The demand for affordable, social and community housing was high before the Covid 19 Pandemic including no less than 200,000 people on social housing waiting lists across the nation. In this new Covid paradigm, the nation’s largest community housing advocacy group ‘PowerHousing’ are urging the Federal and State Governments to invest in more housing options across Australia – to read about this in more detail, take a look at the ABC’s article here ‘https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-07-15/build-community-housing-to-help-beat-the-coronavirus-recession/12458628‘ which features The Bradfield in Downer which was designed by AMC Architecture for CHC Australia as a key Affordable and Community Housing provider.
With key Commonwealth tenant leases expiring in ISPT’s 7 London Circuit and ultimately 18 Marcus Clarke Street Civic precinct, AMC in parallel with Oculus, have developed a strategic and integrated building refurbishment program. This includes the repositioning of the ground floor retail and tenant mix and the associated public realm, the pedestrianizing of William Clements Lane between the 2 buildings to reinvigorate this important City-West block and the incorporation of a new warmer materials palette expressed in targeted architectural interventions and the interiors concepts. This exciting project has feature in a recent Riot Canberra article – for more details ‘https://the-riotact.com/4-7-million-development-to-revitalise-city-west-precinct/386552’
With a colourful history as part of an early WW1 Experimental Station for Poppy flower propagation for medicinal purposes and then as the Downer Primary School, the substantial site adjacent to Downer Shops is moving into a new phase offering genuine housing choice for the north Canberra community. Stage 1 of “The Bradfield”, developed by CHC Australia, is now complete including 37 Townhouses. AMC was first commissioned back in 2013 to lead a masterplanning study, sustained community engagement and then a Territory Plan change for CHC. With strong support from the Community, AMC then developed a detailed concept for the eastern and central portions of this substantial site which will ultimately include the construction of 160 residential dwellings across 6 buildings. The development concept is inspired by its attractive landscaped setting nestled in among magnificent old stands of pine trees and the simple pitched roof form of the nearby heritage-listed CSIRO Experimental Station (now Downer Shops). The materials palette is a nod to the original character of red brick / dark roof tiles so common in the area and the retention of the “Old School Courtyard” is an attractive landscape heart to the development for all to use. Stage 2 of the Bradfield is now well into construction, so more to come.
For more information on the project visit: https://amcarchitecture.com.au/portfolio/downer-mixed-use-development-downer/
AMC is delighted to assist the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association (AMA) with the design of its new Mosque which has recently been DA approved through EPSDD. AMA is a branch of the Islamic faith, formed in India in the 19th Century and now headquartered in London. AMA had been looking for a permanent place of worship for their growing congregation in Canberra and in 2016 negotiated the direct sale of an under-utilised 4,080m² remnant block in Narrabundah for the site of its new Canberra Mosque. The mosque is designed to accommodate a congregation of 300 people over two levels. Associated with the mosque itself is a future residence for the Imam, community hall and associated landscaping and car parking.
Creating a proposal for the site involved addressing a number of challenges including the block’s irregular shape with a predominantly east – west orientation, the retention of access to the baseball park to the North, a floodway to the South, a significant setback to Jerrabomberra Ave, a drainage easement and an infrastructure cable running through the site.
The overall site plan is of a simple but beautiful white box. A modest Imam’s residence and connecting permeable colonnade screen links the two key elements, creating a veil as a transitional element from the public to the internal worship and community spaces, stretching out to create privacy where required. This makes the most of the long, oddly-shaped site. The key elements of a Mosque are the orientation to Mecca, a dome and minaret. These elements unashamedly announce its purpose and give it a strong cultural identity in a contemporary architectural expression as it sits amongst an eclectic mix of neighbours such as national societies, sporting venues and hotels. The ground floor of the Mosque will house a community/exhibition space while the upper level a library, creche and study rooms.
The Mosque is designed to be open and inviting, with the main entry clearly expressed and oriented to the street. The architectural character of simple white forms, recessive and ordered windows and restrained but identifiable symbolism embody and express the key tenants of the Islamic faith – Unity with Allah, Respect, Sincerity, Knowledge, Balance, Modesty and Remembrance.
AMC is very excited to be part of the revitalisation of the Finlay Crisp Centre for SC Capital, Artifex and TSA. AMC and Tait Network have undertaken a number of design explorations to activate the precinct including a Place Audit to identify key elements that will be incorporated into the redevelopment and refurbishment strategy including activating the ground plane through the incorporation of retail, café, recreation and cultural facilities, improved pedestrian linkages and permeability, targeted façade interventions and extensive upgrades to the base building foyers, amenities and commercial levels. These initiatives will assist in enlivening this significant CBD complex and align it with the ACT Government and NCA/CRA’s vision for the City. Read more about this project here.
AMC Director Alastair MacCallum was pleased to have the opportunity to share his thinking’s at the recent Future Directions Outlook Forum on how to Build Cohesive Neighbourhoods. Each of the 4 speakers including Ben Ponton, Gemma Wawn and Sonia Dalitz had views that aligned. For Alastair it was all about blending the Cool Little Capital with Old School Cool, bringing young and old together at a neighbourhood level with the redevelopment of the local shops and immediate surrounds.
There are already vibrant and successful examples of this at Crace and Denman which have successfully delivered genuine housing choice. If we can replicate these ideas across the ACT we will facilitate locals ageing within their community as they downsize into new, more convenient and lower maintenance housing in and around the core of each suburb allowing larger properties to be recycled for new young families who in turn keep schools viable, play in the parks and support their local business.
As a city we have always been good at opening up new fronts but now we need to get better at appropriate infill – building that missing middle, making better use of limited land assets while developing at a comfortable scale that does not detract from Canberra’s charm and individuality as the bush capital.
For more information visit our Linkedin or Instagram pages.
To our valued clients,
With the COVID-19 situation developing rapidly we thought it timely to share our approach to maintaining operations and business continuity.
AMC continues to heed advice from the World Health Organisation, Australian Government and National / ACT health authorities and we are updating our policies and strategies in accordance with their recommendations on a regular basis. We feel AMC is well – positioned to remain operational throughout the COVID-19 Virus Pandemic, accepting that the situation is fluid and unfolding rapidly.
Our business has the technology and systems in place to enable all AMC team members to work remotely effectively and continue to service our clients. As of Tuesday 24 March, the AMC Team will be fully mobile and working remotely, as required. All team members will continue to be contactable via email and/or mobile and are available for video/teleconferencing meetings via Microsoft Teams or through your preferred platform. While we are confident that these systems will allow us to maintain our operations we ask for your support and understanding as we adjust to this new mode of working.
The AMC Team will remain connected and productive throughout this period to ensure we maintain our high level or client service and meet our commitments to you.
We thank you for your understanding at this time.
The Directors (Alastair, David, Dean & Luke)
Our latest fit out project has reached completion. Canberra’s first TMS Specialists Clinic will be up and running in Deakin starting in the New Year. It was such a pleasure to work with Dr. Suneel Chamoli and the team at Projex. In this fitout , it’s all in the details. Creatively adapting finishing touches that create a space where clients feel comfortable, supported and at ease. The psychology of a well-designed space and its impact on the end-user was at the fore front of our design throughout. In such busy times it is important that we take care of our physical and mental well-being and it was a pleasure to work with a client doing such important work in our community.
Congrats to all the winners at the recent Canberra Region Tourism Awards held at the National Gallery of Australia on Friday evening. A special mention goes to the Canberra and Region Visitors Centre, which took out the award for Visitor Information Services. We were very pleased to assist Visit Canberra in the design and delivery of the new Visitors Centre at Regatta Point in 2016 and more recently with the opening of a new Information Kiosk at Canberra International Airport. Both are excellent touch points for visitors and locals alike to make the most of what Canberra and surrounding regions have to offer!
Check out this subtle yet elegant façade treatment recently unveiled as the last part of the Stage 1 works for the Goodwin Village Redevelopment project. Thanks to innovative Locker’s Atmosphere Façade system, AMC has designed a unique graphic element to the Village’s newest building, featuring a wheat motif super-graphic expressed through a perforated metal skin – a nod to William Farrer, a leading agronomist of his time and ‘father of the Australian wheat industry’. Stage 2 is now well underway so watch this space!
The new Brindabella Business Park Wellness Hub for Canberra Airport is currently under construction and is progressing well! This new iconic facility will provide a large, well-equipped gym, café and End of Trip facilities for Brindabella Business Park users as well as pedestrian links to the adjacent carpark. The AMC team developed a distinctive sculptural form that will set it apart within the BBP precinct and as a destination in its own right. Completion is expected in early 2020!
Documentation for the Denman Prospect Community & Child Care Centre is in progress and approaching an important milestone for the project. The Centre will form part of Capital Estate Development’s exciting new Denman Village precinct, a project in which AMC has continued to play a key role, designing and delivering the local centre mixed-use development in late 2018. Contrasting materials and geometric forms create a striking built form that takes its cue from the surrounding context. The Centre will accommodate a childcare centre at ground level with a community centre above, both of which will benefit from expansive views and excellent solar orientation to create light-filled internal areas and dynamic external gathering spaces.
Congratulations to the design team on a wonderful concept, we eagerly anticipate the next stage of this exciting project!