of PV installations. The kinetic art sun wall, a "delicate, translucent, shimmering changing glass vale", collects solar energy by day and transforms into a dramatic info-screen at night. Champfered glass edges catch the sunlight, creating a shifting, changing rainbow effect, while titania solar cells allow the panels to be as transparent as possible. At a distance, the wall acts as an iconic landmark

Kerstin Thompson Architects’ concept design for the Hallam Bypass Noise Walls, on the Monash Freeway, left and below left, uses low-cost ply sound walls to tell regional stories. Landscape format ply panels form horizontal bands differentiated by colour and text. Different bands tell different stories. Some text will be simple, short and obvious; other text will be more obscure, with meaning only revealed to regular commuters. The zig-zag walls compress and expand the space of the freeway, and the spaces of the adjacent bike paths and walkways. They introduce a rhythmic element to heighten the sense of movement, and provide an opportunity to make public spaces in adjacent residential areas

In 1998 the Centennial and Moore Park Trust and the Urban Design Advisory Service ran a competition for the design of a 500 metre retaining wall separating the new roadway from the park and golf course. Anton James’ winning design, right and above right, completed earlier this year, works within the strictly defined parameters to introduce a sense of depth and movement to the wall. The day and night effects are quite different. Photo Karl Schwerdtfeger

Build-Up Design’s "Love Shack", right, investigates the Top End "Donga", a totally factory-built house type which arrives on site on the back of a truck. The usual construction method is from insulated freezer panels. The option shown here utilises passive tropical design principles - lightweight single-skin construction, awnings, shutters, 3/4 height walls - to maximise airflow and light while also providing protection from monsoon rains

Stephenson and Turner’s 1942 main ward block at the Concord Repatriation General Hospital, recipient of the 1946 Sulman Award, is being redeveloped by Woods Bagot (Earle Arney) to provide a 677 bed major acute care teaching facility. The main building complex will be refurbished and two new infill components added. The design reinterprets the horizontal banding of the existing balconies in the fenestration of the new curtain walls. The asymmetrical, planar nature of the existing building is reflected in the composition of the new glass facade, right, which is separated from the building to express its thickness and planar nature

"Design innovation is most needed when funds are short." Patrick Keane’s goal with the Cannington project, above, is to provide a higher standard of living using everyday materials and generic sizes. These low cost housing units have been designed for any site. The courtyard arrangement provides protection from the sun and eliminates the need for views. The usable roof acts as a communal garden with private entries to each unit from a roof hatch. A modular wood and concrete panel has been developed for use as roof, floor surface and walls

Archibett’s overhaul of the existing toilet facilities at Dutton Park, left, has resulted in an elegant interplay of light, shade, breeze and visual ambiguity. The architects responded to the brief to curb vandalism and various other "unsavoury activities" by exploring how architecture may encourage some actions and discourage others. The scheme replaces an existing solid brick wall with transparent steel screening, read as open, breathing and inviting. Some time on, the new screen remains unvandalised and the system can be easily adapted to other similar facilities throughout Brisbane

The redevelopment of redundant industrial buildings continues. Tonkin Zulaikha Greer are converting Newtown’s Crago Flour Mill site for residential and commercial use. The project, left, retains the landmark concrete silos and part of the tall, heritage-valued, timber storage bins. The surrounding corrugated iron sheds will be demolished. The new building aims to retain the industrial qualities, scale and aesthetic of the existing industrial buildings and context, while clearly articulating new elements. The base of the existing structures, with their spectacular, substantial timber and concrete columns, will become the two main foyers of the existing building

As part of the redevelopment of the Walsh Bay area Bates Smart are refurbishing Pier 8/9 as commercial office space. The redevelopment, left, aims to keep a maximium amount of heritage fabric, and to conserve significant elements. Two lightweight mezzanine structures will be inserted into the volume of the shed and the original breezeway will be covered in structural glass.The south end of the pier will be detached from the shore structure, with the new "unashamedly modern" elevation expressed as a section through the building. The wool bay chutes will be maintained "suspended" in their original location

Developments continue on Brisbane’s Southbank. Donovan Hill and Bligh Voller Nield are working in association on Griffiths University’s Queensland College of Art. The project, right, includes refurbishing approximately 4,000 square metres of the former Southbank House building and a new building of 11,000 square metres. The new College of Art Faculty includes a library/learning centre, gallery, auditorium, teaching spaces, faculty offices, computer laboratories, studio and workshop spaces, lecture theatres and art gallery

Group GSA have extended Lithgow TAFE’s Tourism and Hospitality Faculty with a new building for contemporary education, left. Although the modest facility was built on a tight budget, the simple skillion roof and projecting sunshades give the building a strong presence. Photo Andrew Payne

Following their winery upgrade for Barrington Estate in the Upper Hunter Valley and a 6,000 tonne facility in Orange, HBO + EMTB are preparing sketches for a new 500 tonne winery at Pokolbin, NSW, which includes a 150 seat restaurant and gallery. The project, left, develops its theme from an existing steel-frame, metal-sheeted shed. The new buildings explore a more open, fragmented and elemental approach - the "exploded shed" - in response to the surrounding landscape of the Brokenback Range foothills

Molnar Freeman’s curvaceous interior for B.T.F., Bondi, left, pioneers new techniques and technologies which have significant potential for prefabrication - usually modular and repetitive. The wave form was generated as a solid wave with complex curves. This was then "sliced up" and separated to become individual wave blades, each with very complicated forms. These were "cadded up" and sent to a computer router. The resulting blades were then fitted with limited on-site cutting. Another B.T.F shop at Circular Quay uses another new technique to create unusually shaped backlit murals. Photo Patrick Bingham-Hall

After five years of minor works at Strathmore Secondary College (above, Dianne Peacock’s "bird monster window"), Simon and Freda Thornton Architects are now undertaking significant additions. A number of designers are involved to speed up the process - a theatrette and arts studios by Mirjana Lozanovska, a cafeteria by Dianne Peacock, landscape by Taylor and Cullity, and Simon Thornton’s Technology Classrooms. The classrooms are laid out in the form of a rocket that has fallen over, rather than lifted off (orbiting version, left). The solar heated spaces invite students to "reassess the values underlying our technological heritage"

The University of Queensland’s Ipswich Campus occupies the site and heritage buildings of the Sandy Gallop Asylum (later known as the Challinor Centre), established in 1878. DEM Design recycled the existing complex, completed a new multi-purpose building, and undertook major landscaping work. The project, left, won Gold Awards for design and heritage (in association with Buchanan Architects) and a Silver Award for landscape in the National Trust John Herbert Awards



Published online: 1 Nov 2000


Architecture Australia, November 2000

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