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Discourse

The under construction Crown Resorts casino at Barangaroo by Wilkinson Eyre.

Protocol failure: Sydney’s public urbanity is disappearing behind aggressive, private individualism

21 Aug 2019, Laura Harding

Laura Harding argues that Sydney’s planning regulatory framework is putting the city at risk of trading its public landmarks for monuments to gambling and real estate.

Discourse
The amphitheatre and plaza in Hassell and Herzog & de Meuron’s competition-winning scheme for Flinders Street Station, Melbourne (2013). No funding for the project had been secured by the Victorian government at the time of the competition.

Regaining a competitive edge

24 Jul 2019, Michael Keniger

The proliferation of architectural design competitions risks devaluing the real merits of a fair and well-ordered process. Michael Keniger surveys a suite of initiatives.

Discourse
Boyd House, Walsh Street, South Yarra 1958. Architect: Robin Boyd.

Why old is new again: The mid-century homes made famous by Don’s Party and Dame Edna

23 Jul 2019, Kirsty Volz

From Robin Boyd to Barry Humphries, the connection between Australia’s mid-century modern houses and popular culture demonstrates their cultural and heritage value.

Discourse
Opal Tower.

Ministers fiddle while buildings crack and burn

19 Jul 2019, Geoff Hanmer

Urgent action is needed to stop defective buildings being built, and building ministers should instructed the Australian Building Codes Board to dump its focus on self-regulation, writes Geoff Hanmer.

Discourse
Opal Tower.

Bring back the Clerk of Works

17 Jul 2019, Michael Hegarty

In light of a number of prominent building failures in Australia, Michael Hegarty explores the role of the Clerk of Works, and the need to return this key project role to Australian construction sites to rectify the shortcomings of quality control in today’s industry.

Discourse
Baudish House (1964) by Ken Woolley.

How the ‘Sydney School’ changed postwar Australian architecture

2 Jul 2019, Davina Jackson

Davina Jackson explores the genesis of the Sydney School of architecture that emerged in the 1960s – and attempts to locate it in the broader modernist movement.

Discourse
The Lacrosse building in Melbourne’s Docklands.

Imagining a continuum of architectural services in building industry reform

28 Jun 2019, Michael Peck

Michael Peck, architect and former National President and CEO of the Australian Institute of Architects, reflects on recent high-profile failures in apartment construction.

Discourse
The sparsely occupied main plaza, except for a group of children on a school outing and some tourists taking photographs.

Apple controversy masks the real failures of Federation Square

25 Jun 2019, Jonathan Daly

Jonathan Daly argues that the recent brouhaha over the failed proposal for a Foster and Partners-designed Apple Store at Melbourne’s Federation Square has masked a deeper problem with the way the space operates as a public place.

Discourse
View of Hobart’s CBD.

Regional case studies: community engagement in Hobart

19 Jun 2019, Helen Norrie

In the third in a series of essays on architecture in Regional Australia, Helen Norrie turns her eye to Hobart, one of Australia’s most rapidly changing regional cities.

Discourse
Geelong waterfront.

Regional initiatives: betting on collaboration

5 Jun 2019, Helen Norrie

In the third in a series of essays that pick apart regional architecture in Australia, Helen Norrie turns her eye to a number of initiatives that hope to transform perceptions of regional life.

Discourse
The Globe, Barcaldine by Brian Hooper Architect, M3 Architecture, architects in association (2015)

Reframing the regional conversation

28 May 2019, Helen Norrie

Regional towns and cities have historically been the backbone of Australia, yet they currently represent a blindspot in urban thinking. In a series of essays to be published on ArchitectureAU over the coming weeks, guest editor Helen Norrie examines the initiatives that are reframing the perceived limitations of smaller populations and geographical dislocation to present compelling alternatives to life in major urban centres.

Discourse
Community consultation during the design development of Wanarn Clinic.

Architecture for Indigenous healthcare in the regions

27 May 2019, Timothy O’Rourke

Timothy O’Rourke reports on a current study investigating Indigenous perceptions and experiences of healthcare design in order to increase the efficacy of cross-cultural design in healthcare architects.

Discourse
New residential towers along Melbourne’s Elizabeth Street as viewed from Queen Victoria Market.

Taming wild cities: the tall buildings of Australia show why we need strong design guidelines

24 May 2019, Timothy Moore

Timothy Moore looks at Melbourne’s “unruly and wild” crop of towers, and asks why there exists such a “gulf between what the centres of Australian cities look like […] and community expectations”

Discourse
The MG/GT administration building in Kununurra, Western Australia by CODA Studio and Mark Phillips Architect (2013) services two Indigenous organizations in the wider Kimberley Region.

Working in Indigenous communities: Fourth World problems

24 May 2019, Kieran Wong

Kieran Wong laments the failings inherent in procuring essential work for Indigenous communities, a process in which politics, bureaucracy and a misguided push for innovation inhibit empowerment and reconciliation.

Discourse
Large, angular sunhoods ameliorate the visual experience of an otherwise typical industrial shed in the design of MPH HQ (1018), enhancing the public value of a commercial building.

Alice Springs: On edge in the centre

22 May 2019, Sue Dugdale

Architect Sue Dugdale, who works and lives in Mparntwe, or Alice Springs, describes a “ a town with edges” with “multiple levels and types of anxiety” that define the town’s built and social fabric.

Discourse
UN Secretariat building by Oscar Niemeyer, Le Corbusier, Wallace Harrison, and others.

Glass skyscrapers: an avoidable environmental folly

21 May 2019, Henrik Schoenefeldt

Henrik Schoenefeldt argues that if architects “had paid more attention to the difficulties of building with glass, the great environmental damage wrought by modern glass skyscrapers could have been avoided.”

Discourse
TPG Architects' extensions to and heritage adaptation of the School of Arts, Cairns Museum building (2017) restore the city's oldest public building while also adding a new chapter to the building's story.

A portrait of regional practice

20 May 2019, Shaneen Fantin

Shaneen Fantin speaks with practitioners in far north Queensland to discuss flexible practice models, working with government and the profits and pitfalls of collaboration.

Discourse
The Sirius building by Tao Gofers, 1979.

An ‘era of disposable public buildings’: Philip Thalis on Sydney’s past and future heritage

15 May 2019, Philip Thalis

In a speech given at the 2019 National Trust Heritage Awards in Sydney, architect and City of Sydney councillor Philip Thalis railed against what he described as the “most voracious of booms.”

Discourse
Daily life on Footscray’s Paisley Street.

Don’t forget the footpath – it’s vital public space

8 May 2019, Yvonne Meng

Using Melbourne’s Footscray as a case study, Yvonne Meng argues that the humble footpath is overlooked, although it is an equally if not more important public space for urban social life.

Discourse
The 2019 National Architecture Conference captains’ lunch. L–R: Clare Cousins, Andy Fergus, Monique Woodward, Timothy Moore, Kerstin Thompson, Stephen Choi, Tania Davidge, Shelley Penn, and Julia Cambage. Absent: Nic Brunsdon and Kieran Wong.

Call to action: Defining the ‘Collective Agency’ of Australian architects

1 May 2019, Katelin Butler, Gemma Savio

The 2019 National Architecture Conference curators have enlisted eight industry thought leaders who will steer conversations around advocacy and activism in architecture.

Discourse
Aerial view of Centennial Park, Sydney.

New minister for public spaces is welcome – now here are ten priorities for action

26 Apr 2019, Kurt Iveson

The re-elected NSW government has appointed Rob Stokes as minister for public spaces. Kurt Iveson pens a 10-point plan to make public spaces more plentiful and accessible for all.

Discourse
The EY Centre by FJMT.

Reshaping Sydney by design – few know about the mandatory competitions, but we all see the results

23 Apr 2019, Gethin Davidson, Robert Freestone

The City of Sydney’s design competition policy has resulted in 26 completed projects and 46 approved proposals. Researchers consider the benefits and drawbacks of this now two-decade-old policy.

Discourse
Richmond Hektik Kebab and HSP is located at a petrol station on a busy intersection in Richmond. Access by car is imperative – hence it faces the street and has flashing signage.

Kebab urbanism: Melbourne’s ‘other’ cafe makes the city a more human place

25 Mar 2019, Tahj Rosmarin, Sidh Sintusingha

The ubiquitous kebab van, which has become part of the urban character of Melbourne over the past three decades, can teach policymakers and planners a lot about placemaking.

Discourse
Research in large practice

Research in large practice

18 Mar 2019, Sandra Kaji-O'Grady, Naomi Stead

Naomi Stead and Sandra Kaji O’Grady introduce their guest-edited dossier for Architecture Australia, which looks at the state of research in large architecture practices in Australia.

Discourse
A scene from the Practice in Research/Research in Practice symposium in 
Brisbane in 2017, which explored the diverse forms practice-based research may take and its value both within academia and the architectural profession.

Arrested development

13 Mar 2019, Peter Raisbeck

Peter Raisbeck argues that the lack of formalized research and development in Australian architecture practice is stymieing innovation.

Discourse
Murray Fraser.

A British perspective on practice-based architectural research

8 Mar 2019, Murray Fraster

Murray Fraser, vice-dean of research at the Bartlett School of Architecture and as chair of the Research and Innovation Group at RIBA, explores practice-based research.

Discourse
Nitotschka Titchkosky, now co-CEO of BVN.

Research in large Australian practices: A roundtable discussion

4 Mar 2019, Sandra Kaji-O'Grady, Naomi Stead

A frank and revealing discussion about how and why large Australian practices organize and fund research, and how they disseminate its findings.

Discourse
The Lacrosse building in Melbourne's Docklands.

Cladding fire risks have been known for years. Lives depend on acting now

12 Feb 2019, Geoff Hanmer

While property sector seems to be offering its version of “thoughts and prayers” following the Neo200 fire the we have known of the risk for years and the problem can be rectified.

Discourse
The Sirius building by Tao Gofers, 1979.

Selling Sirius would be a ‘grave mistake’

25 Jan 2019, Shaun Carter, Alex Greenwich

Clover Moore, Shaun Carter, Alex Greenwich and Jamie Parker have penned an open letter asking the NSW premier to reconsider the sale of the Sirius building in this open letter.

Discourse
Energy rating tools are not enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions produced by buildings, experts say.

Buildings produce 25% of Australia’s emissions. What will it take to make them ‘green’ – and who’ll pay?

17 Jan 2019, M. Reza Hosseini, Igor Martek

With 25% of greenhouse gas emissions produced by the construction, operation and maintenance of buildings, what must be done to generate a working strategy to improve Australia’s chances of keeping the carbon-neutral promise by 2050?

Discourse
There are lessons to be drawn from the cracks that appeared in Sydney's Opal Tower, but they extend beyond building certification

There are lessons to be drawn from the cracks that appeared in Sydney’s Opal Tower

10 Jan 2019, Geoff Hanmer

Building certification might be a contributing factor, but what went wrong at Opal Tower is is much more complex than that. Making certification a government responsibility again won’t solve it.

Discourse
Anzac Hall by Denton Corker Marshall.

Hands off Anzac Hall

28 Nov 2018, Philip Leeson

Philip Leeson, ACT Chapter President of the Australian Institute of Architects, argues that the federal government’s plans to demolish and replace the Denton Corker Marshall-designed Anzac Hall in Canberra at a cost of $498 million are “unnecessary and wasteful.”

Discourse
Sydney Opera House.

Sydney Opera House: Celebrating and protecting an Australian icon

22 Oct 2018, Clare Cousins, Andrew Nimmo

The national and NSW chapter presidents of the Australian Institute of Architects jointly argue that the use of the Sydney Opera House as an advertising platform “highlights the complete lack of respect” government has for public architecture.

Discourse
Four Points by Sheraton Docklands, designed by DKO.

Experience is key for the hotels of the future

18 Oct 2018, Cameron Bruhn

Cameron Bruhn discusses hotel design over lunch with Koos de Keijzer, DKO principal, and Michael Drescher, DKO interior design director.

Discourse
Catriona Li Bisset.

Opportunity and autonomy: mental wellbeing in architecture

16 Oct 2018, Catriona Li Bisset

The need to meaningfully engage with mental health in architecture is clear, but what can we do? One possibility is to enhance student and practitioner autonomy by applying our skills to non-traditional problems.

Discourse
Estia House by Candalepas Associates.

Housing Diversity: Adapting 1.0 Infrastructure for 3.0 Lives

2 Oct 2018, Alysia Bennett

With the onset of new technology, expanded living arrangements, procurement models and financial structure, Alysia Bennett assesses the options for citizens living 3.0 lifestyles in cities designed for a 1.0 world.

Discourse
A live broadcast of an episode of Workaround at RMIT Design Hub.

Women leading change: The potential for doing things differently

27 Sep 2018, Pia Ednie-Brown

After attending an event marking an extraordinary moment in which women are leading every architecture school in Victoria, Pia Ednie-Brown asks if there is unseen value in diversity.

Discourse
Two Pavilion House (2014) was designed by Kirsty Volz and David Toussaint.

We need more flexible housing for 21st-century lives

19 Sep 2018, Kirsty Volz

Kirsty Volz, a PhD Candidate in architectural history at the University of Queensland, writes that the “Australian Dream” of private home ownership has fundamentally shifted, and that housing design needs to change with it.

Discourse
Kraftwerk 2 (2011), designed by Adrian Streich Architekten AG, was developed by the Kraftwerk1 collective – one of the youngest housing cooperatives in Zurich.

Housing cooperatives: Domesticity’s challenge, a call to arms

12 Sep 2018, Tarsha Finney

Reflecting on her encounter with Kraftwerk 2 in Zurich and the people who live there, Tarsha Finney considers the ownership and governance model of the cooperative – the entrenched domestic norms that it challenges and its capacity to facilitate care and connection beyond the single family unit.

Discourse
Melbourne’s Southbank.

Melbourne or Sydney? This is how our two biggest cities compare for liveability

11 Sep 2018, Melanie Davern, Billie Giles-Corti

Melbourne or Sydney? This is how our two biggest cities compare for liveability

Discourse
Getting more out of ‘lazy’ land, such as this community housing built over a Port Phillip City Council-owned car park by MGS Architects, is a key strategy to reduce the shortage of affordable housing.

Put unused and ‘lazy’ land to work to ease the affordable housing crisis

10 Sep 2018, Matthew Palm, Katrina Raynor

New research suggests that Australian cities have the opportunity to gain much more social benefit from public land assets.

Discourse