Wirrng Wirrng | Kerstin Thompson Architects

Wirrng Wirrng is a new community hub for Queenscliff, named by Corrina Eccles on behalf of Wadawurrung Traditional Owners after the phrase meaning listen with both ears. This invitation is reflected in the shared functions of library, museum, visitor information centre and community meeting place it is a building for learning, listening and communicating, and a reminder to listen to Country. Located on the main street, Wirrng Wirrng provides publicly accessible, inviting, and relaxing spaces for residents and its many visitors. The Queenscliffe Library, Visitor Information Centre and Queenscliffe Historic Museum have been co-located on the site for many years, with these new upgrades improving and supporting mutual interests. This facility prioritises environmental sustainability, flexibility, and functionality, seamlessly integrating heritage with existing building elements. External public amenity extends from footpath to rear laneway through considered urban furniture, front park, a 24-hour interactive building façade, sunny courtyard, and shady rear garden.

Wangaratta District Specialist School | Sibling Architecture

Wangaratta District Specialist School caters to students who have clinically diagnosed physical and intellectual disabilities. The new building provides spaces for students to develop skills that encourage independent living. Sensory design devices are employed including colour, tactility, and atmosphere. Such devices are an integral part of the pedagogical experience. These are manifested in several sensory considered spaces, spaces for quiet, spaces for wonder and spaces for respite. Classrooms are designed with intimate learning in mind, with each classroom having its own breakout space and outdoor zone. Colour is used throughout the design to create identity and familiarity for students. With each function of the school assigned a unique identity. The school provides students with space to build skills that encourage independent living, beyond the school years.

The Boronggook Drysdale Library | Antarctica Architects and Architecture Associates

Boronggook Drysdale’s two levels of library sit under an undulating native planted roof and are wrapped in a gnarly brick skin. At its centre is a garden courtyard with its Bellarine Eucalypt illuminating the reading room. At the lower level a watery green palette and a reflective soffit open onto a new amphitheatre and park. The big volume of the upper level reading room is earthy in palette and reconnects views to the town streetscape and sky. These two levels are set to reconcile and reconnect the hill of Drysdale via a bridge and a reworked shopping mall street below. Drawing equally on the 19th century fragments of the town, and a landscape/ waterhole sensibility, the project plugs an urban hole left by a supermarket’s rear, and turns its face back to the old high street junction.

St Patrick’s College Performing Arts Centre | Wardle

St Patrick’s College Performing Arts Centre represents a once–in–a–generation transformation project for the school. The centrepiece is an 800–seat auditorium with retractable seating can host a range of events – from school assemblies, music/drama performances to community events. In addition, the black box rehearsal studio is a flexible space with the opportunity for practice or small–scale drama performances. A series of rehearsal studios and purpose–built areas for performing arts and staff spaces support the main space.

Set within an historic 120–year–old campus in Ballarat, the surrounding significant heritage buildings have been carefully considered in the architectural design. Located adjacent to the formal gardens, the building complements the primary frontage and assists in the development of a new campus forecourt and entry. The design response is contemporary but integrated with the campus context through careful consideration of scale, rhythm and materiality.

Raptor Rehabilitation Centre, Healesville Sanctuary | Harrison and White

The new Raptor Rehabilitation Centre at Healesville Sanctuary is a leading recovery facility for large native birds, and is adjacent to an existing animal hospital. The design of the flyway is carefully considered to provide a natural environment that minimises distractions for the birds. The building adds to a suite of architect–designed projects at the Sanctuary, and builds on a tradition of innovation in both animal protection and architectural expression.

The building is in reverse – and continuous skin of timber battens on the inside with an exoskeleton steel frame expressed externally. This is to minimise protrusions for the birds as they regain the ability to fly.

Powerhouse Place | Public Realm Lab

Powerhouse Place is the most recent project to connect Mildura’s CBD and community to the Mighty Murray River. This important post–settlement industrial site had fallen into disrepair. It has now been reimagined as a place for community, creativity and connection.

The project includes adaptive re–use of the historic powerhouse for events, exhibitions and retail. New buildings contain a commercial kitchen, public toilets (including changing places) and a café. These small buildings nestle around a central green space for performance and relaxation.

Powerhouse Place celebrates the scale, history and materials of the powerhouse building but reflects the need to create new community spaces that are ecologically restorative, inclusive and activated.

The new buildings are the first carbon–positive, hemp masonry public buildings in Australia and are arranged to create human–scaled, intimate and tactile spaces.

Murran – First Nations Business, Retail and Arts Hub | Dawn Architecture

Murran is an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Business, Retail and Arts Hub located on Wadawurrung Country in the Geelong CBD, Victoria. Led by not–for–profit organisation Ngarrimili, Murran includes a retail store, art gallery, café, coworking areas, meeting and conference rooms, and provides the First Nations and wider community with business and entrepreneurship opportunities, career pathways, culture and learning.

Murran, meaning Eucalyptus in Wadawurrung language, represents a welcome gift, cleansing and healing. The shop fitout was designed by Dawn Architecture in close consultation with an all female First Nations advisory group, with the architectural response providing spaces for gathering, connection, culture, and collaboration. Materials and colours reference the Australian landscape.

Key contributors include Ngarrimili, the First Nations advisory group, design consultant Chris Connell Design, and the builder Laney Constructions. The project was funded by the Victorian State Government, with the build completed on time and budget in December 2023.

Macarthur Street Amenities Pavilion | Searle x Waldron Architecture

Macarthur St Amenities Pavilion is both functional and playful. Opportunistically taking a simple brief to upgrade school bathrooms, it finds layout and budget efficiencies to deliver more with less. Reducing the existing building footprint and spatially adapting a large–scale mural, the project creates active edges for student play, learning and assembly.

Prioritising reuse, the sustainable, economic, and social value of retaining existing fabric is realised. A new canopy reorients the building towards the street, creating a public frontage and valuable outdoor learning and play space. Vibrant mural colours wrap around the chamfered corner and soffit. Red bricks matching the heritage school buildings form a recessed seating nook. A community gesture, the canopy frames a new entry, directing students towards the assembly space.

Reflecting the school’s motto, ‘Where the Past and Future Meet’, the colourful connection between the canopy, verandah and adjacent heritage building demonstrates the project’s unique connections to context.

Galkangu | Lyons

Galkangu, Bendigo’s GovHub contributes to the continual growth of Bendigo by establishing a stronger, more efficient public sector that delivers government services to the community. The new building is a state–of–the–art community asset and workplace that consolidates previously separate government agencies into a centralised location that represents and reflects the culture of the surrounding area.
Galkangu has an identity unique to Bendigo, one that draws upon its rich heritage and builds upon its plans for a thriving future. The design transforms operations for both customers and employees, breaking down silos and creating a one–stop–shop for community services and a hub for the local community. Underpinned by sustainable solutions that will not only decrease running costs and the environmental footprint, the design enhances the wellbeing of staff and strengthens connections with the community

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