ARCHITECTURE - Projects

Parliament House (Competition)

Canberra (1979)

Entry in a national competition for the new Parliament House in Canberra. [In collaboration with Terry Dorrough, Paul Desney and students from S.U.]

First published in "Transition", Vol.1, No. 3, March 1980


Form
The architectural image for the project is a "Crown" on Capital Hill. As such it sits on a solid base of concrete walls clad in pink granite. Standing on the base the galleries are light, delicate, and transparent. The jewels in the "Crown" are the Library, the Clubhouse/Dining Room, the Gateways and the Reception Hall. The roofs of the Chambers will appear above the galleries from various angles.

The important Rooms of Meeting are individually distinguished in the Parliamentary domain. The chambers are on the diagonal axes; the public halls on the central axis, while the party rooms are set in gardens. The Parliamentary street, lined on one side by Committee rooms, runs between the Library and the Clubhouse and is the place where the Parliamentary domain and the Public domain join.

The plan allows a diversity of kinds of meeting and gives expression to the democratic and pluralistic character of Australian society. The various functions of Parliament are identifiable and distinct. The arms of the galleries form a public promenade around the hill on their uppermost level and contain various offices in the Parliamentary domain and in the Public domain there are walks, public facilities, and space for public institutions.

Each gallery arm is terminated by a Ceremonial Gatehouse: one dedicated to the Aboriginal people, the other to the New Settlers. The galleries are buttressed on the outside by the flexible accomodation required for housing members, for executive offices, and to provide space for future expansion. In a way the galleries act as inhabited streets with the repetitive, flexible accomodation on the outside, and the individual and particular meeting rooms and their supporting facilities on the inside.


Some conclusions drawn from preliminary studies were:

  • The building should be simple in the sense of singular, easy to orientate oneself in - "a simple idea clearly expressed".
  • The building should relate in some visible way to the three major axes which intersect on the centre of the site.
  • As it is the head of the Parliamentary Triangle, the new building must be capable of fulfilling the function of giving the Triangle and the buildings within it a new sense of position and purpose. It must establish a link to the lake and beyond it to the War Memorial. It must be a climax to the land axis.
  • It should make an open public place - not only as a place for a quick visit for tourists, but also for a place which encourages meeting, a place which might in future attract various public institutions of the arts or sciences which could be associated with it. The great court which is given such prominence is considered as an expression of the representative nature of the parliament and a proper expression for a democracy which endorses the right to freedom of speech and assembly.
  • The enclosure of the court should be an open one, not that suggested by the image of a walled citadel. A screen of columns or arcades which provide shelter, enclosure and yet allows views in and out seems to reinforce this intention.
  • The open accessibility by the public to committee rooms and rooms of meeting suggested their positioning at one end of such an open court or square.

In this project it is the Reception Hall With its connotation of Hospitality that is the climax to the main axis of the building. It terminates the land axis, echoing the War Memorial across the lake with Mt. Ainslie behind it. It is also the climax to the ceremonial journey through the building, allowing the public to survey the whole building and to appreciate the views of the hills and lake which distinguish Canberra from other Capitals of the world.

Parliament House (Competition)
Parliament House (Competition)
Parliament House (Competition)
Parliament House (Competition)
Parliament House (Competition)
Parliament House (Competition)
Parliament House (Competition)
Parliament House (Competition)
Parliament House (Competition)
Parliament House (Competition)
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Walter Burley Griffin Memorial

Mt. Ainslie. Canberra. Competition Entry (1975)

Walter Burley Griffin Memorial
Walter Burley Griffin Memorial
Walter Burley Griffin Memorial
Walter Burley Griffin Memorial
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Masters Project

Master of Architecture Program, University of Pennsylvania.

Anne Tyng's "Metamorphology Course" (1970)

Theoretical project for large scale Housing done in collaboration with Shane de Blacam.

Masters Project
Masters Project
Masters Project
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Aitken House

Castle Hill (1973)

This project was for a house on a wooded site in the Sydney suburb of Castle Hill. The clients were an airline captain and his wife.

Version 1.
The house wraps around a courtyard, and being one room thick, all the rooms get sun, light and views. Unlike so many suburban houses this one has a walled courtyard garden which provides an intimate, secluded and carefully tended place in the bushland.

Version 2.
An L-shaped plan with the three major rooms directed to the view down the valley. A thick wall of minor or servant rooms to the north and west has a concrete roof covered in earth and growing plants and highlight windows above to bring sun into the major rooms.

The garage and workshops are in a separate building with a cultivated garden between the two.

Aitken House
Aitken House
Aitken House
Aitken House
Aitken House
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Gould House

Avalon, Sydney (1989-92)

The site for this house is located on a steep slope facing west over the broad reach of Pittwater and looking toward the Western shore of the Kuringai National Park with its unspoilt, rugged and primeval quality and its shifting shadows on the rounded hills.

This design employs a "thick wall" to the south which contains a variety of rooms including an entrance porch, gallery, stairs, bathrooms and the main kitchen.

The "thick wall" shelters to its north a garden and the major rooms of the house which are of timber post and beam construction.

Gould House
Gould House
Gould House
Gould House
Gould House
Gould House
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Professional Offices

Moss Vale (2003)

This project for a local developer sought to re-establish the facade on to the main street which is typical of most commercial buildings in country towns. The use of precast concrete panels was investigated as an alternative to masonry. Collection and storage of water was facilitated by concrete troughs which also act as entrance porches for the occupants.

The exaggerated perspective of the porches was dramatic. The offices were to house solicitors at street front, accountants at rear and two rental studio spaces in the middle.

The offices all possessed a mezzanine level encouraging communication between levels and giving airy, sunlit workspaces.Obligatory parking is at the rear of site.

This would have been a landmark building in Moss Vale as the developer had wanted, but they did not want to pay the price of $2,500 /m2. This was, at the time, an average price for home renovations in Sydney.

Professional Offices
Professional Offices
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Courtyard House at Vincentia

South Coast, NSW

Courtyard House at Vincentia
Courtyard House at Vincentia
Courtyard House at Vincentia
Courtyard House at Vincentia
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