THE JOHN ANDREWS AWARD FOR COMMERCIAL ARCHITECTURE
16 Marcus Clarke St, Canberra
This project is the final piece in the new commercial precinct along Marcus Clarke Street in Canberra’s City West. Located on a prominent and distinctly urban site, the project negotiates the transition between high density residential development to its south and commercial precincts to its north.
As a commercial building in the City, the project is unique in its response to the public realm. There is an admirable civic conscience and quality, with the ground floor given over to the public through the creation of an inclusive urban place for public use. This area mediates between the street address and rear lane, negotiating the fall across the site and providing a raised platform onto which a future café and bar will spill and contribute to the life of the city. Skilled anticipation of usage patterns and high quality detailing highlight the civic nature of this building.
The building form comprises a handsome precast concrete clad side core together with the well-proportioned and articulated curtain-wall office block. Strong rectilinear forms maintain the scale and alignment of the surrounding streets, giving way to an inset curved glass façade that opens the building to the public realm at the ground plane. The external language of the building cleanly reflects the efficient and flexible internal planning.
A five star Greenstar rating has been achieved, as designed. Its use of the side core as a solar screen allows the building to maximise natural light and views to Lake Burley Griffin and Black Mountain through a high-performance curtain wall. The building is further equipped with sustainability initiatives including natural and mixed-mode ventilation, thermal insulation and facilities which encourage occupants to use mixed mode transport.
One of the fire stairs has been conceived as inter floor connection and people are encouraged to ‘take the stairs’ through an up-grading of finishes and windows both internal and external. Having north facing windows into the wet areas is unusual in this type of building but gives great light and warmth to these spaces.
16 Marcus Clarke Street is a thoughtfully sited, well planned, detailed and executed civic building that is a welcome addition to Canberra City.
Practice Team: Andrew Wilson (Project Director), Robert Thorne (Design Director), Allan Greene (Project Architect), Dominic Pelle (Architect), Erin Hinton (Graduate Architect), Gabriella Grocott (Graduate Architect), James Batten (Graduate Architect), Gerard O’Connell (Graduate Architect), Sophie Blain (Graduate Architect), Lyndall Emmanuel (Documenter)
Consultant Team: Bovis Lend Lease (Project Manager), Bovis Lend Lease (Cost Consultant), AWT (Structural Consultant), Northrop Engineers (Mechanical Consultant / Electrical Consultant / Civil Consultant), Tennant Hydraulics (Hydraulic Consultant), Fire Safety Science (Fire Consultant), Coffey Projects (Superintendent)
Construction Team: Bovis Lend Lease (Builder)
Photographer: Ben Wrigley