2008 COLORBOND® steel Student Biennale

The 2008 Student Biennale received 159 applications from 16 Australian universities. The designs of the following ten finalists were featured in the travelling exhibition and catalogue.

Joint Winner
Daniel Griffin On the Ground – RMIT University
Jade Myers The Urban Dislodgement – University of Queensland
Finalists
Hideto Chijiwa Der Bau – Inkerman Street Housing Project – Deakin University
Kate Ferguson Law Courts Building, Cathedral Square, Hay Street, Perth – Curtin University of Technology
Mathew George Birth, Survival, Destruction and Rebirth – Darwin Civic Centre – Deakin University
Khang Yong Loh Kelantan Tarbiyah Islamiah Centre – Curtin University of Technology
Sam Perversi-Brooks Stockholm Syndrome – RMIT University
Augustine Savage Urban Perspectives: RMIT Design Hub Building, Swanston Street, Melbourne – RMIT University
Clancy White Mt Herschel Resort Rottnest Island – University of Western Australia
Dylan Wood Badhu Riverhouse: A Community Cultural Centre – University of Newcastle
Joint Winner

Daniel Griffin,
RMIT University

On the Ground [Maternity Hospital + Epigenetic Research Facility_Jenin_West Bank 2050]

Project Statement

Intended to rupture the town’s urban fabric and displace its occupants, the 2002 demolition of the Jenin Refugee Camp only reinforced the locals’ bond to their land and built environment.

Located in the future Palestinian state, this project responds to past attempts from Western occupiers to deny the importance of this connection to place, by giving experiential form to Jenin’s social and spatial topographies.

Envisioning a rehabilitation clinic and epigenetic research facility as the culmination of a master plan located close to the rebuilt centre, the project engages the intersection between Arab and Western architectures as the basis for a contemporary hybrid architecture rooted in place and social structure.

Jury Report on Joint Finalists’ projects

(Daniel Griffin, RMIT University, and Jade Myers, University of Queensland)

Two projects are awarded, each of which display a deep understanding of the urban condition and explore the potentials of architecture to provoke change and re-stitch disrupted urban fabrics. Offering different architectures, both are equally commendable.

The projects examine two cities, Jenin and Brisbane; the former torn apart by outside forces, the latter undermined by internal lack of understanding and inappropriate infrastructure.

Griffin and Myers similarly take up the thread of conservation, displaying strong interpretations of the relationship between urban fabric and cultural value. Both works examine the potential of future conditions by interpreting the nature and history of the existing. Pleasingly, though neither would advocate progress at the expense of the past, their architectural responses are vastly different.

The scope and methodology of the two winners are quite distinctive. Myers operates through the “walling” of a precinct, developing thresholds which open up, and give definition to a “centre” and then proposing a series of interventions which integrate places, infrastructure and topography across this precinct; Griffin explores ways of hybridising Arabic and Western architectures, investigating digitally systems of inter-relationships in a traditional urban context, and from this, generating a singular piece of architecture whose formal character pulls the fractured fabric of the city together.

One working with urban form, the other with urban place, both are exemplary models. Griffin and Myers together demonstrate that architecture is crucial to creating places of sensitivity, meaning and value within the city.

2008 Joint Winner: On the Ground [Maternity Hospital + Epigenetic Research Facility_Jenin_West Bank 2050] by Daniel Griffin

2008 Joint Winner: On the Ground [Maternity Hospital + Epigenetic Research Facility_Jenin_West Bank 2050] by Daniel Griffin


Jade Myers,
University of Queensland

The Urban Dislodgement

Project Statement

The project is an urban insertion, consisting of a series of public spaces and buildings, spanning across the precinct. Specifically the project consists of a public square, exhibition space, theatre, library, retail street (including a subway), marketplace and park. The project further explores how the precinct is to develop over time. Responding to both the increased density demands of the South East Queensland region and the current disconnected state of Kangaroo Point, Brisbane, the project’s main objective is to establish key public and cultural spaces that may serve all members of the community as it develops over time.

Jury Report on Joint Finalists’ projects

(Daniel Griffin, RMIT University, and Jade Myers, University of Queensland)

Two projects are awarded, each of which display a deep understanding of the urban condition and explore the potentials of architecture to provoke change and re-stitch disrupted urban fabrics. Offering different architectures, both are equally commendable. The projects examine two cities, Jenin and Brisbane; the former torn apart by outside forces, the latter undermined by internal lack of understanding and inappropriate infrastructure. Griffin and Myers similarly take up the thread of conservation, displaying strong interpretations of the relationship between urban fabric and cultural value. Both works examine the potential of future conditions by interpreting the nature and history of the existing. Pleasingly, though neither would advocate progress at the expense of the past, their architectural responses are vastly different. The scope and methodology of the two winners are quite distinctive. Myers operates through the “walling” of a precinct, developing thresholds which open up, and give definition to a “centre” and then proposing a series of interventions which integrate places, infrastructure and topography across this precinct; Griffin explores ways of hybridising Arabic and Western architectures, investigating digitally systems of inter-relationships in a traditional urban context, and from this, generating a singular piece of architecture whose formal character pulls the fractured fabric of the city together. One working with urban form, the other with urban place, both are exemplary models. Griffin and Myers together demonstrate that architecture is crucial to creating places of sensitivity, meaning and value within the city.

2008 Joint Winner: The Urban Dislodgement by Jade Meyers

2008 Joint Winner: The Urban Dislodgement by Jade Meyers

Finalist

Hideto Chijiwa,
Deakin University

Der Bau – Inkerman Street Housing Project

Project Statement

Der Bau; the Inkerman Street Collective Housing Project is a proposal for a Social Housing Block, sited on the corner of Inkerman and Greeves Street in St Kilda, Melbourne’s inner south-east. The Brief required 50 units in total; consisting of 3 unit-types all different in size; 1-bedroom unit, 2-bedroom unit and 2-bedroom plus study type unit. The project stems from the ambition of not seeking an over-emphatic volume of the norms of a housing block. The project is effectively a scrutiny and a discourse of Housing as a typology, and the relationship of people with space; a physical disposition of form.

Jury Report

In this project the exploration of the nature of and the literal layering of public space is particularly rich, and to this end the drawings are remarkable for their texture and subtlety of gradation. Unfortunately less well documented, however, are the connections between these public spaces and the collective and private spaces of the housing, and the architectural development of the building.

2008 Finalist: Der Bau - Inkerman Street Housing Project by Hideto Chijiwa

2008 Finalist: Der Bau – Inkerman Street Housing Project by Hideto Chijiwa


Kate Ferguson,
Curtin University of Technology

Law Courts Building, Cathedral Square, Hay Street, Perth

Project Statement

The brief is for a law courts building in the Perth CBD. The site includes historic buildings and a 1970s office tower which has a detrimental impact on the area. The project explores the potential of re-use as a vehicle for environmental sustainability and in the creation of a rich, layered urban realm. The office tower is substantially altered: the architectural language centres on the interplay between old and new elements. The removal of lower floors opens up an urban square framed by the immediate site and the golden star-shaped courtrooms floating above, and is filled with a sculptural landscape of structural supports.

Jury Report

Here, the inventive approach to the re-use of an existing structure is impressive, particularly in its application to such a singularly unexciting and difficult building in central Perth. The initiating presence of this particular manner of re-use demonstrates a strong and clear understanding of the public realm and a new ‘positioning’ of the justice system. The strength of the scheme is best understood in the sections and models where one can read the lighting and character of the spaces. These strengths are not so evident or developed in plan and elevation.

2008 Finalist: Law Courts Building, Cathedral Square, Hay Street, Perth by Kate Ferguson

2008 Finalist: Law Courts Building, Cathedral Square, Hay Street, Perth by Kate Ferguson


Mathew George,
Deakin University

Birth, Survival, Destruction and Rebirth – Darwin Civic Centre

Project Statement

The aim of this design thesis is to explore a potential evolution in tropical architecture and question our understanding of public architecture in tropical environments. The objective is to break with the traditional oppositions that exist between built structures, public open space and the natural environment. The design embraces the phenomenon of the tropics, that public buildings within these climates mostly fail to celebrate or embrace, by segregating internal and external spaces. The proposed program consists of an adult reference library, arts exhibition and council facilities including the assembly hall with public gallery, mayor’s offices and mayor’s administrative entourage.

Jury Report

In appearing to work with a clear understanding of the character, and the characteristics, of the climate this project draws attention to the particularities and imperatives of climate in the tropical regions of Australia. In particular this is demonstrated by the layering of wall/roof elements within the section. Significantly, this scheme suggests opportunities for the development of generic solutions to the architectural treatment of wind, water and light. However, the intentions at the urban scale and the advantages of the urban proposition appear less convincingly developed.

2008 Finalist: Birth, Survival, Destruction and Rebirth - Darwin Civic Centre by Mathew George

2008 Finalist: Birth, Survival, Destruction and Rebirth – Darwin Civic Centre by Mathew George


Khang Yong Loh,
Curtin University of Technology

Kelantan Tarbiyah Islamiah Centre

Project Statement

The dissertation proposed an extension of the existing site development, namely Kelantan Tarbiyah Islamiah Centre, which was originally initiated by Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party as a community centre and political headquarters. The proposal re-addressed the characteristic of contemporary mosque design by examining the evolution of mosque typology from the original Prophet’s house to present-day mosques. It explored the potential to develop sensitive connections with Kelantan’s craft such as Songket and Shadow Puppetry.Its objective is to foster a new generation of Contemporary State Mosques in Northern Malaysia, deeply rooted in precedent, tradition and local craft, with its Islamic principles intact.

Jury Report

This project has a strong parti and uncommon subtlety. The investigations of mosque typology and the qualities of light, shade, shadow and other ephemeral qualities as placemakers and spacemakers are all commendable. Many of the proposed spaces are evocative of a gentle but assured understanding of an architecture of light-and-shadow, although some key images seem over-dramatised, rather than evoking the gentleness of natural light.

The scheme shows respect for the existing building in working with its axis and scale, with the potential for developing a contrasting approach in the spaces across this axis.

khang yong loh

2008 Finalist: Kelantan Tarbiyah Islamiah Centre by Khang Yong Loh


Sam Perversi-Brooks,
RMIT University

Stockholm Syndrome

Project Statement

Stockholm Syndrome is a competition project for the extension to Gunnar Asplund’s Public Library in Stockholm, Sweden. The brief was a complex mix of functional planning, the importance of addressing context, and to re-invent and re-engage the historic public library within the city. Asplund’s building is a metaphor for the mind; an abstract, conceptual analogy between the head and the building. The new building is like the body, the books at its beating heart. The project is an attempt to give the contemporary library – through architecture – a greater creative engagement with the community and culture within which it sits.

Jury Report

This presentation attempts a thorough and comprehensive design with powerful presentation. The volumetric sensibility of the urban response at first impresses, but is then less convincing in its understanding of the urban and building scales. Although the graphic surfaces give the scheme a strong identity, their unmodulated strength across a variety of spaces is unnecessarily unrelenting, and diminishes the hierarchy of spaces developed by the interplay of the plan and section. Nonetheless, the ambitious nature and completeness of the response in this 3rd year project are impressive, particularly given the complexities and scale of the program.

2008 Finalist: Stockholm Syndrome by Sam Perversi-Brooks

2008 Finalist: Stockholm Syndrome by Sam Perversi-Brooks


Augustine Savage,
RMIT University

Urban Perspectives: RMIT Design Hub Building, Swanston Street, Melbourne

Project Statement

From the privileged viewpoint of the Swanston Street axis the twisted façade forms a bold urban gesture, a gateway that has a weight comparable to that of the Shrine. The circular mirror that frames the reflection conforms to a privileged order of the axis and the city grid. As the street diverts the image fragments; establishing changing urban perspectives between notions of monumentality and expressions of its immediate surroundings and program. The ribbons of the façade define the spaces within the public plaza, terraces, and the building program – an urban dialogue between the private and public realms.

Jury Report

This project displays a potent urban idea that understands the importance of its position in Melbourne, exhibiting a material inventiveness which couples strongly with this tectonic display. However, the idea’s influence on the total scheme appears in the end consequential, rather than giving hierarchic clarity to the whole development of the project’s forms and spaces. This is a bold concept worthy of further exploration

augustine savage

2008 Finalist: Urban Perspectives: RMIT Design Hub Building, Swanston Street, Melbourne by Augustine Savage


Clancy White,
University of Western Australia

Mt Herschel Resort Rottnest Island

Project Statement

Mt Herschell Resort – Brief put out to tender by Landcorp (WA) in July 2006 requiring new accommodation, 120 fully serviced rooms on a 4ha site on Rottnest Island. My objectives were to fully adhere to the brief, providing a buildable and cost effective solution and introduce luxury accommodation to the island without disturbing the current absence of an existing social hierarchy. The project explores the notion of tourism as the new religious pilgrimage and man’s quest for authenticity. It experiments with creating sensory events to artificially increase the authenticity of the holiday experience while acknowledging the irony that tourists prefer the reconstructed object rather than the reality of their destination.

Jury Report

The project is commendable and uncommon in recognising the challenges of working with a degraded landscape. While the initial parti, based on a reconstructed landform, offers great potential, the scheme might have taken better advantage of the opportunities offered, particularly with respect to the identity and qualities this ‘new’ landscape could give to specific spaces within the total complex.

2008 Finalist: Mt Herschel Resort Rottnest Island by Clancy White

2008 Finalist: Mt Herschel Resort Rottnest Island by Clancy White


Dylan Wood,
University of Newcastle

Badhu Riverhouse: A Community Cultural Centre

Project Statement

The Badhu Riverhouse project is located in Taree, NSW on the site of the old pool complex, now derelict. The site occupies a stretch of the Manning River opposite Coocumbac Island rainforest. The Riverhouse is clustered around the existing pool buildings and includes an Indigenous cultural centre, centre for local river culture, hostel, river pool, amphitheatre, retail store and cafe. These facilities are dedicated to the Manning’s people and environments, reinforcing community & geographic connection. The project’s architectural endeavour was centred on the creation of a work that could occupy no place other than this particular stretch of river.

Jury Report

This extraordinary presentation communicates strongly the tectonic and material qualities of the project. This powerful and appropriated form, and the semantic properties of the boat-like forms are both commendable. However, the response raises important questions about the project’s less well resolved relationship to existing buildings and the particularities of the site. There are also questions about the repetition of similar forms for different parts of program. Projects such as this could perhaps gain from further study of the typology of river/maritime structures.

2008 Finalist: Badhu Riverhouse: A Community Cultural Centre by Dylan Wood

2008 Finalist: Badhu Riverhouse: A Community Cultural Centre by Dylan Wood