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The University of Melbourne recently awarded the contract to construct of our new building to Brookfield Multiplex, with construction to commence in May 2013, and a completion date of 12 December 2014.

Brookfield Multiplex has recently completed numerous education projects including RMIT's Swanston Academic Building, the University of NSW’s award-winning Tyree Energy Technologies Building and the Melbourne Brain Centre in 2011.

In line with our vision of creating a ‘living learning building’, Brookfield Multiplex will create a ‘living lab’ on site enabling  students the opportunity to learn about construction methods during the building process. A viewing platform will become a unique classroom,  where students, staff and others can examine the building's design, construction status, built pedagogy and functionality.

The new building project is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the Faculty to articulate its strategic objectives, demonstrating a commitment to innovation and sustainability through the design and delivery of an outstanding campus building.

Regular project updates will be posted on our new building blog, charting the project’s progress, milestones and research stories.


Dr. Dominique Hes and PhD student, Tanja Beer, will take part in an informal lecture entitled Earthly Activation, at the 2013 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival on Saturday 9 March (tomorrow).

The discussion, which commences at 12.30 over a local beer or cider of your choice, will investigate 'reclaiming and reinventing spaces through re-purpose and sustainable consideration.'

Dominique and Tanja will be joined by cultural theorist, Tammi Jonas, for an afternoon of gourmet hot dogs and discussion about sustainable architecture, restaurants and products. Topics will include turning disused space into productive space and growing food in urban spaces.

Tanja Beer's Living Stage, a recyclable, biodegradable and edible performance space and Dominique Hes' wealth of experience in sustainable design will make for interesting and progressive debate on urban space.

More information


The first event in our new ABP AGENDA series drew a large crowd of architects, designers, writers, bloggers and students out of the Melbourne heat and into the Carrillo Gantner Theatre last night to hear an expert panel discuss how digital media has opened up a new and seductive space for design criticism.

Chaired by Justine Clark, the discussion kicked off with an introduction from New York-based design critic, blogger and author, Alexandra Lange. 'More than One Way to Skin a Building' proved to be an apt title for the event as panellists, Dr. Karen Burns, Dr. Rory Hyde and Michael Holt joined Justine and Alexandra in examining the nuances of design criticism and its impact on how we perceive the built environment, particularly in the age of online media.

 Video coming soon. Make sure you’re following us on twitter (@msdsocial) to be the first to hear when it goes online.


FREE LECTURE on Thursday 21 March, 6.30pm-7.30pm       Venue: Hercus Theatre, Physics building, University of Melbourne (enter via Gate 1 on Swanston St)

Contemporary health planning and practice has tended to focus on high technology diagnostics and on the treatment of disease. Recent research suggests that the quality of the buildings environment – its architecture and design – plays a critical role in promoting health and supporting wellbeing. 

'Salutogenic Architecture' involves an interdisciplinary application of architecture, design, engineering, medicine, public health policy, culture and psychosocial factors. The approach is focussed on delivering hospital and healthcare environments which directly support improved health outcomes. 

In Australia, the design and construction of major hospitals in most capital cities over the past five years has seen new focus on links between design and wellbeing. Projects such as the Royal Children's Hospital, Melbourne and the forthcoming Queensland Children's Hospital are two local examples of this growing global trend in health architecture. 

In this free lecture, Professor Alan Dilani will introduce the concept of 'salutogenic' thinking and will illustrate how it can be applied to the design of new hospital facilities. Professor Dilani is Founder and Director General of the International Academy for Design and Health in Stockholm. He is also Co-founder of the journal 'World Health Design'. He holds a Master of Architecture in Environmental Design from the Polytechnic University of Turin, Italy and a PhD in Health Facility Design from the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm. Professor Dilani lectures worldwide and is the author of numerous articles in the field of Design and Health. In 2010 Professor Dilani received an Award from the AIA Academy of Architecture for Health for his work in 'salutogenic' design research. 

Bookings essential - register here.

The event is co-sponsored by Lyons & ABP.


Together with the Australia India Institiute at the University of Melbourne, ABP presents three illustrated lectures by Dr. George Michell, exploring the building traditions of peninsular India over 1000 years.

A graduate of ABP, George Michell has made a significant contribution to scholarship in India and is regarded as an expert in Indian Architecture.

Find out more about this series of lectures in April at the University of Melbourne.


Sinéad Holmes joined Enactus as a BEnvs student in 2012. Now enrolled in the Master of Urban Design at the Melbourne School of Design, Sinéad tells us about her experience with the student group and one of its projects, IMPRINT, which is currently ongoing.

IMPRINT is an urban rejuvenation project and Sinéad is Design Coordinator at the Brunswick site, one of three identified sites. Her BEnvs degree exposed Sinéad to a breadth of built environment subjects, such as urban design and landscape architecture which have aided her in this demanding role. Sinéad wants her work to have an impact on the world around her so IMPRINT is the perfect for her. 

IMPRINT uses Crime Prevention Through Design (CPTED) principles to inform the design and help discourage anti-social behaviour and encourage community interaction.

Read more


Professor Qinghua Guo and Hamish Hill (ABP’s Workshop Manager) jointly run a MSD subject entitled ‘Craft in Traditional Asian Architecture.'

In this subject, students learn many aspects of working with tools from original basic hand tools through to utilizing the CNC Router. They also develop an astute understanding of the materiality of buildings, which can only come from hands on experience.

Each year, students  produce one full size version of an early Asian timber building, and in 2013 they are going to construct a gateway based on a 12th century temple gateway in Zhejiang province.

In 2012, students produced a pavilion structure that was based on a timber bridge of the Dong people in Southern China. This Pavilion, like all these timber buildings, is effectively ‘a kit of parts’ that can be  easily assembled and disassembled with a series of mortice and tenon and tricky, slip in half dovetail joints.

ABP is keen to sell the Pavilion created last year and are looking for prospective purchasers of future structures. Contact Hamish Hill if you are interested in the 2012 Pavillion (pictured) or future structures on tel:  8344 7884 or hrhill@unimelb.edu.au.


Cinecity - Architecture and Film

Cinecity provides creatives an opportunity to develop and explore architectural ideas through the medium of film.

Louise Mackenzie, together with Romaine Logere, Russell Bywater and Foo Chi Sung, established Cinecity in 2009 and it has been run each year, either through workshop or competition in Melbourne by Louise and in Sydney by Sarah Breen Lovett.

The competition is now open to 2013 applicants. Aligned with the theme of the National Architecture conference, Material, Cinecity requires participants to make a one minute film exploring the architectural relationships between the material and immaterial, between the real and imaginary, between an idea and building.

Louise, who completed her Bachelor of Architecture in 2005, believes that film is an important medium through which to understand and experience the built environment.

"It enables questions about  the experience of the city and gives both architects and non-architects an opportunity to join the same conversation," says Louise.

Cinecity 2013  Deadline: 30 April 2013

Image: Still from electriCITY by ABP students, Jannette Le and Seung Hyuk Choi.


Karen Burns, Senior Lecturer in Architectural Design, ABP

Each month we ask a practitioner or academic to nominate their favourite Melbourne building or urban space.  Here's what Dr. Karen Burns, ABP's Senior Lecturer in Architectural Design, had to say.

"You could film a sword and sandal epic at Enrico Taglietti’s 1969 St Kilda Municipal Library. The ramped concrete walls, deep cornice and pyramid roof have a cradle of civilization feel. Taglietti argued against technocratic approaches to cities and promoted ritual, adventure and narrative.

Inside the library recessed wall lighting, rooms within rooms and towering ceiling volumes give a ceremonial flair to the quiet pleasures of reading. This weighty building sits amidst a low rise-shopping strip, adding mystery and monument to the weekly library call."