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Architects cover all angles -

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Architects cover all angles

The World Today - Friday, 4 July , 2008 12:42:00

Reporter: Rachael Brown

ELEANOR HALL: Origami angles and sustainability will be the hot topics of discussion at a gala
evening for architects in Melbourne tonight.

As Rachael Brown reports the Victorian chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects is holding
its annual awards.

RACHAEL BROWN: Nestled into a tee-treed sand dune in Rye on Victoria's coast, sits the Klein Bottle
House, a contender for tonight's residential architecture award.

Architect Rob McBride worked with Debbie Ryan on the project

ROB MCBRIDE: Based on this idea of the Klein Bottle which is a mathematical surface. It is like a
spiral but it actually intersects itself and it comes from a field of mathematics but, you know,
for an architect it is quite a fascinating shape.

RACHAEL BROWN: And that is the concept that you have used to help meld this structure into the
landscape.

ROB MCBRIDE: We started off looking at the spiral. You know, this idea of sort of journey or sort
of journeys end seemed to work quite nicely and it was a way of dispersing the rooms across the
site, across the sort of slope of the site.

RACHAEL BROWN: Victoria's two time winner of the nation's top accolade for public architecture,
John Wardle, has entered his Melbourne Grammar design, a learning and leadership centre for the
school.

JOHN WARDLE: The school sought ideas for a new building that would provide a new portal for the
school, a new entry point and their shift into engaging with new orthodoxies and methodologies as
teaching and learning in the 21st century.

RACHAEL BROWN: Are there any interesting or captivating ideas coming out at the moment?

JOHN WARDLE: The building of buildings is all the more complex. Architects have a pivotal role in
the opportunity to build buildings that express civic values or corporate ethos and reflect the
values of their users, probably more powerfully than before.

There is no, less set style and it is much greater variance of the kind of output that architects
produce both regionally and within each city.

RACHAEL BROWN: One public work up for an urban design award tonight will be removed by the
Manningham Council, which lies east of Melbourne.

Residents complained the shelter structure of spider-like curves was being misused by children as
climbing equipment.

Its focus though, looking at global warming through recycled local materials, is a common one in
tonight's awards.

Karl Fender heads the Victorian chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects:

KARL FENDER: We've had to take it into account at a number of levels and that is just from passive
design, in other words, getting the siting of buildings right so that they don't collect too much
impact from sun which then obviously reduces the need for air-conditioning and the outputs
associated with that and the energy consumption.

But also to the materials that we use; materials that are responsible in terms of their origins and
in terms of future maintenance.

RACHAEL BROWN: How do you see the industry now? Is it different, you know, from what it was a
decade ago? Are there new themes emerging?

KARL FENDER: I think that the architecture of today is really exploring place-making and
shape-making and it is bringing a level, particularly in Victoria, a level of excellence in designs
that are built in environment which is, I think very important.

ELEANOR HALL: That's Karl Fender from the Australian Institute of Architects ending Rachael Brown's
report.