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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.



‘Undeniable Beauty’ of "House in Country NSW" wins 2011 Australian House of the Year.

19 Jul

01A The exterior of the house of the year winner by Virginia Kerridge.

01B The interior of the house of the year winner by Virginia Kerridge.

Architect Virginia Kerridge’s ‘House in Country New South Wales’ has been named the Australian House of the Year during the gala presentation of the2011 Houses Awards on Friday 15 July at Melbourne’s Plaza Ballroom. Presented by Houses magazine, the Houses Awards are one of the country’s most sought-after architectural accolades.

‘House in Country New South Wales’ was chosen as the year’s outstanding project by a jury ofeminent architects and designers who are themselves recognised for creating inspirational Australian homes, including Brian Zulaikha (Tonkin Zulaikha Greer), Camilla Block (Durbach Block Jaggers), Paul Owen (Owen and Vokes) and Kerry Phelan (Kerry Phelan Design Office).

Judges said that the ‘House in Country New South Wales’ demonstrates a complete commitment from an architect and client to creating a distinctively Australian residential architecture. A contemporary architectural interpretation of the Australian colonial idyll, Kerridge has intuitively embraced the legacy of history, creating an elegant yet beguiling utilitarian house that truly captures the spirit of the place.

“Its beauty is undeniable,” the jury’s comments enthused. “Set against the towering mountain ranges that define the valley site, the architectural expression of this sprawling farmhouse is simultaneously fragile and monumental.” Jury members particularly noted the project’s roof form.

“Scaled to the landscape and designed to heighten our experience of its mass and drama, this folded-plane skillion floats across, gathers together and nestles up, creating rooms, connections and spaces with engagingly ambiguous levels of enclosure and function,” read the comments. “The relaxed atmosphere of the country verandah is referenced through planning, materiality and effortless occupation.

”Each year the Houses Awards provides a unique insight into contemporary residential design and the contribution Australia’s architects and designers make to enhancing the way we live today. As winner of the Australian House of the Year Award, Virginia Kerridge receives a $5,000cash prize and industry recognition through a range of media. Winners of individual categories each receive a prize of $1,000 and all Awarded and Highly Commended projects will be presented with a certificate and use of the Houses Awards logo for promotional purposes.

“The Houses Awards program offers a unique opportunity to celebrate Australian residential architecture,” says Cameron Bruhn, Houses magazine’s Editorial Director. “The peer-judged awards recognize achievement through categories that reflect the way architects and designers are shaping Australian homes.

”Houses magazine is Australia’s leading residential architecture magazine for designers and their clients. It is endorsed by the Australian Institute of Architects and the Design Institute of Australia.

Image copyright, source-

Category winners:

WINNER: Anthony Gill Architects, Potts Point Apartment, NSW
High Commendation: Jason Gibney, Bronte Apartment, NSW

02 The Potts Point Apartment displays a cheerful atmosphere in an urban setting. The redesigning of the small apartment included the need for transforming a 38 square meter crib into a space filled with light and joy.

JOINT WINNER: Virginia Kerridge Architect, House in Country NSW, NSW
JOINT WINNER: James Jones/HBV Architects, Trial Bay House, TAS
High Commendation: Anthony Gill Architects, Paddington House, NSW
High Commendation: Preston Lane Architects, Mount Pleasant House, TAS
High Commendation: Kennedy Nolan Architects, Stockbroker Tudor House, VIC

04 James Jones/HBV Architects, Trial Bay House, TAS

WINNER: Richard Peters Associates, The Shed, NSW
High Commendation: Sam Crawford Architects, Garrett House, NSW
High Commendation: Ian Moore Architects, Strelein Warehouse, NSW
High Commendation: David Boyle Architect, Burridge Read Residence, NSW
High Commendation: Allen Jack+Cottier and Terragram, Glass Loggia House, NSW
High Commendation: Steendyk, Treehouse, QLD

03 Richard Peters Associates, The Shed, NSW

WINNER: Donovan Hill, Z House, QLD
High Commendation: Wolveridge Architects, Hill Plains House, VIC
High Commendation: Fergus Scott Architects, Southern House, NSW
High Commendation: Fiona Winzar Architects, Orange Grove House, VIC
High Commendation: Sally Draper Architects, Westernport House, VIC
High Commendation: Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects, Florida Beach House, WA
High Commendation: CODA, Norfolk Farm, WA

05 Donovan Hill, Z House, QLD

WINNER: Tribe Studio, House Shmukler, NSW
High Commendation: Domenic Alvaro, Small House Surry Hills, NSW
High Commendation: Insite, Base Camp, VIC

06 Tribe Studio, House Shmukler, NSW

WINNER: Terragram and Allen Jack+Cottier, Garden of Ghosts, NSW
High Commendation: Eckersley Garden Architecture, Mulberry Cottage, VIC
High Commendation: Taylor Cullity Lethlean, Jane’s House and Garden, SA
High Commendation: Domenic Alvaro and 360 Degrees, Small House Surry Hills, NSW

07 Terragram and Allen Jack+Cottier, Garden of Ghosts, NSW

WINNER: Tribe Studio, House Shmukler, NSW
High Commendation: Andrew Maynard Architects, Ilma Grove House, VIC

08 Domenic Alvaro’s futuristic design (Small House Surry Hills, NSW) was highly commended in the Houses Awards.

09 Elsewhere- This year’s Wilkinson award for residential buildings went to Marsh Cashman Koolloos Architects’s designed house at Darling Point.

House Magazine's 2011 House awards

4 Jun

My friends over at House Magazine’s 2011 House awards site (Melbourne based) sent me alink.
I have showcased below the most striking NSW entrants. The 2011 Australian House of the Year will be anounced on July 15th. Meanwhile, here is a smattering-

01. Glass Loggia House by Allen Jack+Cottier ( )
Rustic, eccentric feel.

02. Haberfield House by Lahz Nimmo Architects ( )
Photos- Brett Boardman
Face brick and breeze blocks.

04. Southern House by Fergus Scott Architects ( )
Photos- Michael Nicholson

05. House 20 by Jolson Architecture and Interiors ( )
Photos- Peter Bennetts
This one is actually in Victoria but I included it as it was so good.

06. Freshwater House by Brewster Hjorth Architects ( )
Photos- Christian Mushenko

07. Camperdown House_1 by Carterwilliamson Architects ( )
Photos- Brett Boardman


Vale Nick Murcutt

21 Mar

19 March 2011 – Award winning architect Nick Murcutt  passed away at his home in Bondi on Thursday night.

National president elect Brian Zulaikha sent the following news alert to  Australian Institute of Architects members late Friday:

“It is with much sadness that I let you know our colleague and friend Nick Murcutt died last night at home in Bondi.

Fortunately, Nick and Rachel Neeson, his partner of 16 years, were able to marry yesterday (Thursday) afternoon.

As many of you are aware, Nick was a very active and passionate supporter of the Institute and the profession, as well as being a very talented designer. He and Rachel completed a range of inspiring projects, including two Wilkinson Award winners. He will be sorely missed.”

On behalf of the profession, I send my condolences to Rachel, Nick’s young children Alice and Otto, and the Murcutt and Neeson families. Nick’s service was held Monday 21st March at St. Canice’s, 28 Roslyn Street, Elizabeth Bay. A trust fund for Alice and Otto has been established by some of Nick’s closest colleagues.

Contributions can be made to RM Neeson ATF Otto and Alice Murcutt at Westpac, BSB 032016, Account 432103.


Nick Murcutt and Rachel Nesson of Neeson Murcutt Architects judging The best un-built work of 2010 at AUT’s St Paul Street Gallery in November 2010.

Some examples of Neeson Murcutt Architects work-

1. House on the Slope by Rachel Neeson and Nick Murcutt

2. Box House, south coast NSW.

3. Five Dock House

4. Ferguson House

HOUSE PROUD; The Box House: Simplicity Cubed

By ELAINE LOUIE, New York Times, June 10, 2004

WHEN Elizabeth Charles and her husband, Martin Halstead, decided in 1997 to build a weekend house here, 300 miles south of Sydney, they knew who they would like to design it: Glenn Murcutt. They also knew they could never afford him — and that was five years before he won the prestigious Pritzker Prize. But they called him anyway, just to talk.

Ms. Charles, now 44, and her husband, 43, were particularly taken with a Murcutt building they had seen in a magazine. It was, she recalled, ”a tractor shed he had pulled apart and reassembled” — classic Murcutt.

”It was a modest building,” she said. ”We liked the natural simple wood, and the way it sits in the landscape. And we’d imagined a modest building here.”

So when Ms. Charles got Mr. Murcutt on the line, she asked if he could recommend anyone to do something on a budget of $50,000.

”Call my son,” he said.

Nicholas Murcutt had just begun his own architecture practice in Sydney, and he was ”intimate with the tractor shed,” Ms. Charles said.

Nicholas Murcutt, then 33, met with Ms. Charles and Mr. Halstead, whose primary home is in Exeter, 217 miles north of here. Then he began to draw. ”What was attractive was to work with a small budget,” he said. ”If you’ve got a well-designed space, you have more space than you think.”

The house that resulted, the first stage of which was finished in 2000, is not anything like the reassembled tractor shed Ms. Charles had so admired. Called the Box House, it is a floating cube perched on concrete piers. Three sides are uninsulated timber, one and a quarter inches thick, and the fourth, the north and sun-facing side, is entirely of glass, with bifold doors on the lower level that open onto a deck overlooking fields, trees and hills.

The house is 20 feet high by 20 feet long by 20 feet wide, a scant 400 square feet. But the double-height ceiling, cubic space and transparent north facade make it feel spacious.

It is not like anything Glenn Murcutt would have designed. The elder Murcutt is known for ecologically sensitive designs that echo woolsheds and other farm structures, using materials like corrugated iron. He also builds sleekly modernist homes for the city, and last year renovated his own home in Mosman, across the bay from Sydney.

”I know he doesn’t like the Box House,” the son said cheerfully. ”He sees a building as a naturalist sees a tree. It has roots and grows upward.”

Rail stations win top prize for public buildings

15 Nov

October 29, 2010 Helen Pitt SMH

NSW has won eight of the 33 awards and commendations in this year’s National Architecture Awards, including the nation’s most prestigious public architecture award for the Epping to Chatswood rail link intermediate stations.

The lord mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, and the City of Sydney council received five awards for three projects it commissioned – Pirrama Park at Pyrmont, Paddington Reservoir Gardens and Surry Hills Library and Community Centre – an unprecedented number for one client in the Australian Institute of Architects National Awards’ 30-year history.

01. The Epping to Chatswood rail link intermediate stations won the Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture.

02. Paddington Reservoir Gardens, winner of the National Award for Heritage.

03. Pirrama Park in Pyrmont, winner of the Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design. Photo: Kate Geraghty.

04. 5-9 Roslyn Gardens in Kings Cross, winner of the Harry Seidler Award for commercial architecture. Photo: Nick Moir

05. The Sydney architect Peter Strutchbury won one of the International Awards for this house in Japan.

06. Surry Hills Library and Community Centre, winner of the National Award for Sustainable Architecture.

07. The ANZ Centre in Melbourne, winner of the Emil Sodersten Award for Interior Architecture.

08. Tree of Knowledge Memorial, Barcaldine, Queensland, winner of the Lachlan Macquarie Award for Heritage.

09. The new UNSW Village was commended in the multiple residential category of this year’s National Architecture Awards.

10. Trial Bay house, the first Tasmanian house to receive the top honour in the Robin Boyd Award for residential architecture.

At an awards ceremony in Canberra last night, the Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture went to the north-western Sydney rail interchange, which also won the NSW Sulman Award for Public Architecture for architects Hassell earlier this year.

Despite the uproar about the demolition of the former Baron’s building in Roslyn Street, Kings Cross, its replacement, designed by Durbach Block Architects, won the Harry Seidler Award for commercial architecture.

The National Award for Sustainable Architecture went to Surry Hills Library and Community Centre, by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp. The underground ”archaeological ruins” of Paddington Reservoir Gardens, by architects Tonkin Zulaikha Greer with JMD Design, won the National Award for Heritage. The Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design was awarded to Pirrama Park at Pyrmont Hill by Thalis Architecture + Urban Projects/Aspect Studios/CAB.

”For a city enamoured with its harbour image, Sydney has surprisingly few places where you can dangle your feet in the water,” the judges said of Pirrama Park, the former Water Police headquarters that has been transformed into a multi-use 1.8-hectare harbourside park.

Its sandstone artefacts, innovative playground, shoreline promenade and ”Stevedore Walk”, recalling the area’s wharves and workers, ”offers a model for the future redevelopment of the foreshore,” the judges said.

”This is a great public space because it respects the past without treating it as a museum artefact … It feels like every activity the community could want is catered for,” they said.

The judges commended the City of Sydney and Cr Moore, who recently resigned from her role on the Barangaroo redevelopment, for courage in commissioning high-quality public projects that ”teach us new things about our approaches to sustainability and reducing our carbon footprint”.

”I would hope the recognition through these awards gives public-sector clients more courage to commission more of these sorts of projects,” the jury chairwoman, Melinda Dodson, said.

The Sydney architect Peter Stutchbury won one of the International Awards for a house he designed in Japan, and for the first time a Tasmanian house – Trial Bay house, by HBV Architects – has received the top honour in the Robin Boyd Award for residential architecture. In the multiple residential category the new UNSW Village by Architectus was commended.

This is the sixth time a NSW building has won Australia’s highest architectural accolade. The awards began in 1981.


Australia's "best" architecture- 2009 awards.

15 May

Here we have a collection of the same old tired 60s-70s forms going to the same old bunch of people. Enjoy!

01. The Robyn Boyd award for residential house architecture … Freshwater House, Harbord, NSW, designed by Chenchow Little Architects. Photo: John Gollings

02. National architecture award for residential house architecture … Zac’s House, Sorrento, Victoria, designed by Neeson Murcutt Architects. Photo: Brett Boardman

03. National architecture award for residential house architecture … Whale Beach House, Whale Beach, NSW, designed by Neeson Murcutt Architects. Photo: Brett Boardman

04. National commendation for residential house architecture … Arm End House, Opossum Bay, Tasmania, designed by Stuart Tanner Architects. Photo: Brett Boardman

05. The Frederick Romberg award for residential architecture (multiple housing) … Balencea Apartments, St Kilda Rd, Melbourne, VIC, designed by Wood Marsh Architecture in association with Sunland Design. Photo: Peter Bennetts

06. The national commendation for residential architecture (multiple housing) … Apartments in Cottesloe, WA, designed by Blane Brackenridge. Photo: Robert Frith

07. National award for small project architecture … Polygreen, Northcote, VIC, designed by Bellemo and Cat. Photo: Peter Hyatt

08. The Harry Seidler award for commercial architecture … The ivy hotel, Sydney, NSW, designed by Woods Bagot in collaboration with Merivale Group and Hecker Phelan and Guthrie. It also received a national award for urban design. Photo: Trevor Mein

09. National award for commercial architecture … Sussan and Sportgirl’s headquarters, Cremorne, VIC, designed by Durbach Block Architects. Photo: Patrick Bingham Hall

10. National award for commercial architecture … Bendigo Bank headquarters, Bendigo, VIC, designed by BVN Architecture and Gray Puksand. It also received a commendation for sustainable architecture. Photo: John Gollings

11. National commendation for commercial architecture … Warry Street Studio, Fortitude Valley, QLD, designed by HASSELL. Photo: Dianna Snape


2009 AIA Awards

21 Jan

Little steps are just the ticket, unless you’re ivy
CATHARINE MUNRO October 30, 2009. SMH

Top notch … Freshwater House by Chenchow Little Architects in Sydney’s northern beaches. Photo: John Golling

SYDNEY firms have won the top prizes at the Australian Institute of Architects awards for the first time in four years, but the judges lamented the nation’s lack of inspiring public buildings. Continue reading