AWARD FOR PUBLIC ARCHITECTURE
GYM HMAS CRESWELL
HMAS Creswell was established at Jervis Bay in 1915 as the Royal Australian Naval College for the new Commonwealth of Australia. The splendid site was given a simple but memorable layout of roads and buildings that acknowledges its connection to the sea and to naval life. The central one- and two-storey timber buildings of the College are formally disposed around a generous grassed quarterdeck, with a working dockside in the foreground and a backdrop of mature remnant eucalypts.
The requirement for a 25 metre indoor swimming pool, a full-size basketball court and extensive gymnasium areas suggested a building at a scale that could not easily be fitted into the finer grain of the older buildings. The various activities have therefore been arranged into a longitudinal plan and moved some distance away, where they have been partly buried to reduce silhouette and bulk. A pleasant winding path through scattered trees and kangaroos links the building to the quarterdeck and to the main buildings of the College.
The new building has its own geometric formality with an athletic image that matches its occupants and their activities. It is partly visible on entry to the base, but it looks down the slope to the water rather than proclaim its presence to visitors. A taut outer skin of windows and rooflights connects the building to its stunning setting and brings light and air effortlessly into its working volumes. This project demonstrates skills in addressing many components of contemporary architecture - an imaginative resolution of siting, planning and landscape, structural simplicity with a fair bit of style and confident but creative detailing in all its parts.
Architect/Practice: BVN Architecture
Practice Team: Abbie Galvin (Project Principal), Christian Wild (Project Director), Daniel Londono (Project Team), Craig Burns (Project Team), Tom White (Project Team), Chris Seisun (Project Team), Ben Donohoo (Project Team), Genevieve Blanchett (Project Team), Kim Humphries (Specifications)
Consultant Team: TTW (Structural Consultant), Acor (Civil/Hydraulic Consultant), Aecom (Electrical/Mechanical/Acoustic/Communications Consultant), Wilde and Woollard (Cost Consultant), Arup (Fire Engineer), Gardener Group (BCA), EcoLogical (Bushfire)
Construction Team: Hansen Yunken (Managaing Contractor)
Photographer: Christian Wild