Sig­na­ture Pil­bara build­ings cut fine fig­ure in WA Ar­chi­tec­ture Awards

Pilbara News - - Property - Ali­cia Per­era

Four strik­ing build­ings stand­ing tall in the vast red Pil­bara land­scape are in the run­ning for the Aus­tralian In­sti­tute of Ar­chi­tect’s WA chap­ter awards.

The East Pil­bara Arts Cen­tre, Dampier Com­mu­nity Hub, Kar­ratha Su­per Clinic and South Hed­land Youth In­volve­ment Cen­tre are rep­re­sent­ing the Pil­bara among a record 148 nom­i­na­tions for this year’s WA Ar­chi­tec­ture Awards, which hon­our ex­cel­lence in the State’s de­sign and con­struc­tion in­dus­tries.

Awards are given across 13 cat­e­gories, with an­other prize, the Ge­orge Tem­ple Poole Award, pre­sented to the project judged to be the best over­all.

Three Pil­bara en­tries — the East Pil­bara Arts Cen­tre, Dampier Com­mu­nity Hub and Kar­ratha Su­per Clinic — are nom­i­nees in the public ar­chi­tec­ture cat­e­gory.

Gres­ley Abas ar­chi­tect Alex Quin, who de­signed the Dampier Com­mu­nity Hub, said his com­pany had been seek­ing to do a project in the Pil­bara for some time, hop­ing to draw artis­tic in­spi­ra­tion from its dra­matic land­scape.

“We’re en­am­oured by that ro­mance of the Pil­bara — its end­less hori­zons, end­less sky, end­less ocean, end­less plains,” he said.

“It’s just that ro­mance of such an an­cient coun­try in such a sig­nif­i­cant land­scape and en­vi­ron­ment.”

Mr Quin said the hub had been care­fully de­signed to fit the phys­i­cal and cul­tural el­e­ments of Dampier, with its colour­ful out­side screens in­spired by dap­pled shad­ows and ochre rock stri­a­tions their ar­chi­tects had no­ticed in the area.

Of fo­cus in the East Pil­bara Arts Cen­tre en­try was its large-scale durable ma­te­ri­als and the “trans­for­ma­tional” ef­fect the build­ing would have for the New­man com­mu­nity, while the Kar­ratha Su­per Clinic’s vi­brant colours, wide spa­ces and echoes of its nat­u­ral sur­round­ings were high­lighted in its nom­i­na­tion.

Mean­while the South Hed­land Youth In­volve­ment Cen­tre is also rep­re­sent­ing the Pil­bara in the com­mer­cial ar­chi­tec­ture cat­e­gory.

A spokes­woman for ar­chi­tec­ture firm White­haus said they had de­signed the space to al­low lo­cal not-for-profit the Youth In­volve­ment Coun­cil to ful­fil the needs of ser­vice providers and had a fo­cus on en­rich­ing and en­cour­ag­ing the growth of the at-risk chil­dren who they helped.

Mr Quin said it was a priv­i­lege for any ar­chi­tect to have their project nom­i­nated for the awards.

“We love (the Dampier Com­mu­nity Hub) and this typ­i­fies what we want our projects to be and the type of work we chase, be­cause it’s based on some­thing that’s much big­ger than us. We get the priv­i­lege of turn­ing those prag­matic, struc­tural cri­te­ria com­mu­ni­ties have into some­thing that func­tions and does those other things they em­ploy us to do,” he said.

The win­ners of the WA Ar­chi­tec­ture Awards will be an­nounced at a pre­sen­ta­tion evening in Perth on June 23.

Pic­ture: Rob Frith

The East Pil­bara Arts Cen­tre build­ing.

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