Archive | September, 2011

Allen Jack+Cottier shortlisted for 3 People's Choice Awards at World Architecture Festival

24 Sep

Sydney firm AJ+C has had three recent projects shortlisted for the upcoming World Architecture Festival awards in Barcelona.

Project 1- Glass Loggia House, Glebe.

Site is at the back of a grand Victorian terrace on Bridge Road.
Originally a private zoo in the 1930’s, Terragram’s ‘Garden of Ghosts’ retained and reused remnants of existing sheds, and used a vitrine containing a fish skeleton and a plant filled moat as a pool fence.

AJC conceived a double volume glass loggia that would be sheltered from the hot western sun by an existing cypress stand, to create an outdoor room in a way that acknowledges and accentuates the grand scale of the existing building, and is appropriate to the existing conservation area. The loggia and new rooms are designed to explore and exploit the ambiguities between what is inside and what is outside.

The loggia has the feel of a surreal garden element, creating an atmospheric space for contemplation, children’s play and entertaining guests. Both the new dining room and the master bedroom have corner sliding doors to dematerialise the sense of internal space. A stainless steel mesh curtain shading the whole northwest façade operates to transform the spatial qualities of the garden for different family functions, and changes the perception of the new and old adjoining spaces.


Project 2- Milson Island Sport And Recreation Centre

Recreation centre for the NSW Department of Sport & Recreation is located just north of Sydney on Milson Island, in the Hawkesbury River.

The shape of the building emerged from thermodynamic analysis, a study of side wind forces on site, the need to shed leaves yet collect water, and the enclosure requirements. Rainwater, free from the blockage of leaves, falls clear of the sloping glass slots into gardens for natural filtering and collection. All building elements had to be able to be barged across river to the site. The design celebrates this integrated thinking by allowing no visible ridge, eaves, gutters, downpipes or skylights on the exterior.

When the campfire is lit at night, and the hall interior is illuminated only by a strip of lights, the building seems to magically float in the surrounding bushland.


Project 3- Harris Street Studios

The site at 181 Harris Street originally consisted of a two storey building – occupied by a Simon Johnson gourmet food store – and a dilapidated single storey wing enclosing a small damp courtyard which opened onto Little Mount Street.

The brief was to provide additional Grade B commercial floor space and car parking on this complex site. AJC’s solution was to create a central glazed atrium space, partially open to the sky, and enclosed by an arrangement of studios and workspaces in a mini campus form. The living green space at its centre is a sunlit secret garden of moss and bamboo that has become the living heart of the building. The garden is surrounded by original brick walls and new walls of zinc, steel and concrete to form a light filled contemporary space.

The design by landscape consultant Terragram uses rainwater irrigated shallow soil profiles to transform the amenity of the studios, providing break-out space and views.



Sydney's top urban exploration sites

5 Sep

My favourite urban exploration sites in Sydney at the moment-

Site One- Dunlop/Slazenger Factory in Alexandria
9 Bowden Street, Alexandria.
Open and easy to access.

We found all sorts of old Slazenger things- tennis racquets, golf balls, shoes, etc. A favourite haunt for film makers (there were two crews there, early on a Sunday morning).

Part of the vast Green Square area, soon to be luxury flats.

Look at my car!

The holes in the asbestos sheeting roof make for splendid effects.

Famous graffiti artists work.

Site Two- Rozelle Tram Depot.
South of Harold Park Raceway, next to Jubilee Oval, Glebe Point.

Rozelle Tram Depot is a large tram depot in Glebe that has stood effectively empty sine the 1960s.
It is currently being redeveloped as part of Mirvac Harold Park residential redevelopment and will be developed as a retail area.

The vandalised trams within will be retained on site and restored.
Currently patroled by security, as is now part of construction site. Quiet on Sundays.

This place is classic as the interior is slowly returning to nature, complete with ponds of tadpoles.

A local ruffian leaving his mark.


Site Three- Summer Hill Hospital
Grosvenor Centre, 56 Liverpool Road, Summer Hill (abandoned hospital).

Private property. Soon to be redeveloped into flats. Main building is heavily alarmed.
Summer Hill’s largest mansion, Carleton (now the Grosvenor Hospital’s main building), was built in the early 1880s on Liverpool Road for Charles Carleton Skarrat.

Definitely haunted…..

That ruffian again!

The above images were sent to me by anonymous sources.
The sites are (dangerous) private property and are not open to the public.