Architecture

Q&A with our newest Associate, Craig Blewitt

Craig Blewitt.jpg

It is with excitement that we announce that Senior Architect, Craig Blewitt, has recently been promoted to Associate.

Craig is one of our most experienced correctional architects, managing all correctional and justice projects in our Brisbane Studio and assisting on the large correctional projects managed by our Melbourne Studio. He is also the resident “door guru”, assisting with door and hardware scheduling across all of our correctional projects.

Warmly known in the Studios for his love of a good secure lock and a spreadsheet, ability to string together puns, and a passion for rehabilitative design, to celebrate his promotion we thought we would sit down for a chat with Craig to find out what he loves most about architecture and his views on correctional design.

Q: What do you love most about architecture?

I enjoy the collaboration process between architects, landscape architects, interior designers, engineers, consultants, builders and contractors during the design and construction process.

Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?

I love witnessing the transition from paper to built form – seeing a project through from concept to completion.

Q: How many years’ experience have you had in the industry?

I’ve been working in the construction industry for over 12 years now, with nearly a decade spent toiling on correctional and justice projects.

Q: Tell us a little about your work in corrections, what makes you specialise in this area?

I kind of just fell into the corrections field. I worked on a project during university, and I haven’t looked back. The more I’ve worked on correctional projects, the more I’ve grown to love the complexity of these projects and the variety of building types. I’ve developed a passion for designing well-considered spaces that promote rehabilitation.

Q: Tell us a little about yourself and what do you do when you are not busy designing or jet-setting around?

I don’t have much time away from work at the moment, but the bright side is that I can pretty much recite the Virgin safety demonstration verbatim.

Hopkins Correctional Centre in Ararat. Photography by Scott Burrows

Hopkins Correctional Centre in Ararat. Photography by Scott Burrows

Q: Is there a stand out project you have worked on?

The Hopkins Correctional Centre in Ararat is probably the standout project for me. Partly because it’s the first correctional project that I had a leadership role on, and partly because of the well-publicised contractual issues, that took the challenges of the project to a whole other level.

Q: What has been the most memorable moment of your career?

Being asked by a builder whether they needed to remove the lumps of plaster on a floor slab before installing the flooring. But more seriously, attending the official opening of the Hopkins Correctional Centre, a project that I worked on full-time for close to six years, including relocating to Ararat for two years on site.

Q: Where do you see correctional design heading in the future?

With the prisoner population growing across Australia, it’s vital that the current and future design of prisons have a greater focus on rehabilitation through educational and behavioural programs, the development of work and social skills, and increased opportunities for family connection.

To be truly effective, the rehabilitative programs need to extend beyond the walls of correctional centres to provide post-release facilities that continue to support prisoners in the years immediately following their release when the risk of recidivism is at its highest.

A word from the Directors

Directors.PNG

Having designed many of Australia’s most innovative correctional projects including the $200 million Hopkins Correctional Centre expansion and the multi-award winning $670 million Ravenhall Prison Project, at Guymer Bailey we know the importance of rehabilitative design and the need for secure environments need to be normalised as much as possible, to make the transition out of the prison system is easier.

Craig’s promotion and management of correctional projects is a crucial step in achieving our vision to ‘design a better world’ through rehabilitative correctional design as we work with academic researchers to ensure our design solutions are evidence-based and best-practice.

Why sustainability is needed in schools

Photography by Scott Burrows

Photography by Scott Burrows

By Phil Jackson

With greater demands to decrease costs, and a desire to minimise environmental impact, improve efficiency and increase student learning and performance, schools are starting to recognise the need to become more sustainable.

But with many principals, boards and P&F committees balancing multiple needs, there is often a focus on short-term costs and savings, which can create more resistance around the long-term move towards greater sustainability.

To help you shift your perspective, I’ll explore three reasons why sustainability is needed in schools and how it can give your school and students a greater competitive edge.

1. Improve performance with greater comfort and air quality

Photography by Scott Burrows

Photography by Scott Burrows

While many schools install air-conditioning for the comfort of students and teachers, what most staff members and P&F committees are unaware of is that the quality of air can be dramatically affected. In air-conditioned environments more Carbon Dioxide (CO2) is present in the air, affecting the cognitive ability and learning capability of students in the classroom.

It’s a conundrum, isn’t it? We put students into classrooms and exam rooms that are air-conditioned for their comfort only to create the worst possible air quality for them to perform and compete against other schools in.

The good news is that through sustainable initiatives both the comfort and air quality of classrooms can be improved. While there are times when air-conditioning must be used, there are times when air-conditioning could be minimised through the use of a more effective passive ventilation design (like using louvres) that will allow greater fresh air and breezes through the classroom.

Do measures like this make an impact, you might ask? A study done by the United States Environmental Protection Agency that examined the costs and benefits of green schools for Washington State estimated a 15% reduction in absenteeism and a 5% increase in test scores.

2. Minimise costs and reduce inefficiency

Photography by Scott Burrows

Photography by Scott Burrows

With air-conditioning seen as a necessity, little thought or planning can go into the ongoing cost and maintenance of systems. Energy bills can skyrocket, particularly when there is little education or incentive around minimising air-conditioning use in classrooms.

By linking both passive ventilation methods and air-conditioning to both a smart (automatically switches between passive ventilation, assisted ventilation, or air-conditioning based on settings) and manually controlled system, staff and students can become more conscious of their decision to use air-conditioning within the classroom. The installation of a CO2 monitor (Australian Geographic has a weather system that measures CO2 levels) can also be a valuable teaching tool to show the air quality of each classroom when the air-conditioning is on.

Schools can further encourage more sustainable thinking through the use of incentives, offering a reward to the class who uses air-conditioning the least throughout the term.

A holistic site approach that considers the use of shading, solar power, and LED lighting can also further reduce costs.

3. Boost student engagement with different teaching environments

Photography by Scott Burrows

Photography by Scott Burrows

Photography by Scott Burrows

Photography by Scott Burrows

While children thrive in routine, even their performance can be impacted by working in the same environment all of the time. By creating outdoor classroom environments, teachers and students can venture outside when the weather allows for different learning opportunities.

This not only boosts student engagement, but it also minimises costs of lighting and air-conditioning while providing greater connection to the landscape and better working conditions.

One example of the outdoor classroom idea is the Kimberley College Flexible Learning Area we designed.

Combining adaptable indoor learning spaces with flexible outdoor spaces that are large enough for full class groups, students are given many varied opportunities for interaction, performance, collaboration and connection to nature. The feedback from these outdoor classrooms and others like it have been overwhelmingly positive, with teachers and students both saying they are a pleasure to work in.

Schools that are making sustainability part of their governance are not only reaping the benefits of minimised costs and greater student engagement and performance; they are also addressing one of our greatest social challenges by empowering the next generation to be more environmentally minded.

About the Author

Phil Jackson is a Director of Guymer Bailey Architects and has a passion for sustainable design outcomes and the integration of architecture and landscape. From conception through to construction he ensures the delivery of outstanding projects and satisfied clients through open communication and enthusiasm for every project.

STUDENT WORK | NEW GRADUATE JUSTINE LENKIEWICZ

At the end of last year we showcased some of our students work - one of which was Justine Lenkiewicz from our Melbourne office. Fast forward 6 months, and Justine has recently completed her Master of Architecture. 

Agenda
Jack’s Magazine is an utterly unnatural, man-made terrain caught between the threshold of passive suburbia and organic natural landscape. This thesis will explore the site as a gradient between the urban and natural dichotomy, focusing on water as the element that brings the nature back into to the human through physical connection to space and spiritual connection to self. It will explore the site as a series of experiential moments that will form the filtering process from one end of the spectrum to the other. At which point has the threshold been crossed? Is it perhaps more about the liminal space between these polarities, the journey, rather than the destination?


to bathe is to fall into step with your biological rhythms, in and out breathing, the speed of blood coursing through your veins, the slowness of tiredness…the mechanical world of objective time, seconds, minutes, hours – is irrelevant here. Taking a bath properly requires being able to guiltlessly linger, hang out, and do nothing whatsoever.

Design Statement
Saltwater Springs will be an urban oasis, a centre for physical and mental wellbeing, at the former Jack’s Magazine site. As a junction between dense urbanism and natural landscape, the site will bridge the broken ecological and social connections that humans have with nature and within themselves. Water is a source of life and it will be the element that heals the site. In its untainted form, it imitates physical and spiritual purity and cleansing. The healing process will begin by physically restoring the eroded banks of the Maribyrnong River and reconnecting the former canal. This will clear the conscience and allow for the mental healing process to begin. Meandering boardwalks throughout the new landscape will lead you to the centre of the site - an adaptive reuse of the former gun powder magazine buildings where a program of various meditation, hydrotherapy and balneotherapy techniques, will allow one to rejuvenate the self.


Floor plans, sections and renders

Hero render: Justine Lenkiewicz (Graduating work)

CALDARIUM: Justine Lenkiewicz

VISTA: Justine Lenkiewicz

VISTA: Justine Lenkiewicz

MASTERPLAN: Justine Lenkiewicz

ENTRY: Justine Lenkiewicz

WETLANDS: Justine Lenkiewicz

Unlike the luxury and privacy of modern day spa houses, the traditional public bath house was once an intense community centre for social gatherings in our cities – a vital public space for social, cultural and political exchange. The first public baths in Ancient Greece and Rome arose from a communal need for cleanliness, at a time when most people did not have access to private bathing facilities, and were traditionally segregated based on gender. They consisted of three basic interconnected rooms – the caldarium, the tepidarium and the frigidarium. The Roman frigidarium was a cold water pool that patrons would immerse themselves in as preparation, before moving into the warmer rooms. The Ottomans introduced the Islamic ablution ritual into the bathing experience. The body had to be purified and rid of sin before entering the bath rooms, and they believed this could only be achieved through running water. The body was prepared by a cleansing ritual involving a laconicum – a hot dry steam room, to open the pores, a shower, and a sea salt scrub down. The sequencing of rooms was hence also reversed, so that you would enter through hottest rooms and move progressively through to the coldest, before finishing off with refreshing cold running water in the sudatorium, a hot wet steam room.

Despite varying typology, culture and tradition, the bath house has always been an institution for health, socialization and pleasure – a central aspect to community life.

We are living in increasingly urbanized environments, that distance us from nature and from ourselves. Lack of quality open space has a flow on effect onto inactivity and lack of connectedness, which in turn leads to reduced quality of life. The bath house offers a powerful sensorial sanctuary from the stressors and rabid consumerism of our modern age life. It is a place for stillness and reflection, wellness and mindfulness. It blurs the boundaries of traditional male and female ablution, of public and private, and of communal and personal. It is a place of anti-conflict, anti-competition and anti-hierarchy. The armor of our daily lives are discarded with our clothes, and the perils of our overworked, overstressed lives melt away with the steam.

Located at the threshold of man-made terrain of passive suburbia and organic natural landscape, the site represents a state of tension. It captivates visitors with its cavernous barrel vault interiors and the height of its massive earth mounds. But beyond the fortifying perimeter wall, the site has a fragmented relationship with its surroundings. Rapid urbanization in the area is reducing the quality the biodiversity and greenery in the space. We see this represented in the ecological destruction of the banks of the Maribyrnong and the intensity of flooding that occurs in the area. As we become distanced from nature, we see correlations between deteriorating mental and physical health. In a systems worldview, one can only truly thrive if the other does as well.

Water is the element that resolves this tension and brings nature back into the human through physical connection to space and spiritual connection to self.

Jack’s Magazine is protected by heritage status and is seen as a significant historical and cultural landmark for Victoria’s industrial and military past. But apart from the impressive scale of the man-made blast mounds, local Victorian bluestone construction and grand barrel vault interiors - the site is a barricaded and confined, degenerative and withdrawn place that stands for social and ecological destruction. Is this something that Victorian’s should value and uphold? By definition, adaptive reuse uses an old space or building and revitalizes it with new life and purpose that is socially and environmentally appropriate to its context.

Saltwater Springs will bring relief to the physical barriers of the site, regenerate ecologically and spiritually for flora, fauna and human to flourish, contribute to the community by addressing issues that have been identified by locals, and invigorate Jack’s Magazine.

GUYMER BAILEY TAKE ON THE RIVER TO ROOFTOP CHALLENGE

Congratulations to the girls from Guymer Bailey Brisbane who took on the River to Rooftop challenge on Friday. 

Team Guymer Bailey after conquering the 1040 step climb

ABOUT RIVER TO ROOFTOP
River to Rooftop is a great opportunity to have fun and get fit whilst raising awareness and to help make a difference for women and kids experiencing domestic violence. Women's Legal Service helps mothers and their kids to secure safer futures. They provide free services providing practical legal tools to help women living with domestic violence and each year aid more than 11,000 women and with them, over 17,000 children.  

In one week the team raised just under $800 - and there is still time to donate. Simply click on the button below to be taken to the Guymer Bailey fundraising page. 

MARY CAIRNCROSS | REALISING OUR VISION

MARY CAIRNCROSS | REALISING OUR VISION

We are looking back on our original concept for the redevelopment of the Mary Cairncross Scenic Reserve Discovery Centre. 

STUDENT WORK | Justine Lenkiewicz

This week we will be showcasing some of the amazing work that our students have produced throughout the year. First up is Justine Lenkiewicz's studio work, as well as her Tower Project. 

BOOMHouse Studio

BOOMFlat Sectional Perspective linework FINAL

PROJECT BRIEF: BOOMHouse Studio explored a share-house typology as a solution to the aged care crisis currently facing Australia. Throughout the semester, a range of housing scales were explored. The final project was a single house occupying one lot that would address the needs of four Baby Boomer couples who have decided to live together in a single share-house scenario. The focus throughout the semester was largely on combining facilities, child care and medical support, and providing appropriate dignified, private accommodation as needed; in order to encourage the integration of young seniors back into the larger community, and ensure their contribution and relevance to society is maintained. The final aim was to provide options that were spatially efficient, functionally desirable, affordable and attractive, in the context of the world’s most liveable city, Melbourne.

CONCEPT: My aim was to take a universal approach so that people of all backgrounds, shapes and sizes could have equal access to all the spaces. I employed a single-storey concept with a variety of communal spaces, and shared facilities. Creating layers of privacy was important to cater to individual personality types and needs, as well as to buffer the highly active zones from the more passive zones of the house. Bedrooms were designed to all be equal in size, orientation and access to daylight. A series of vertical strip windows and brick penetrations in the north facade allow dappled light to filter into the rooms throughout the day while keeping heat gain minimal. The presence of the existing tree resulted in a courtyard space that allowed the building to huddle around the tree. This formed an introverted shape with little nooks for reading, private study, and a small kitchenette. The lightwell corridor is something I carried on throughout my projects in this studio. It stems from the concept of changing light and shadow symbolising transitional spaces. The corridor becomes the moment the residents transition between the passive house and the active house.

The corridor in the BOOMFlat project behaves as the buffer zone between the bedroom and the open plan living spaces. In addition to creating a physical separation between the areas, it also houses the laundry facilities and the study zone adding further layers of privacy. Passing through an external threshold leads to the “active” house. Orienting the building to the north and pushing it to southern boundary enabled the creation of a large northern outdoor courtyard and for the spaces to sprawl out and become a lot more extroverted in contrast to the passive side. An open plan arrangement, coupled with the use of generous glazing and sliding doors allows enables fluid movement between the spaces and encourages social activity as boundaries are blurred.

Using a raked ceiling allows the spaces to visually extend out to appear bigger and allow pleasant wintery sun to come through while blocking out harsh summer sun. White brick veneer has been used for its solid, timeless quality; thermal mass benefits and it’s unique production history in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. The skylight level uses a lightweight blueboard cladding material with a white rendered texture finish to blend in with the rest of the building. Extended parapet walls allow the “brick wall” to become a main feature of the house. A darker ‘monument’ colour for the roofing creates a simple contrast in colours.

Timber batten screening is used to delineate spaces such as the carport - which creates a visual barrier from the front of the street and also provides shading from the western sun – as well as the dry court from the outdoor dining area.

Turbine Tower

PROJECT BRIEF: The European Cultural Capital program is an initiative to promote the diversity of European Cultures within member states, instill a sense of belonging in Europeans, and foster contribution of culture to the development of cities. A strong focus on local and community involvement saw Leeuwarden surpass much bigger cities, such as Amsterdam and Eindhoven, in their bid for the European Cultural Capital 2018. These core values combine to create the overarching ‘Iepen Mienskip’ (open community) theme for the 2018 program. The city will host the program for one year. The program is viewed as an opportunity, not only for the city, but also the province of Friesland, to generate cultural, social and economic benefit that will help foster urban regeneration and boost awareness and tourism by raising it’s profile on an international scale.

Our brief was to create a series of design interventions for sites in and around the city, in anticipation of the program and the level of traffic it will bring. The site for my project was the Blokhusipoort, a thriving hub of small creative businesses that will soon house the city’s library and a youth hostel. Since it was transformed from a prison in 2007, the inhabitants of the unique precinct have created a strong identity within the community. Today, the complex houses 130 small creative companies, a theatre, the popular Cafe de Bak, Frisian Design Factory, and the Headquarters for Leeuwarden 2018.

The Turbine Tower site intervention looks towards 2040 with a longer-term solution for the site, when Leeuwarden has reaped the cultural and economic benefits of hosting the Cultural Capital and has become a gained international recognition and the Blokhuispoort has become a landmark tourist destination for people visiting Friesland.

CONCEPT: The Turbine Tower aims to become an iconic radio communications tower, in the heart of Leeuwarden City, following it’s successful run of the European Cultural Capital Program. It is as once a point of connection and wayfinding, exhibition of materiality and history, and cultural symbolism of the core ‘iepen mienskip’ (open community) values that create the overarching theme of the year long festival, taking place in Leeuwarden, Friesland in 2018.