Mernda Rail Extension Open

MREP Middle_Gorge_Station

 Image above: Mernda Rail Extension Project - Middle Gorge Station, Photo Courtesy of Level Crossing Removal Authority

The Mernda Rail Extension Project (MREP) opened recently with much celebration for the Level Crossing Removal Program, the local community and the Office of the Victorian Government Architect. The project consists of eight kilometres of new rail line and three new stations, Mernda, Hawkstowe and Middle Gorge, with an expected 8000 passengers a day.

Read more about the project here.

Victorian Landscape Architecture Awards 2018

Darebin Yarra_Trail_Link Image above: Darebin Yarra Trail Link by VicRoads, photographer - Emma Cross.

The OVGA congratulates the winning landscape architecture teams recognised in the recent Australian Institute of Landscape Architects (AILA) Victorian Awards. The awards celebrate design excellence in Landscape Architecture. Several of the award winning projects were presented to the Victorian Design Review Panel, or had involvement from the OVGA. 

Bronwen Hamilton, Manager of the Victorian Design Review Panel was the awards jury chair. Bronwen was excited to see that this year’s entries “demonstrated the maturity of the profession but also investment in high-quality strategic and landscape design-led projects. We are fortunate to recognise an array of projects that enhance public spaces, engage with the community and exemplify enduring design.”

You can find out more about the award winning projects in Landscape Australia and read an interview with Bronwen speaking about her reflections on the 2018 awards here.

Film about Victoria's Government House launched

Government House

 Image above: Victoria’s Government House and the Role of the Governor Film Series

Did you know, Victoria’s Government House, is the largest residential building in Australia? Learn more about the design of this significant heritage building and its legacy in this short film featuring Victorian Government Architect, Jill Garner and the Governor of Victoria, the Hon. Linda Dessau AC.

You can find out more about the history and contemporary uses of Government House, and the role of the Governor of Victoria, in the full series of films here

300th Design Review

Shipwreck Coast_Master_Pan

Image above: Shipwreck Coast Master Plan, Parks Victoria

Did you know the OVGA has a Victorian Design Review Panel? Recently we celebrated our 300th project review since the program started in 2012. We reviewed the first stage in the implementation of the Shipwreck Coast Masterplan led by Parks Victoria in August. The project encompasses a series of lookouts and a bridge along the Great Ocean Road. This will offer an enhanced visitor experience to this part of Victoria's coastline.

You can find out more about the Victorian Design Review Panel here.

Arts Centre Melbourne, Forecourt Cento Competition winner announced

1 gold LR

Image above: Café Cento by Cumulus Studio

The Arts Centre Melbourne Forecourt Cento Café Competition winner is Cumulus Studio. The design uses the café to create an opportunity for the theatre to have a presence on the street to engage with the passing public and to create a new visitor experience relating to Art Centre Melbourne’s brand. The design plays on the iconic and universally understood element of the theatre curtain as a device to signify 'open' and 'closed'.

Jury member David Islip noted that “the Cumulus submission successfully met the complex brief requirements with efficiency and clarity of design intent.”  The Competition Adviser was Andrew McKenzie of City Lab. The new Cento at Arts Centre Melbourne is expected to open for business by Christmas 2018. Read more about the competition and jury members here.

Indigenous Design Symposium

Go back to where you came from, artwork by by Mick Harding and Frida Larios

Image above: Indigenous Design Symposium 2018, Artwork by Mick Harding and Frida Larios 

OVGA attended the inaugural Indigenous Design Symposium at the University of Melbourne and commends the organisers, led by Jefa Geenaway, for thought provoking, inspiring, highly educational and at times emotional conversations across the three day program. The stories told, knowledge shared and goodwill communicated raise the awareness of the value of indigenous design to architecture, landscape architecture and urban design. 

Australian Institute of Architects Constructive Mentoring Program

David Islip_presenting_at_AIA_Mentoring_Program_Kelsey_Calder

Image above: David Islip presenting at AIA's Constructive Mentoring Program, Photographer - Kelsey Calder

Did you know that the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) have a 12-month mentoring program to provide guidance and support to young graduates and those re-entering the workforce? In July David Islip, Principal Adviser, Architecture + Urban Design, Office of the Victorian Government Architect, presented at the AIA’s - Constructive Mentoring Program. David reflected on his career path through the private and public sector and the role of the OVGA in design advocacy and advice across Government. David shared the importance of seeking out a mentor and taking opportunities that arise. He also highlighted the many different paths available in the profession, beyond the traditional. David’s co-presenter at the session was Jocelyn Chiew, Manager Campus Design, Quality and Planning at Monash. The event was well received with positive feedback from the graduates and their mentors who referred to the presentations as “inspirational” and “very encouraging”.

Hundreds of buildings open to the public for Open House Melbourne

Open House Melbourne Program, Photographer - Nick Bebbington

Image above: Open House Melbourne Program, Photographer - Nick Bebbington

Are you interested in exploring some of Melbourne’s most interesting buildings? More than 200 buildings across Melbourne will be open to the public on 28 - 29 July 2018 as part of Open House Melbourne. The weekend gives the community a unique opportunity to get behind the scenes to explore and learn about Melbourne’s rich legacy of architecture, landscape and design.

Check out the program for a list of buildings open over the weekend, as well as a series of talks, events, tours, screenings and performances held throughout July. 

RMIT’s New Academic Street wins 2018 Victorian Architecture Medal

RMIT New Academic Street, Photographer - Peter Bennetts

Image above: RMIT New Academic Street, Photographer - Peter Bennetts

Who won the Australian Institute of Architect’s 2018 Victorian Architecture Medal sponsored by OVGA? Congratulations to RMIT New Academic Street designed by Lyons with NMBW Architecture Studio, Harrison and White, MvS Architects and Maddison Architects. This exciting project respectfully reconfigures a number of existing buildings along Swanston Street to create a series of connections, internal streets and interconnected spaces that opens up the heart of the campus to the city. The sequence of new interventions celebrates existing built fabric to create a dynamic dialogue between the university and its surrounds, transforming the student experience and enriching our experience of the city’s Swanston Street pedestrian spine. 

We commend the vision and collaborative enterprise of the architects and the ambition and commitment of the client, RMIT University. Design excellence, civic character, architectural etiquette and diversity are in the DNA of the RMIT New Academic Street and these qualities are offered to the greater public realm of the city.

Architecture Design Competitions – A guide for government

Federation Square Melbourne, Photographer: Trevor Mein

Are you considering running a design competition for a project? The OVGA's new publication, Architecture Design Competitions - A guide for government, provides guidance and advice to government organisations on how to enable high-quality design outcomes as a procurement method.

Competitions can generate excellent outcomes for clients and a quality built legacy, but the process must be robust. Architect Sir Norman Foster stated that "Any competition is only as good as the way it is run, as good as the people organising it, writing the brief, selecting the people to judge it and the process for judging it." These guidelines seek to ensure that government is an informed client and that the opportunities afforded by a competition can be realised.

The guide has also been featured in ARCHITECTUREAU, read more here

Image above: Federation Square Melbourne, Photographer - Trevor Mein

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