DARCH kicked off the year with a 2016 commencement party. This is a new initiative that aims to welcome recent graduates to the profession and to introduce them to DARCH and the Institute. Held on a rooftop in Darlinghurst, the event was a great success, with approximately 100 people in attendance. We would like to thank Will Fung of CO-AP for generously allowing us to use their office rooftop
DARCH continues its support for the registration of graduates with the first of two Regi[fru]stration talks held at Tusculum in early February. Focused on demystifying the process of registering, these talks invite recently registered architects to speak alongside the NSW ARB Registrar, an APE examiner and the convenor of PALS. We thank Timothy Horton, Eva-Marie Prineas, Tony Kemeny, Nikki Butlin and Ksenia Totoeva for their time.
DARCH would like to acknowledge the contribution of out-going committee members and thank them for their years of dedicated input – Jenna Rowe, Albert Quizon, Laura Meyer, Matthias Hollenstein and Joseph Loh. We are also very excited to welcome Casey Bryant, Steani Cilliers, Georgia McGowan, Andrew Le, Kristina Sahlestrom, Mitch Walsh and Luke Gerzina as new DARCH committee members and look forward to working alongside them in 2016.
Tim Hastwell and Ksenia Totoeva
The Newcastle and Country Divisions are undergoing a period of significant change, and the NSW Chapter has put in place a Regional Taskforce to address these changes. The Newcastle representatives on the Regional Taskforce consist of myself as Chairman, Glen Spicer (past ND Chair), David Rose (past ND Chair) and Peter Kemp (ND Committee member).
The Regional Taskforce had a spirited, yet constructive, first meeting on Tuesday 2 February 2016, with Ken Maher (National President Elect) Shaun Carter (NSW Chapter President), Jamie Penrose (General Manager, Member Engagement) Country Division representatives and the Institute’s NSW administration staff in attendance. At the meeting there was a frank and open discussion as to the financial position of the Institute and the recent changes implemented by National Council. The Newcastle representatives expressed our concerns as to the impact upon our members.
As a result of the meeting, we achieved some positive agreement and positive outcomes. All of our core Institute-based events programming will go ahead in 2016 (with the exception of the LHUDA program). The Newcastle Division has advised the NSW Chapter that we intend to remain involved and committed to supporting the Lower Hunter Urban Design Awards program – as we have for the past forty years. The LHUDA program will be supported directly by the Newcastle Division with no funding involvement from NSW Chapter.
We look forward to a successful 2016 Newcastle Architecture Awards program and many other 2016 events for our members. The Newcastle Division Committee will continue to work with the NSW Chapter to ensure appropriate continuity of services to our members throughout 2016 and beyond. We note that while we are not happy with the way in which National Council has managed the recent changes to the Newcastle Division, we feel it is to the benefit of our members to remain a part of the Institute and use this opportunity to fight to improve our services to members, rather than withdraw or establish an independent entity.
We feel that by staying within the Institute we will have a stronger presence, and will benefit from being able to retain our representative voice and vote on NSW Chapter Council. This will allow us to continue to advocate for our Newcastle members at state and then national level within the Institute. As a continuing division of NSW Chapter the Newcastle Division will also be able to more broadly support the profession.
The Newcastle MBA office, the University of Newcastle and the Newcastle Architecture Foundation have all pledged their ongoing support for the Institute’s Newcastle Division and we look forward to working with these and other related organisations towards a sustainable, and active future for the architectural profession.
At this time, I have recently stepped away as Chairman for personal reasons and my committee colleague, Peter Kemp will be acting in my absence. The Acting Chair, the Regional Taskforce and the Committee will be working together to secure the continuity of our vibrant, active Division.
Chair, Newcastle Division
Country Division is going through a readjustment phase after the closure of the Newcastle office. As a result we have cancelled our March event and have turned our attention to the May seminar, with details to be issued soon. Planning for our annual conference, which will be at Salt on the Tweed coast this year, has been taken up by the National events team and is well advanced
The Special Projects Grant program will continue to run in 2016, with the winners being announced at the annual conference. The grant recipients from last year have been hard at work and attracting media attention for their innovative projects. We are looking forward to seeing even more positive outcomes from these excellent grass roots advocacy projects later in the year.
Chair, Country Division
Allen Jack + Cottier (AJ+C) is currently leading the design of a number of Sydney’s most significant urban transformation projects. Within these higher intensity urban projects, AJ+C is integrating active open spaces with sport and leisure facilities that will positively affect the health and general quality of life of the community, while also dramatically increasing the return on economic and social investment. These projects bring together all of AJ+C’s experience in retail, entertainment, sports, child care, aged care and residential buildings to create active, healthy, whole of life community living.
AJ+C is also experimenting with a series of indoor sporting stadiums which incorporate numerous physical and mental health support services within the building, with the aim of reducing youth related social issues including incarceration, depression and suicide. These initiatives also reduce both social and financial costs for the state.
Bates Smart recently won an invited design competition to convert the Clocktower Office Development in The Rocks into a boutique hotel and new public square. The Rocks has a diverse and eclectic mix of architectural styles and scales, with an intimate network of pedestrian laneways and stairs. The Clocktower is currently out of scale with The Rocks, and severs all fine grain pedestrian connections around it.
Our vision was to create an authentic place that captures the essence of The Rocks. A large public square connected to the intimate laneways that are the lifeblood of The Rocks creates a focal point and place to meet. Connected on all corners to laneways this place will be a dynamic urban experience and with an evening outdoor cinema there will be 24 hour activity. Restaurants, cafes, and providores activate the space over three levels. Hotel guests arrive via a discreet entry off Cambridge Street, creating a sense of discovery and uniqueness. Each building has been individually articulated to respond to the scale and materiality of The Rocks. A palette of authentic natural materials draws on the vocabulary of The Rocks, creating an architecture of parts designed as a contemporary interpretation of The Rocks.
When we talk about skyscrapers, we tend to focus on their impact up high – from their mark on the skyline to the quality of their view. But what about life on the ground? This question was the topic of a presentation by HASSELL Principal Ken McBryde to delegates at the Council for Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) international conference, held in New York in October.
McBryde cited the HASSELL design for Brookfield Place (pictured), which succeeded in creating a “sticky destination” that draws people in – and keeps them there – to dine, shop or simply explore. By being carefully integrated within the city fabric and its public domain, the development has restored and enlivened an area of the city that was dormant for more than 30 years. The project was recognised with the Australia Award for Urban Design last year. In recent local news, our proposal for 60 Martin Place – a similarly skyline-defining and place-responsive building – was granted development approval by the City of Sydney.
Working with National Parks and Wildlife Services NSW and community groups, Tanner Kibble Denton Architects (TKD Architects) is finalising the concept designs and documentation for the new Visitors Centre at Warrumbungle National Park. The design theme, Fracture, embraces the volcanic dykes and formations of Warrumbungle and includes contemporary rectilinear forms broken by sinuous monolithic walls.
The new Visitors Centre will replace the original facility lost in the devastating 2013 bushfires. It will house an exhibition of geology, flora and fauna and Indigenous and European history. The outdoor viewing platform overlooks the stunning Grand High Tops and provides interpretive landscape. TKD Managing Director, Alex Kibble, is the project pirector for this new Visitors Centre, with Chloe Rayfield as project architect. Construction for the Visitors Centre is anticipated to commence mid-2016.