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Feature article


PROJECT 1. Casey Cultural Precinct FJMT

WORDS BY Brett Seakins

Brett Seakins


Casey Cultural Precinct 

Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (fjmt) has been awarded the Casey Cultural Precinct, an important cultural project with the vision as an engaging and ever-changing creative hub – a progressive place of engagement, stimulation, sustainability and innovation. The Casey Cultural Precinct will comprise an 800-seat theatre, multi-purpose exhibition space, regional art gallery, civic centre and new community meeting rooms, library and landscaped plaza.

The precinct will be an integrated blend of material sequences and outdoor spaces. A distinctive steel and timber winged roof form will embrace the Centre and its community, both physically and symbolically, while captivating the visitor and engaging with passerbys on the Princes Highway.

Image courtesy_fjmt



Project 3. The Dandenong Precinct Energy Project PHTR


Project 5. Good Shepherd Chapel ROBERT SIMEONI

Project 6. Northern School for Autism HEDE

Project 2.
Lewis House Fitzroy

Demolishing a dilapidated 1860s home, this project – the third on the site for Nott Architecture – presented significant Heritage and streetscape issues to overcome. By retaining the original setback and breaking the new elevation down into two rectangular elements, each being the width of the adjoining terrace houses, with windows and doors aligned sympathetically to the adjoining houses, the basic rhythm and patterns of the existing house facades have been maintained.

Two large windows at the front and back open the house to cross views and ventilation. Adjustable shading on the east and west also reduced the demand for mechanical cooling and provided internal comfort.

Photograph_Christine Francis


Project 3.
The Dandenong Precinct Energy Project

The Dandenong Precinct Energy Project (P.E.P.) is a flagship project in the implementation of low carbon energy generation in Victoria. Aiming to provoke discussion about power consumption without preaching, the P.E.P. will supply the buildings in a seven hectare redevelopment precinct with electricity and heating thermal energy (Cogeneration) in the form of hot water with twice the efficiency of a typical gas fired power station and less than half the carbon emissions of a coal fired power station. In addition, some buildings will use the hot water produced to run absorption chillers to provide cooling, resulting in even greater efficiencies and further reduced emissions.

Photograph_John Gollings


Project 4.
Wet + Dry House

In early 2013 Wet + Dry House was a co-winner in Building Trust International’s Cambodian Sustainable Housing international design competition. Constructed mainly from timber (panels, boards, framing), bricks, concrete and tyres with a metal roof, Wet + Dry House is home to a widowed mother and her four children. In accordance with the design intention, the house operates as a Shop-house allowing the mother to provide for her children. Wet + Dry House shelters its occupants from the trying local climatic conditions but also includes the ability, particularly important within the context of low-cost housing, to generate an income (from the shop) and be easily repaired and reconfigured in the future.

Image courtesy_VVD Pty Ltd


Project 5.
Good Shepherd Chapel


Constructed in 1871, the Chapel is the cultural and spiritual centre for the Sisters of the Good Shepherd at the Abbotsford Convent. The passing of time has rendered it in a state of disrepair. Retaining the existing fabric, new spaces are created within the existing building envelope to reduce the demand for resources. In addition to traditional worship facilities, an Interpretive Centre, meeting spaces, amenities and an intimate space in the crypt have been incorporated. New works were treated as a contemporary architectural layer, sitting lightly within and subordinate to the existing fabric and are, wherever possible, reversible.

Photographer _Trevor Mein


Project 6.
Northern School for Autism


A new school was built for 190 students with autism, the brief required the students to be in separate sub schools, with separate access. This created small learning environments with outside access for calming and separated play. A central courtyard between the middle and the intermediate arms of the building breaks down the scale and creates unique learning and play spaces for all students. Additionally, the roof collects rain-water for toilet flushing. This also provides passive solar control that avoids air conditioning, while night purging flushes hot air. The design reflects a unique brief and expresses an innovative language in the creation of a living building that breaks down into smaller, calmer, separated zones for the students.

Photographer _ John Brash