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The Australian Pacific Design Group, a multi-discipline team including architects Noel Robinson (Brisbane) and SJPH (Sydney) have been planning the new town of Jiangbei in the central China city of Chongqing. Along with German and Shanghai architects, the Australian consortium has produced a master plan and designs for a transport interchange, civic centre, exhibition, convention, arts and science complexes, and a key tourist attraction: the Museum of the Three Gorges.


Lippmann Associates won a competition to convert Crown Corning’s 1950s glass factory into a landmark showroom for Toyota vehicles—but his scheme is now in doubt. The 8500 sq m site is on busy Lachlan and Bourke Streets in the heart of the emerging Green Square precinct; a former industrial zone between the airport and the city. Lippmann would have replaced the old factory’s masonry wall with a double skin of curved glass, giving views into a three-level car ramp wrapped around a skylit atrium. The high-tech glazing would have repelled afternoon sun and exhausted hot air via a stack cooling system. The curved metal roof would have carried changing advertising.


Hassell are architects for Adelaide’s new Centre for the Performing and Visual Arts, being built at Light Square by the Adelaide Institute of TAFE at published estimates ranging from $22-$26 million. The complex will be mainly clad in fair-faced red brick (as a nod to the neighbouring Goldsborough Mort warehouse), punctuated with aluminium windows and complemented by secondary treatments of glass and reflective metal. It will contain two theatres (expressed externally as metal-clad cartridges twisted and projecting off-square). Above the zincalume roof deck, a glazed pavilion will bring light to a central court and serve as a smoke reservoir for the extraction system. On the ground floor, there will be workshops, lecture theatres and studios for sculpture, sound, lighting, video, photography and design. The second floor will have offices and more studios.


Melbourne architects Bird de la Coeur have won the Facilities Management Association’s 1998 Excellence Award for a group of projects converting surplus space at the back of Telstra telephone exchanges (which still operate) into apartments. Its renovations to the St Kilda Exchange comprise 17 apartments in the existing building, 24 more in two new structures on the site, and seven two-storey townhouses.


With a “practically perfect” Abbotsford site facing north to the Yarra, developers Belgravia Properties have produced a seven-storey (plus basement car park) residential block to a design by Synman Justin Bialek. The Yarra Yarra apartments, built of pre-cast concrete panels, have a highly articulated envelope with horizontal and vertical projections and setbacks finished with textured coatings of various colours. The building contains 37 apartments, from one to four bedrooms, with three penthouses occupying the top two floors. Leisure facilities include a swimming pool, spa, sauna and gym, all with views to the river.


One of Sydney’s notorious 1980s ’black holes’—the old Waltons/Bond site at Park and George Streets—is finally being filled with a four-level podium and 41-storey tower designed by Crone Associates, which were the architects of various earlier schemes. The Citibank Centre incorporates glass-roofed avenues (reminiscent of old city laneways and shopping arcades) and a central atrium within the retail complex, which links to the city’s subterranean retail network, Town Hall Station and the monorail. The office tower is accessed from a central lobby on Park Street.


System Architects in New York, with former UTS graduate Jeremy Edmiston as a director, has been planning the conversion of an 1860s East Village tenement building into apartments for a co-operative group of artists and artisans. New zoning laws allowed the four-storey building to be expanded at the rear (southwards) and above the roof to give 75 percent more floor space, to be divided into five apartments. The old building will be retained as a core, with new walls wrapping around the west and south sides, appropriating space from the rear fire escape and side horsewalk.



Published online: 1 Mar 1999


Architecture Australia, March 1999

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