Evolving the Liverpool Civic Centre Library Façade
Engage in a dynamic and enlightening exchange of insights throughout this edition of Zak World of Façades. Moderated by John Perry and showcasing panelists Luis Betancor and Chris Bridge, the team will take part in a Discussion: “Evolving the Liverpool Civic Centre Library Façade.”
This panel will delve into the early investigations, evolutionary strides, and prototypical advancements of the adopted glazing. Their exceptional perspectives and wealth of expertise promise to elevate the discussions on worldwide façade design and engineering within the esteemed confines of this conference.
This edition is the 131st global edition, the 7th edition in Australia and the 3rd edition in Sydney which will showcase sustainable innovations and challenges in the construction industry pertaining to the building envelope and will also display the latest technological solutions from leading solution providers.
Collaborators, Built, Sharvain Projects and E-LAB Consulting.
fjcstudio wins three of the four awards given to Australian practices at the International Architecture Awards
We are delighted to announce that fjcstudio received three out of the four awards given to Australian practices at the International Architectural Awards. Nunawading Community Hub, The Foundry and Substation No.164 all received awards in their categories.Now in its 20th year, The International Architectural Awards are the oldest and most prestigious distinguished global building awards program that honors new and cutting-edge design worldwide. This year, the Museum received a record number of projects for new buildings, landscape architecture, and urban planning from the most important international firms practicing globally. An international jury composed of several distinguished designers worked remotely and selected almost 150 submissions from a shortlist of over 850 projects. On Friday, September 8th, 2023, a special exhibition The City and the World will be opened at the inauguration of the newly expanded Contemporary Space Athens and on Friday September 15th there will be the official presentation of the awarded projects and a reception and gala dinner in Athens. We thank our Project teams for the incredible commitment to achieve a globally recognised design excellence.
The Fencing of Architecture and The Villa of the Architect
Perhaps the two most destructive architectural typologies we have developed are the fence and the villa.
They have (dis)figured land settlement in a way that has partitioned and controlled the landscape for exploitation, driving human alienation, inequality and environmental degradation on a now breathtaking scale.
Yet the villa, the private house, defined within its fence and boundaries has also been the primary focus for the architect’s work and practice, it has been the architectural laboratory for conceptual exploration, innovation, and a primary measure of architecture.
What is the responsibility of the architect within this complex environmental creative and ethical dilemma…
Join our eminent panel of architects and academics;
as they explore and debate;
Parliament Square Hobart awarded the Colin Philp Award for Commercial Architecture, the Roy Sharrington Smith Award for Heritage Architecture and the Urban Design Award at the Tasmanian Chapter of the 2023 AIA Awards
Parliament Square Hobart took home a swag of accolades, including the Colin Philp Award for Commercial Architecture, the Roy Sharrington Smith Award for Heritage Architecture (with Design 5 – Architects, JPDC and Years Months Days) and the Urban Design Award at the Tasmanian Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architecture (AIA) Awards.
Parliament Square is located directly behind the Tasmanian State Parliament building on the rising topography of Sullivan’s Cove. Bounded by Murray, Davey Streets, and Salamanca Place, the site includes heritage buildings from the 1840’s through to the inter-war period of the 1930’s. The Parliament Square project removes invasive structures and opens the heart of the site to new public domain linking Salamanca Place to Murray Street.
We have created a central public space that works as a platform placed on the side of the hill, affording outlook over Sullivan’s Cove and offering a level space for community gathering and events. On this new platform a carefully scaled and detailed new workplace building form government agencies Department of Premier & Cabinet, public parliamentary committee rooms and a new connection to the historic Parliament House, respecting and reinforcing its importance.
V-form columns mark the double height entry to the new office building and form an iconic address to the public space from Salamanca Place. Terracotta and sandstone facades are combined with glass and timber to create a warm and elegant addition between the Parliament House and the Davey Street heritage fabric.
The interiors concept explores the expression of a contemporary Tasmanian Government building and sets out to create an inclusive sense of identity for staff and visitors. The organic and welcoming design language incorporates references to the enduring beauty of the Tasmanian landscape.
fjcstudio awarded three prestigious awards at the 2023 AIA Awards
Three fjcstudio projects have been honoured with prestigious awards at the New South Wales Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architecture (AIA) Awards.
UTS Central (with DJRD Lacoste + Stevenson (original Broadway Podium Design) received the Educational Architecture Award, with Sub Station No. 164 receiving both the Award for Commercial Architecture and the Award for Heritage — Creative Adaptation.
The success of these projects – is the direct participation and enormous efforts between Client/Developer/Builder, Project Teams, Collaborators and Consultants.
UTS Central is a polished and sophisticated series of spaces that positively contribute to the experience of tertiary students and academics. Providing through-site links at ground level, the new podium is a suspended glass and transparent base that allows student study and life to be clearly visible from Broadway and surrounding streets. Canted Corbusian-shaped skylights offer daylight and interest from above.
The tower and podium respond in a sympathetic manner to the adjacent NSW Govt Architect, Dysart designed tower and podium of the 1970’s through appropriate scale, rhythm and colour selection. The twisting form of the tower is proportioned to offer a positive addition to the context of the Broadway skyline. The curvaceous library is a brightly lit white gem where every seat is occupied around a beautifully proportioned top-lit atrium and delicate operable sunscreens.
Landscaped study verandahs, provided with rain and sun screens, open to views of the alumni green. The diverse and varied teaching and study spaces provide options for both intimate and group work as well as centralised or satellite tutorial. The refined detailing, finishes, co-ordination of services, acoustics and lighting of UTS Central, demonstrates how 21st Century University buildings should prepare the professions for their future.
Substation No.164 is a transformational adaptive reuse project in a dense city context. A pair of neglected industrial buildings have been sensitively refurbished, preserving the grand volume of a former machine hall while adding a contemporary commercial tower.
The curvilinear glass tower challenges the idea of an extruded extension following street-wall alignment, using its contrasting form to make clear the distinction between old and new. Its structure is cantilevered over the machine hall, preserving the integrity of the heritage structure below.
New elements – white, glass and curvilinear – continue the strategy of contrast through to the interiors, lacing together the distinctive characters of the former Shelly Warehouse and the electrical substation. Tactile existing fabric is respected, providing the backdrop to warm, intimate-feeling workspace.
A bold approach to regeneration makes this an exceptional development, delivering office space with high sustainability credentials, while also offering a potential cultural destination contributing to the life of the city.
Design for Decolonisation: Richard Francis-Jones, Design Director, reflects on the ways in which a new architecture can begin to undo colonial architecture’s symbols and institutional instruments of oppression.
Country, climate and community underpin the design aspirations of our studio. In June last year, we hosted a studio conference at the University of Technology Sydney to extend our knowledge of and reinforce our commitment to these values but, also, to reunite our studio camaraderie after the isolation enforced by the Covid 19 virus.
A panel discussion with significant academic and professional speakers was devoted to each of these three themes. We also closed the studio for an additional day so that each of our current projects could be critically reviewed in relation to these fundamental measures of our design. The conference and project reviews were occasions to listen and learn, to ask questions of ourselves and to deepen our commitment to addressing these great challenges, in our design work and our professional conduct.
Annie Hensley; Head of fjcplace, Jo Kinniburgh; Bangawarra, Alison Page; Walbanga and Wadi Wadi woman and Creative Director ZAKPAGE, Shannon Foster; D’harawal Saltwater Knowledge Keeper, Bangawarra
But perhaps these three central challenges and aspirations of the work of our studio can be compressed into a single overarching objective: The project of design for decolonisation.
Colonisation is a conflict of opposing cultural relationships with the life of our world: a conflict between colonial cultures of ownership, use and exploitation, with First Nations, Māori and Pasifika cultures of custodianship, meaning and symbiosis. Decolonisation, then, must seek repair of and reconciliation with both our damaged community and the damaged natural world.
Architecture is a cultural and social instrument. It provides not only the quantitative, functional and spatial support but also the ideological representation of any social, political or cultural project of change and transformation, be it oppression or emancipation, status quo or reconciliation. Architecture will generally serve the dominant and the powerful: institutional, corporate or individual.
Within Euclidean, rationalised grids laid over the landscape, endless classical architectural frames of proportional perfection were constructed; we now hold these in heritage reverence. But they are not neutral constructions; they are instruments of power, authority and control, both representations and facilitators of colonial power. To First Nations, Māori and Pasifika cultures, surely these classical colonial buildings were and remain institutional instruments and symbols of oppression.
Architecture is not innocent and must bear responsibility and consequence. Inevitably, this means architecture must change, be changed, adapt and adjust lies to truths.
Liverpool’s civic centre reaches milestone
This project marks a significant milestone in a project in which we have been involved for over seven years. On completion, it will deliver a new civic and community heart for Liverpool for an incredibly diverse and dynamic community of Liverpool, that was reflected in the celebrations.
Located at the end of Macquarie Street, a terminating vista to the new 5000sqm library will draw people to the precinct offering generous civic space, council functions and workplace, hotel and gallery. The inspiration for the project is the confluence of the fresh water and salt water of the George’s River, an eddy bringing the waters of the river together.
The library’s oval shape reflects this eddy with multiple pathways winding around and into its form. An extraordinary library facade is taking shape which will create picture window vistas, and continually changing patterns of use. The basement of the library springs from a sunken courtyard showcasing the original riparian landscapes of the Cumberland Plain.
Through a grand brick arch, the council building celebrates the civic buildings developed by Francis Greenway.
A special shout out to the hardworking collaborative team of fjcarchitecture, fjcinteriors, fjclandscape and fjcplace.
Civic and Sustainable Monumentality: The Anita B. Lawrence Centre
Join UNSW School of the Built Environment, fjcstudio and the Australian Institute of Architects for an evening celebrating the renaming of the Red Centre as the Anita B. Lawrence Centre.
The event includes an exhibition of original drawings and models of the building, and a panel discussion exploring its pioneering architecture, and Anita’s trailblazing contribution to UNSW and our broader society.
Thursday, April 20 · 5:30 – 8pm AEST
fjmtstudio becomes fjcstudio
We are delighted to announce our new name, Francis-Jones Carpenter Studio, which embodies our progress and evolution under the dynamic leadership of our Studio Principals, Managing Principal, Elizabeth Carpenter and Design Director, Richard Francis-Jones.
With Francis-Jones Carpenter Studio, our commitment to design excellence and innovation, sustainability, reconciliation, and the enhancement of the public domain remains stronger than ever. We look forward to sharing our renewed vision and ongoing mission with you as we embark on this exciting new chapter in our journey.
fjmtstudio Australia will be closed from Thursday 23 December 2022 and will re-open on Monday 09 January 2023. The UK studio will be closed from Friday 23 December 2022 and will re-open on Tuesday 03 January 2023.
We would like to thank all of our incredible clients, consultants, contractors and dedicated staff for collaborating together with us this past year.
fjmtstudio in collaboration with Jasmax and designTRIBE awarded the prestigious World Architecture Festival Inside – Public Building Award, for the extraordinary Auckland War Memorial Museum, Te Ao Marama South Atrium.
Auckland War Memorial Museum was established in Auckland Domain in 1929 with a significant neo-classical building of generous volumes, proportions, rich materiality, detailing and powerful stained-glass roof lighting. Future additions in 1960 extended south albeit with simpler details and materiality. The 2006 works internalised the South Atrium, with a new public entry and inserted the “tanoa” (a pacific bowl form).
Sited on Pukekawa, in Auckland Domain, the European architecture was at odds with the cultural heritage of Tamaki Makarau. Inside, the visitor experience required transforming to acknowledge mana whenua, and evolve to be relevant to Auckland’s diverse population. The iterative additions blocked natural connections between the north and south leading to a poor visitor orientation experience.
These issues were addressed in the Future Museum Masterplan, unlocking the potential of the nationally significant building to create transformational bicultural architecture, enabling dialogue between New Zealand’s colonial history and today.
Sad to see it go…
The temporary pavilion fronting George Street was a carefully and beautifully crafted timber extension to the external stone staircase at ‘Crane Place’, 200 George Street.
Sadly it is soon to be demolished…
Student Castle Oxford awarded Honorable Mention — Chicago Athenaeum Museum of Architecture and Design 2022 Awards
Oxford is experiencing a period of change and transformation. Its historic city centre is juxtaposed with under-used urban areas that belie the unique character of the city. Student Castle Oxford is the landmark first project to be completed as part of the wider regeneration of Oxpens in the Oxford West End.
Student Castle Oxford provides 515 rooms of high-quality student accommodation – a mixture of single and double bedroom studio flats, and shared ‘cluster’ flats – arranged in three distinct but connected urban blocks. Drawing reference from Oxford’s traditional collegiate architecture, the buildings are modulated by covered walkways and green spaces, with a varied roofscape that responds appropriately to the scale of the city. The communal spaces are primarily gathered at street level with an active street frontage. The ‘common room’ acts as the hub of community life, while other amenities – including cafe, gym, laundry, and more – are connected by an ‘internal street’ that extends through the buildings and green spaces to the vertical circulation cores.
Celebrating 10 Years
The St Barnabas community recently celebrated 10 years in its new building. In 2007, still mourning the previous church which was engulfed in flames, the parish turned to the task of reimagining their ministries in a contemporary space in the heart of the city – a modern city church.
Avoiding the evangelist black box space in preference for a place of connection and transcendence, Barneys has exceeded all expectations. At the Church’s anniversary, the main ministries described the vibrancy of youth programs, diversity of children’s programs and play groups in safe spaces, exceptional outreach to Sydney’s diverse inner-city community, welcome to the homeless and isolated, agility during the challenging restriction of COVID distancing. Most touching were the stories of how the building has become embedded in people’s lives – meeting of soulmates, births, marriages, funerals. All people feel truly welcome in this highly accessible and accommodating space – particularly for those with special needs, places of respite and for parents with crying children, a place to stay connected while not disturbing the service.
It is a great privilege to have been selected for the design of the Cutaway, a place which will become a welcoming destination and vibrant venue for so many.
Our concept developed through a deep and authentic design collaboration with First Nations Knowledge Keepers and Creatives, led by Bangawarra and Jake Nash. This partnership began at the very inception of the design, to envisage natural forms which soften the cut’s straight edges.
The result embodies references to Salt Water Country – to the shelter of Sandstone Caves (Gibbagunya) and to knowledge trees, the Port Jackson Fig (Damun). We aspire for this project to be a welcoming and safe space for all people and a benchmark of Connecting with Country Principles. Further design collaboration will broaden the opportunities for fine detail story telling and references to Country. Equally its maritime past will be interpreted and celebrated, woven into the original location of the Sydney Port Tower.
Voices Leading Change
We have been privileged to work with Shannon Foster, Jo Kinniburgh and the team over a number years, honing our skills and collaborative design approach through both successful and unsuccessful competitions, masterplans and a number of significant ongoing projects. Their work has immeasurably influenced us, contributing greatly to our ambition to deliver authentic, place driven and human centred design. We are so fortunate that they have continued to support us and given us courage to develop our genuine approach to Connecting with Country and Reconcilliation.
North Head Lookout Barragula with CHROFI, photography courtesy of Bangawarra.
Pathway to a dense, historic and beautiful city: SubStation No. 164
Locating Giurgola marks the launch of a new Australian Research Council-funded project examining the life and work of Italo-American architect, Romaldo Giurgola, principal designer of Australian Parliament House. The project will be the first comprehensive investigation of Giurgola’s internationally significant architectural career, which spanned Rome, Philadelphia, New York, Canberra and Sydney and included, not only Parliament House and a significant body of work in the United States, but a series of projects around the world, from Latin America to Singapore and Sweden.
At the launch we will hear from those closest to Giurgola personally and professionally during his time in Australia and get a glimpse into the substantial Mitchell/Giurgola archives at the University of Pennsylvania. Special guests include Paola Giurgola, Richard Francis-Jones and Richard Thorp.
This lecture is a co-presentation of the Sydney School of Architecture, Design and Planning and the Chau Chak Wing MuseumResearch project. partners are the University of Melbourne, Penn State University, University of Pennsylvania, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne.
For more information and event details: Locating Giurgola
The role of the architect in the post-truth era: Unfrozen interviews Richard Francis-Jones, author of Truth and Lies in Architecture
Country Climate Community: fjmtstudio’s Sydney and Melbourne closed Thursday 23 June 2022
We want to ask these questions of ourselves, listen and learn and deepen our commitment to addressing these great challenges in our design work and our professional conduct.
Our Sydney and Melbourne studio’s will be closed on
Thursday 23 from 9:00 — 5:00pm and
Friday 24 from 12:00pm — 5:00pm
for our 2022 conference; Country Climate Community.
Connecting with Country: An Architectural Framework for Blackwattle Bay
In planning the future of NSW’s Blackwattle Bay, fjmtstudio and Bangawarra have collaborated on a Connecting with Country Framework that reaches beyond the physical to acknowledge the stories and cultural significance of the site.
Read more at indesignlive.com or in Indesign magazine issue 86.
Image: Mark Gerada.
Truth and Lies in Architecture
Written by Design Director of fjmtstudio Richard Francis-Jones, this is a collection of provocative essays that journey into the vexed circumstance of contemporary architectural practice.
The nature of the great cultural, social, political, environmental, and consumerist challenges facing the contemporary architect are explored, interpreted, and questioned, while drawing connections from architecture theory, philosophy, science, literature, and film sources in an attempt to negotiate the territory between the truth and lies in architecture.
‘These essays written by a leading Australian architect represent a level of comprehensive critical awareness rarely found within the architectural profession and one would be hard pressed to find another comparable figure in contemporary architectural practice. The entire argumentation is impressive, challenging, intellectually at the highest level and beautifully written.’
fjmtstudio Australia will be closed from Thursday 23 December 2021 and will re-open on Monday 17 January 2022. The UK studio will be closed from Friday 17 December 2021 and will reopen on Tuesday 4 January 2022. We would like to thank all of our incredible clients, consultants, contractors and dedicated staff for making it a wonderful year despite the challenges. We wish you all a safe, happy and restful holiday break.
NZIA Auckland Architecture Awards
Auckland War Memorial Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira, Te Ao Mārama and Cenotaph Galleries by fjmtstudio, Jasmax and designTRIBE architects has won both the Public and Heritage Awards at the Auckland Architecture Awards.
Te Ao Mārama marks the arrival of an inclusive and collaborative approach to the storytelling of Tāmaki Herenga Waka. The new South Atrium renovation brings balance to the original European architecture, and embeds mana whenua and Pacific narratives into the museum’s civic spaces. Tikanga now guides welcome, arrival, orientation and kai. New boulevards connect Te Ao Mārama to the Māori Court, and the tanoa bowl form is fully realised with exquisite detailing. External works enhance the pedestrian experience of arrival and provides views to significant landforms. Te Ao Mārama sets a new precedent and lays down a challenge to all who visit it to see their museum, and their heritage, afresh.
This collaborative team has successfully unlocked the bicultural potential in a nationally significant heritage building. By engaging in meaningful consultation with diverse governance to meet public expectations, the collaborators have enhanced both the He Korahi Māori and Teu Le Va experiences. This thoughtful design responds to the proportions of the existing building with a heritage fabric that has been adaptively reused and refurbished, and successfully pieces together old and new. The new work enables a dialogue between New Zealand’s colonial past and the present, and offers a path towards decolonisation.
The Wolfson Building wins at RIBA South and Oxford Preservation Trust Awards
The Wolfson Building is a new neuroscience research building at Oxford University’s John Radcliffe Hospital accommodating the UK’s first dedicated centre for prevention of stroke and dementia.
The three-storey building houses a mix of laboratory, office and meeting/seminar space. It provides purpose-built facilities for the Wolfson Centre for the Prevention of Stroke and Dementia, as well as research space for the Wellcome Centre for Integrative Neuroimaging.
It has been awarded a RIBA South Award and Winner in the New Buildings Category in the Oxford Preservation Trust Awards.
Read more here:
Bunjil Place wins the Impact Award at the Australian Interior Design Awards
Bunjil Place is a stunning example of genuinely impactful design. The scale of the impact is significant and meaningful. Bunjil Place reaches a large community by providing a sense of place and amenity that was previously absent. This project has created a true civic heart that brings together various functions that benefit the community and staff. It provides a platform for community programming, social interaction and cultural inclusion – it brings the people of Casey together and brings people to the City of Casey.
The success of Bunjil Place is due to a confluence of intelligent and ambitious undertakings by the designers and client that have resulted in a coherent, well-resolved and joyful design.
Co-development and expansion of the brief raised initial expectations and enabled the project to realise its full potential. A generosity of spirit is evident in fjmtinterior’s determination to provide authentic world-class facilities for the City of Casey, including an international-standard art gallery and an 850-seat state-of-the-art theatre. The highly functional design caters equally to the needs of international artists and primary school groups.
Genuine engagement with the Indigenous community, from the competition stage and throughout the design process, has strengthened and informed the symbolic design, which integrates the form of Bunjil through the timber ceiling grid.
Planning is intuitive and human-centred. All amenities, including the library, art gallery, theatre, council chambers and offices radiate from the central lobby, maximising cross-interaction and cross-engagement. The flexible use of spaces – in particular, the Council Chamber’s adaptability to a function venue – has provided increased revenue and is a demonstrably effective use of rate payers’ money.
Bunjil Place has proven transformative to a community through increased local patronage to the arts and literature, new job creation, education and access to the arts, and local access to world-class performances and exhibitions. This project has changed lives positively and will continue to do so for future generations.
Sirius: Architecture Saved, Heritage Lost
At Sydney-Open, a livestream panel discussion chaired by Adam Haddow on new heritage asked what buildings saved from demolition have changed the city for the better. Panelist and Design Director of fjmtstudio Richard Francis-Jones put forward the Sirius building but also suggested that while the building was saved something more important has been lost.
Following this and in response to the NSW Chapter Editorial Committee’s call for contributions in a context of of crisis Richard wrote the following piece.
The Sirius social housing project cannot be considered or properly valued outside the incredible history and narrative of its making. It is perhaps a greater social and cultural project than it is architectural. Its heritage is as much about meaning and use as the skillful composition of brutalist precast concrete frames.
Sirius was raised out of the demolished public housing terraces of the Rocks, a new home for a displaced community and a monument of social atonement and equity. Ironically this architecture of compensation and repair broke the delicate urban form and scale of the Rocks in pursuit of an only slightly adjusted modernist paradigm of urban renewal that was the cause of the original damage.
It is a remarkable project and a remarkably poetic story.
It embodies the community and political struggle of the Green Bans, the urban struggle between modernist renewal and the historic city, and also embodies the noble project of modernity directed towards social emancipation and equity. But now emptied of its community, of its social purpose, of its life, and true significance, it has become a mere shell. What have we preserved and what have we lost? Does it actually matter if any future repurposing of this monument of social atonement is a good or bad work of architectural adaptation if the soul of the building has already left?
The story of Sirius began in the late 1960s when the historic Rocks with its tight-knit terraces and narrow streets, was planned to undergo an ambitious urban regeneration that would epitomise the modernist post-war paradigm of healthy, equitable living. Residential towers and gardens with light, view, and fresh air, were to represent a modern 20th century ideal at the edge of our Harbour. This new urban vision was perhaps best expressed, in the proposal of 1963 by Sydney’s greatest exponent of modernism Harry Seidler.
The problem, however, was not the quality of the architecture, but the social and cultural cost of such over-simplified modernist paradigms that were fracturing communities and historic urban form in cities throughout the world.
At the Rocks, demolition had already begun and local residents were displaced from the terraces on George, Playfair, and Atherden Streets. However, this social displacement and urban transformation was dramatically halted through public protests, union action and, Green Bans championed by the NSW Builders Labourers Federation (BLF) leader and environmentalist Jack Mundey, who passed away in May last year.
Following the success of this community action, the Sirius project was to rise from the rubble, mend the damage and heal the wounds, by providing new accommodation for the displaced residents. Designed by the NSW Housing Commission and led by Tao Gofers, Sirius was a great contrast to the terrace house typology of the Rocks. Vertically stacked up, open, precast concrete boxes of individual apartments offering views, natural light and roof gardens. Paradoxically, it was a late 1970s variation on the form of the 1960s modernist urban regeneration that had caused the destruction in the first place.
Part of its success perhaps, is its exceptionalism in this tight-knit historic urban form and community, which lets us appreciate the contrast and complement of the urban-social visions.
But its cultural significance is in giving witness to the great social urban drama that was played out on the front stage of our City at Circular Quay. An architectural monument of social atonement giving pride of place and the best views of Harbour and Opera House to vulnerable members of our community displaced by haste and ignorance of modern ‘progress’.
Perhaps this was never going to last as values and political priorities changed and the most privileged parts of our cities were inevitably claimed by the socially privileged. But in January 2018 when Myra Demetriou, the last resident of Sirius left and the building sold, something essential to the heart and meaning of the project also left.
Architecture is not separate from the aspirations of its making and the life and values it embodies. These are integral to its cultural worth and heritage, this is particularly the case with Sirius which bears witness to such an important social urban narrative, played out dramatically at centre stage in our city but also occurring in our peripheral vision all over New South Wales.
Sirius embodied a great and important story, in its scale, form, geometry and material, but most of all in its life and content. Surely no amount of carefully considered contemporary interpretation and skillful design adaptation can compensate for a loss, fatal to the meaning, purpose and essence of the architecture.
Emptied of its social meaning, of its soul, does it actually matter what we now do to the shell?
This piece was originally published in Architecture Bulletin Vol 78 / No. 1 What are we doing? July 2021 and online 4 May 2021.
Nunawading Community Hub receives a Commendation for Public Architecture AIA
Lost: Urban Propositions & Concepts
LOST concepts and urban propositions make up a significant body of work for most Sydney studios of architecture. For one reason or another many ideas and proposals will never be realised, and are rarely displayed or shared in any way. These concepts are often provocative, explorative and convincing, yet remain in the speculative — lost to the collective architectural culture of our city.
LOST is an exhibition that uncovers and explores a series of these concepts and propositions by a group of leading Sydney architectural studios. Displayed in the UTS Central Exhibition Space these concepts will be made visible to spectators within the campus and on Broadway, generating a conceptual dialogue between community and city.
Co-curated by Richard Francis-Jones and Brooke Jackson
Co-designed by James Perry, Alicia McCarthy and Shuang Wu
Exhibiting Candalepas Associates, CHROFI, Collins and Turner, Durbach Block Jaggers, fjmtstudio, Neeson Murcutt + Neille, Terroir and Tribe Studio.
UTS Exhibition Space on Broadway
22 February – 23 April 2021.
Bringing Back the Town Square
Head of fjmtplace Annie Hensley writes on Bringing Back the Town Square in Indesign Issue 79.
A Tale of Two Icons: UTS Central has Officially Opened its Doors
UTS Central has officially opened its doors to students, staff and the community, the final building to be delivered as part of a 10-year campus redevelopment program.
Vice-Chancellor, Professor Attila Brungs in his opening speech:
Forty years ago this year, the iconic (and some unkindly say ‘ugly’) brutalist Tower next door to us was officially opened to the public as the centrepiece of the then-NSW Institute of Technology. Despite the love/hate relationship the Sydney community has with the Tower, it was a building of its time and has an enduring legacy.
Forty years later, and we are here to open UTS Central – the neighbour to the Tower – and an embodiment of the evolution of education. As we celebrate the opening of this new building, we come to the end of our decade-long campus redevelopment … and we embark on our next wave of re-imagining education for the future as part of our next ten-year strategy. UTS Central is the start of the next transformation of UTS – the delivery of a lifetime of learning opportunities for our staff and students.
The twin crises of climate breakdown and biodiversity loss are the most serious issue of our time. Globally, buildings and construction play a major part, accounting for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions whilst also having a significant impact on our natural habitats. Meeting the needs of our communities and staying within our ecological limits will require a shift in our behaviour as well as the design, delivery and performance of our buildings. Together with our clients, we will need to commission and design buildings, cities and infrastructures as indivisible components of a larger, constantly regenerating and self-sustaining system.
The research and technology exist for us to begin that transformation now, but what has been lacking is collective will. Recognising this, we are committing to strengthen our working practices to create architecture and urbanism that has a more positive impact on the world around us.
Regional Prize for Port of Sale
Wellington Shire council engaged fjmt to revitalise the historic precinct known as the Port of Sale into a multi-use cultural and civic hub.
We would like to congratulate Wellington Shire council and the project team involved in this project!
“This transformation of a Brutalist building, a recognisable marker in Sale, contributes urban connections, while creating a reinvigorated regional hub. Within the constraints of restrained budget and robust fabric, limited architectural intervention create visual connections within and through the building to the local landscape and port. Penetrations and transformation of former disused courtyards and undercroft parking form galleries and gathering spaces, while maximising natural lights within the building. Minor alterations to the external fabric create a welcoming presence while fundamentally leaving the building intact. Careful and efficient planning has resulted in a highly active civic hub with programmatically clear connections and sense of spacial generosity. A new large staircase draws users down to the Port, enjoying views of the river at lower level. Increased gallery spaces allow for diverse exhibitions, offering itself as a viable competitor amongst regional galleries. Working collaboratively with an enthusiastic client and the Gurnaikurnai people, integrated elements celebrate people and place, instilling identity and community pride. The Port of Sale demonstrates that the careful revitalisation of facilities can uplift their value and contribute to better regional spaces.”
Credit: Lillie Thompson Photography @lillie_thompson
UTS Central’s Executive Gardens
An important milestone has been reached in February 2019: twelve olive trees have been lifted up to the 17th level of UTS’s new building to compose the Executive Gardens, that will welcome the Vice Chancellor and the University research Staff.
The selected trees, carefully transported from the nursery, have been lifted and installed without problems.
We are looking forward to seeing this project completed in July 2019. Stay tuned!
Design Director Richard Francis-Jones at The Architecture Symposium
Richard Francis-Jones, Design Director, will give a talk about Frank Bartlett Library and Community Centre at The Architecture Symposium on the 28th of September 2018.
The symposium will be held at the Art Gallery of New South Wales.
Read more about the full list of speakers and download the program here.
This critical day-long forum, which celebrates Australia’s world-class architects, is curated by Wendy Lewin and Angelo Candalepas and includes presentations by New York-based writer, critic and former Pritzker Prize juror Karen Stein. The event focuses on outstanding examples of contemporary Australian architecture, with a series of talks by leading practitioners from around the country exploring recently completed and upcoming projects.
Elizabeth Carpenter in Conversation with Architecture Review
‘We want to maintain and increase our diversity, and it’s really important to nurture new staff and make sure there’s a really strong career progression for them. We need to continue to embrace new technologies… every project we do, we always try and investigate how we can stretch a bit more.’
Madeleine Swain speaks with Elizabeth Carpenter about business, design and diversity.