IAC finalists for International Architecture Award

Six projects from a field of twenty-six have been shortlisted by the International Area Committee’s 2013 awards jury for the Australian Institute of Architects’ Jørn Utzon Award for International Architecture. The winner will be announced at the National Architecture Awards on Thursday 7 November at the Sydney Opera House.

Situated outside the eight state and territory jurisdictions of Australia, these unique projects span the globe from Russia to New Zealand, and include an art gallery in Japan’s snow country, mixed-use developments and a Californian family home.

The award for International Architecture acknowledges the work of Institute members living abroad and members undertaking commissions overseas.

The finalists for the international category are:

Australia House
Andrew Burns Architect
Niigata, Japan

Silver House
Peter Stutchbury Architecture
Cherepovets, Russia

Martin No.38
Kerry Hill Architects

387 Tamaki Drive
Ian Moore Architects
Auckland, New Zealand

28th Street Apartments
Koning Eizenberg Architecture, Inc.
Los Angeles, United States

Sobieski House
Koning Eizenberg Architecture, Inc.
South Pasadena, United States

These finalists will now be considered by the 2013 National Architecture Awards Jury led by Immediate Past President Shelley Penn and comprising WOHA Founder and Director, Richard Hassell; South Australian Government Architect, Ben Hewett; Tribe Studio Director, Hannah Tribe and architectural editor, writer and critic, Justine Clark.

For images, descriptions and jury comments on the shortlisted projects visit http://international.architecture.com.au/

Indigenous disability project to change lives

James Cook University’s The Cairns Institute, Brain Injury Australia, and Synapse (Brain Injury Association of Queensland) have teamed up to help change the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with an acquired brain injury (ABI).

The three organisations joined together on the national Practical Design Fund project to develop a culturally appropriate assessment process under DisabilityCare Australia (DCA) – the national disability insurance scheme.

Dr Anne Stephens, Senior Researcher at The Cairns Institute, said the project, funded by the Federal Government, aims to ensure that for the first time, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians living with an ABI have the same access to DCA-funded support as any other Australian with a disability.

“The national disability insurance scheme could change the lives of many Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people who are living with an ABI,” Dr Stephens said. “But they will only get the support they need if they are given the right kind of assessment.”

“The majority of these people living with an ABI will not yet have received a culturally acceptable and/or valid assessment of either their disability, or their care and support needs.

“This project helps DCA to offer Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with an ABI the right kind of support, possibly for the first time, and in a way that respects both their culture and the correct assessment methods.

“In the short term, the eligibility and support needs of these people living with an ABI will need to be assessed using ‘standard’ assessment tools.

“However, our project gives DCA assessors best practice guidance and a support framework.

“Once our prototype toolkit has been validated, DCA will be able to provide Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with an ABI with an assessment that is culturally acceptable and scientifically reliable.

“We truly believe it will change people’s lives for the better across Australia.”

During their research, the project team spoke to more than 70 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people living with an ABI, and/or their carers and service providers, from communities in the Northern Territory, New South Wales and Queensland.

Australian health and fitness group Jetts celebrates rapid expansion with 200th club opening

Australia’s leading 24/7 health and fitness group has celebrated the opening of its 200th club in Brisbane, marking a significant milestone for the Jetts group just six years after opening its first club in 2007. With their sights on expansion in NSW and the milestone of 200,000 members approaching, the group will target a further 50 clubs to add to its Australasian network in 2013.

Adrian McFedries, Jetts Group Managing Director, said “We have an outstanding team of people in the Jetts network that are committed to maintaining our leadership of the 24/7 fitness industry. The essence of Jetts is providing members with freedom of choice – low fees, no contracts and 24/7 access to 200+ conveniently located gyms. I am immensely proud of our six year journey. Today we are announcing the 199th club in Belmont, Victoria, and the 200th club in Fortitude Valley, Brisbane; that’s an incredible achievement and the result of a remarkable team of people. From here, our focus is on Sydney where there is significant market potential and we aim to add 20 clubs in NSW by the end of 2013”.

The group is targeting a 53 per cent increase in turnover this year having reported revenue of $74 million for 2011-2012. Having pioneered the 24/7, no contracts, gym concept in Australia six years ago with just $150,000 in capital, the health and fitness group intends to operate around 350 successful clubs in Australasia by end of 2014 and are focused on international expansion.

The 200th milestone celebration follows the recent announcement that for a second year running, Jetts has been awarded ‘Canstar Blue #1 gym for customer satisfaction’ which demonstrates members have embraced the freedom of choice that Jetts offers.

McFedries added: “We are delighted to open our 200th club and our commitment to our members remains the same just as it was when we opened our very first club. We are here to cater for members’ needs and perfectly complement their lifestyle, in terms of convenience, affordability and a great all-round experience.”

Club owners John Hall and Mario Koukides are delighted to be opening the 200th club. With two other clubs in Brisbane in addition to Fortitude Valley, the club owners say the five star ratings Jetts has received for overall customer satisfaction, value for money, and flexibility of membership is achievable when the fundamental franchise model is operating effectively.

“The fitness trend is on the rise and with this new club we’re providing more members, who are living and working close to the City, with a great gym choice. Owning a club is very much an active investment for me; health and fitness is huge and the market potential is growing. We operate high standards, in terms of service and team work. Jetts offers outstanding value in conjunction with clean, convenient workout facilities with the equipment members use on a regular basis. The 24/ 7 model is designed to work for the member,” said Mr Hall.

Jetts currently operates clubs in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and New Zealand.

The inaugural Regional Architecture Conference captures the essence of practice in regional Australia

Spirit of Place – the inaugural Regional Architecture Conference – takes place on the 6 and 7 September in Cairns. This event focuses on the unique opportunities available to architects practising regionally, responding to the unique ‘spirit of place’.

The Creative Director of the conference is Stephen de Jersey, a practicing architect in the regional city of Townsville.

‘This conference gives architects a chance to pick up where the 2012 National Architecture Conference – Experience left off. That successful and acclaimed event started many conversations and we want these exchanges to continue, to evolve,’ says Stephen.

‘In recent times, the effect of distance has been dramatically changed with the advent of immediate communications systems as well as cost effective travel. Regional communities can now be serviced in a multitude of different ways; however, in many respects, responding directly to the uniqueness of a regional place is becoming increasingly at risk.

‘The aim of the conference is to excite and inspire the practice of architecture in regional Australia. Our country is in its infancy, and we believe that it will be of significant benefit to future generations for us to acknowledge and respond to the unique ‘spirit of place’.’

The conference features an illustrious set of keynote speakers, whose work responds to this mandate. In addition, there will be a rich range of associated tours and events that explore the extraordinary locality of the Cairns region.

Speakers include:

Robert Morris-Nunn – Circa Morris Nunn Architects, Tasmania

Hua Li – Trace Architecture Office, China

Alice Hampson – Alice Hampson Architect, Queensland

Fernando Menis – Fernando Menis Architects, Spain

Thomas Bailey – Room 11, Tasmania

Jorge Gracia – Gracia Studio, USA/Mexico

Stuart Harrison – Harrison White Architects, Victoria

Kevin Low – Small Projects, Malaysia

Don Watson – State Library of Queensland, Brisbane

Bronwen Kerr and Pete Ritchie – Kerr Ritchie, New Zealand

Adrian Iredale – Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects, Perth

Spirit of Place is the first in a biennial program of Regional Architecture Conferences, which will provide considerable opportunities for the Institute’s regional members.

Stephen de Jersey is Principal, Stephen de Jersey Architect, a practice that he established in 1994 in Townsville. Projects include health, religious, commercial and community projects and ‘adventurous tropical residences’.

Spirit of Place – 2013 Regional Architecture Conference is hosted by the Queensland Chapter, Australian Institute of Architects. 6 and 7 September, Cairns Convention Centre, Cairns.

Early bird registrations close at midnight Wed 17 July.