story: current projects
Monday, December 13, 2021
This interesting mixed-use project, comprising close to sixty residential apartments and ground floor retail, is located in the heart of the Queanbeyan town centre.
The CBD, while always having been an active and loved centre of a vibrant community, is undergoing some renewal with major public investment in new facilities, buildings, and urban design.The proposed development is sensitively attuned to the existing historic context while recognising that the city is undergoing a transformation into a highly desirable regional centre in its own right. The provision of new, high-quality apartments responds to recent enthusiasm in the local property market, and a consumer shift towards smaller, low maintenance homes in downtown locations with easy access to public amenities and retail opportunities.
We looked to Queanbeyan’s historical and environmental context as inspiration for the building design. The Queanbeyan and Molonglo rivers are historically, economically, the reason for Queanbeyan’s existence. The name of the city is believed to mean “clear waters” in the language of the local Ngambri/Ngunnawal people, a name that evokes a delightful image of reflection, playfulness, coolness, and tranquillity. With the clarity that this name evokes, our design seizes these motifs to represent them in a built form. The building facade is intended to represent a cascade of water.
The existing built context of the city is also a clear driver for our design. We have unashamedly appropriated the datum of the existing street front – the classic country town street front – of two storeys with a parapet and a deep awning – and integrated this into the building. Conscious of a sense of nostalgia but also of the excitement of renewal, the empty openings above the awning hint at buildings that were and are now gone.
Because the proposed building is in a very prominent location on Queanbeyan’s main street, we deliberately intend for the building to set a new benchmark for the city. This is probably the largest non-institutional building in Queanbeyan’s CBD and, we hope, will contribute positively to the city’s transformation, alongside planned new public buildings and recent generous investments in the public domain.