Heritage protection for Festival Hall

Festival Hall was built in 1955, replacing the 1913 West Melbourne Stadium that was destroyed that year by fire. The two buildings were the principal boxing and wrestling venues in Victoria until the late 1970s, and a principal live music venue until the 1980s.[1] Festival Hall's decades-long association with the boxing community earned it the... Continue Reading →

The genius loci of design

Genius loci The presiding god or spirit of a place Does the spirit of Mihaly Slocombe's design live in the pieces of yellow tracing paper that we fill with floorplans and diagrams? Or in the massing experiments we produce in SketchUp? Or in the presentation models we build from cardboard and balsa? Does it live in... Continue Reading →

No Apple at Federation Square

I penned an ArchiTeam media release opposing the development of an Apple concept store at Federation Square, it goes like this: ArchiTeam opposes the development of an Apple concept store at Federation Square. The demolition of the Yarra Building at Federation Square and construction of an Apple flagship store in its place disregards the built context of... Continue Reading →

Bigger is better

On Friday evening ArchiTeam held its annual debate at No Vacancy, the gallery also exhibiting the 2017 ArchiTeam awards. The debate topic was, "Architecture... The smaller the better? Is the future of architecture small? Small living, small buildings, small practice... Debate!" Zoë Geyer of ZGA Studio, who facilitated the debate, journeyed across the world into... Continue Reading →

Reflecting on Praxis 2017

The Australian Institute of Architects' annual national conference, Praxis, was held last month in Sydney. Breaking with the twelve year old tradition of appointing creative directors via open competition, it was curated by AIA National President Ken Maher and UNSW Built Environment Dean Helen Lochhead. The conference sought to "explore processes of thought, engagement and action,"... Continue Reading →

Altruism and entrepreneurialism

This article is co-published with ArchiTeam. Inspired by member interest, ArchiTeam decided last year to initiate a public outreach program that will advocate for architects and architecture. I covered the broad context of this development here, exploring why ArchiTeam might want to take on such a challenging role. I observed that the built environment has many enemies plundering it for... Continue Reading →

A new advocacy player

This article is co-published with ArchiTeam. In July last year, ArchiTeam launched a working group tasked to find ways it might "educate the public about the value of architects through marketing and public outreach". This endeavour proposes to engage in both marketing and advocacy activities, a canny mix of pragmatism and altruism that I believe has the power to simultaneously promote our... Continue Reading →

Footsteps of Leplastrier

Day 1 It’s a Sunday lunchtime in late August when we leave Melbourne, giving us plenty of time for a leisurely drive through the Yarra Valley and out to Murrindindi. We’re following in the footsteps of the great architect Richard Leplastrier, who camps out on a site to feel the land and place as he... Continue Reading →

How Soon Is Now?

The Australian Institute of Architects' annual national conference, How Soon Is Now?,  was held last month in Adelaide. Creatively directed by Cameron Bruhn, Sam Spurr and Ben Hewett, it explored the "agency of architecture to make real changes in the world."[1] The directors identified the expansive conversation of last year's conference, Risk, as a precursor, and proposed to... Continue Reading →

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