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 Jasmax, FJMT 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.
JASMAX , FJMT AND DESIGNTRIBE ARCHITECTS
Photography: Dennis Radermacher
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.
Read more here:
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.
Inner Sydney High School Welcomes its First Students
The new comprehensive Inner Sydney High School, which occupies a site on the corner of Cleveland and Chalmers Streets in the urban inner city suburb of Surry Hills, creates a new future focused high-rise campus, with a mix of new and refurbished buildings, providing a diversity of learning environments for the local students.
The new school presents a vertical typology with a bespoke educational model specifically developed collaboratively with educational consultants, fjmtstudio and a selected panel of experts. The school is one of the very few precedents globally of a true high-rise school.
Conceptually the form was conceived as a series of identifiable elements carefully articulated to respond to the scale of the existing context, creating a campus sitting comfortably within and with strong connections to Prince Alfred Park. The form and the continued connection to nature within such an urban environment, creates a natural sense of intimacy and community.
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!
Bunjil Place & 200 George Street awarded the Rethinking the Future Award
We are pleased to announce that Bunjil Place and the EY Centre, 200 George Street received the Rethinking the Future (RTF) – 2018 Global Architecture & Design Awards.
This year, 748 projects were registered from more than 50 countries, spanning architecture, landscaping, urban design, product design and interior design categories.
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.
Bunjil Place receives William Wardell Award for Public Architecture AIA
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.
200 George Street shortlisted for RIBA International Prize
200 George Street is among the shortlisted projects for the RIBA International Prize 2018.
The jury visited the project last week. Winners will be announced in December 2018.
You can see the full shortlist here
Harry Seidler Award and the Walter Burley Griffin Award
On the 2nd of November, the Australian Institute of Architects announced the Winners of the National Architecture Awards 2017. Two projects from fjmtstudio have been awarded the AIA National Architecture Awards.
‘The jury gave preference to projects demonstrating the contribution architecture can make to the public good; projects that were inventive in their responses to context, site and program; and those that celebrated an understanding of materials and making,’ Maher said.
This year’s jury had the daunting task of awarding projects from the largest field of entries received in the almost four decades since the national awards program began, with a total of 983 entries received and 72 shortlisted for national honours.’
200 George Street has been awarded the 2017 Harry Seidler Award for the most outstanding work of commercial architecture in Australia.
‘This exemplar for commercial highrise projects establishes an outstanding benchmark for its type through its particular identity and careful consideration of human scale and comfort while minimizing its environmental footprint.’
Frank Bartlett Library and Moe Service Centre has been awarded the 2017 The Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design.
‘This strategic, subtle and very effective urban addition is a small library with a major urban impact. It rethinks Moe by providing a new physical and social heart. It gives a stressed region hope for the future.’