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Feature article


Spring 2016


Alison Cleary

This end of this quarter saw the beginning of the annual festive season, with the launch of both the latest MPavilion and the 2016 NGV Architectural Commission marking the beginning of the festivities. This year’s NGV commission is a vibrant playful reinvention of the suburban car wash designed by Melbourne-based M@ STUDIO Architects, titled Haven’t you always wanted…?. Across the road in Queen Victoria Gardens the third MPavilion is designed this year by Bijoy Jain of Studio Mumbai in India and is constructed primarily of bamboo. Reminiscent of community meeting places you can find in villages across Asia and Pacific, the Pavilion explores the theme of handmade architecture. Both projects provide amazing opportunities for engaging Melbourne in conversation about architecture and design and the role that design takes in ensuring resilient and thriving communities. And in a hot Melbourne summer they will both provide welcome relief for visitors to the Arts Precinct.

It is coming to the time of the year where Chapter Council elections are held. Chapter Council elections will see 5 new (and/or returning) Chapter Councillors join us around the table on the first Tuesday of the month from March 2017. You may very well have received notification of the opening of nominations by the time you read this. If you, or someone you know, is interested in nominating but want to know a little more about what it entails to sit on Chapter Council give the Chapter a call on 03 8620 3866 and staff will be happy to explain it to you.

In August we held our second cross industry event for members of the Institute, AILA and PIA. The topic for the evening was Getting Around Town: Melbourne’s Transport Future. The event was hosted by the Victorian Planning Authority and again attracted a sold out audience. The speakers Timothy Papandreou, former Director of the Office of Innovation at San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA); Rob Moore from the City of Melbourne, and Tim O’Loan from AECOM looked at the challenges facing Melbourne in the context of urban mobility and possible solutions and futures we could pursue. The final in this series will be held in late November.

We continue to engage with the Government on the development of Apartment Design Standards. Karen Alcock, Chapter Councillor and Director of MA Architects, is the Institute representative on the Industry Taskforce that has been advising the Dept. on the development of the draft Standards. In September we made a submission on the final draft Standards document and have since had a round of meetings with representatives from the Dept. of Planning, the Minister for Planning and the Premier’s office pushing our position about the need to ensure that design excellence is key to any standards and the role of the architect should be mandated throughout all stages of design and construction. We are anticipating the release of a number of pieces of key regulatory reform before Christmas, including the release of the Standards. Other anticipated key announcements are: the announcement of the C270 Built Form Review that will introduce floor area ratios for the CBD; the release of the Zone Reform review that occurred earlier this year; and the introduction of inclusionary zoning through amendments to planning legislation.



Fiona Winzar

Just think, by 2050 more than 2/3 of the world’s population will live in cities. Cities are the natural leaders to drive change globally and architects can greatly influence the shape and form of our cities futures.

This year the SAF group has enjoyed a truly inspirational line- up of guest speakers from both within and beyond the group presenting real and available sustainable/regenerative design approaches.

Recent presentations have included:

  • The award winning competition of ‘The Brickworks Living Building Challenge’ by Rory Martin of Suters and Jane Toner of Biomimicry Australia with Aurecon, Future Food and other expert sustainability consultants. Frasers Property Australia collaborated with Living Future Institute of Australia for the first competition in the world for a retail centre in Boxhill for a truly regenerative retail site both socially and physically self- sustaining. The result is not only achievable but a template for future commercial developments;
  • Neville Cowland’s ‘New Technologies to Enhance Sustainable Outcomes’ showcasing innovations from Bora Kitchen Equipment, V-Zug white goods, Daikin AC systems to Lunos fresh-air modules now available in Australia; and
  • Last week’s meeting which was a great evening with round- table input from ‘old’ and new members. Not only do we have a full calendar for next year’s topics but Eduardo initiated a wonderful philosophical conversation. By the end we were all in agreement about embracing the diversity of approaches for sustainable design and to be relevant now, architecture makes no distinction between regenerative (sustainable) design and good/beautiful design.

To be now is to be aware.



Amy Muir

Firstly we would like to congratulate all 2016 Victorian Award winners who were shortlisted for the National Awards that were held in Sydney on Thursday 3 November. It was an incredible line up of projects and it was great to see a total of 13 Victorian projects shortlisted across 14 categories. A huge congratulations to all National winners.

With the end of the year fast approaching we are urging all interested registered Institute members to nominate for 2017 jury positions. Each year the Awards Committee are keen to select a broad mix of jury members based on varying scaled practices, gender and levels of experience and expertise. In particular we are intent on reaching our target gender ratio of 50/50 across the juries.

Typically this sits at 30/70. We therefore encourage all architects to nominate suitable applicants. Jury nominations will be open from Monday 5 December – Monday 30 January 2017

The 2017 Award entries will be open from Wednesday 7 December – Friday 17 February. We encourage submitting practices to prepare all content as early as possible as late submissions and edits to entries will not be permitted after the closing date. Presentation to Juries will be held on Saturday 25 March at Melbourne School of Design, Melbourne University.

The 2017 Awards brings a change of venue for the Presentation Dinner. It will be held at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Friday 30 June. We look forward to yet another night of celebrations, catch ups and dancing!



Assoc. Professor Richard Black

As the academic year comes to a close, studio reviews, final assignments and exhibitions are fast approaching. The state’s four architecture schools have had an intense year of activity with both Monash and RMIT hosting National Visiting Panels (NVP) and successfully gaining accreditation for the next 5 years. Deakin University recently hosted an Interim Review Panel (IRP).

During the year, Deakin and Monash universities have had their buildings refurbished. And, early next year after 20 years, RMIT Architecture are planned to move out of Edmond & Corrigan’s seminal Building 8 into Sean Godsell’s Design Hub building up the road. In July, Melbourne University re-launched its Bachelor of Design undergraduate degree while Monash re-designed its Bachelor program to deliver a more specialised curriculum and implemented a new design model for its Master’s degree that combines design studios with research electives. RMIT are in the process of advanced stages of planning for a new Master of Architecture program to be hosted in its Hoh Chi Minh City campus, Vietnam.

Global exchange continues to be a prominent feature of all architecture programs in the State through a range of offshore and onshore activity such as: travelling studios, study tours and intensive studios, symposia and lecture series.

SONA continues to foster linkages between students and the profession. This year, Super Studio ran in August, hosted by Melbourne University, and coincided with the same event running in other states across Australia. Notably, attendance was almost double of any other state with 105 students taking part. Earlier this month, the Institute’s annual SONA event – a major opportunity where students have the chance to visit a prominent practice and meet with established practitioners – was hosted by SJB Architects.

From 2017 onwards, the Graduate Prize is being renewed and will now replace the four existing University-specific Graduate Prizes previously administered and judged by each university internally. The new Graduate Prize will be selected from a pool of graduates from across all of Victorian accredited architecture degrees with an independent jury judging all 12 finalists against set criteria, selecting one winner and awarding up to three commendations. This new singular prize aims to heighten the prestige of the Prize and further support and recognise the importance of the next generation of architectural graduates.



Kim Irons

Well, hopefully members have been seeing Practice “Odd Spots” in V-mail and found them useful or, at least, amusing anecdotes about day to day practice issues! They originate from broad experiences of the Committee, as well as issues that arise in Senior Counsel calls.

In the meantime, the Practice of Architecture Committee has assisted the Chapter in commenting to the VBA Research Project “Failures in the Built Environment” and issues for consideration into the upcoming ABIC review.

It goes without saying the Chapter appreciates the earnest effort and work of the committee. Jane Cameron Finlay, Karen McWilliam, David Sainsbery, Albert Mo, Hayley Franklin and Bruce Allen offer a great breadth of knowledge and experience and valuable contributions to dynamic discourse within committee meetings and to members as a whole.