AIA’s new Melbourne Offices

The design of the new Melbourne offices of the AIA have been revealed (though I thought they were in Architecture Australia somewhere a while ago?) Of course it will be “carbon neutral” (as much as a built form ever really can be I guess) with bicycle parking and waste management areas for tenants. Lets hope these things stay in after the Pre-tender Estimate, as they are usually the first things to be cut.

I’m a little confused though if it is the new main office of the AIA, or just the Victorian Chapter? Either way, surely a lot of funds are being put into this by the AIA. As a very recent member (my firm’s attempts to get some costs in before EOFY) I odn’t know how i feel about so much being spent in the Eastern states, when the return here is so small. Were we asked? If the building is the Head Office of AIA I think its a great idea to make it an exemplar building which attracts attention as an example of great architecture. But if its just the Victorian Chapter’s new home I’m not too sure – surely this should be shared out a bit? Where’s our skyscraper?

Not too sure about the Lyons design – why do we have to make such a big deal about buildings being green – it should just be stnadard now surely? Do we really have to show it off with the actiual colour green? I’m more interested in function, and truly being green by creating less waste and doing more with less. I don’t quite know enough about the design of the space yet to figure this one out.  Although maybe I’m just being one of those architectural critics who has to put everything else down? (Judgy-wudgy as I think G’day from WA put it last week!)

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2 thoughts on “AIA’s new Melbourne Offices

  1. Judgy-wudgy? I think you have confused me with someone else in this case.

    Nice use of quotation marks around the term “carbon neutral”, which is the minimum it deserves. Probably soon to be Carbon NeutralTM. Should always be Carbon Neutral*. Blah, greenwash.

    We got our new (well, refurbished) building only a few years ago, and if more Perth architects were members (instead of just joining because the firm has to spend a few bucks before the end of financial year!) the institute here may be able to be a bit more ambitious.

    I think the building is just for the Victorian Chapter, but the institute as a whole runs the show. It’s basically a spec office development. I do like your attitude though. Where’s OUR skyscraper indeed.

    We still need to make a big deal about low-environmental-impact building: we may all be sick of hearing about it but it is only the norm in magazines. I’d love to be making green buildings every day not just reading about them but sometimes (either due to just being an employee, or just being the architect) it’s hard to fight BAU. And if you don’t like the colour green (Lyons use it a lot), what colour should it be? Would you prefer orange? Black like our clothes?

    *Not actually carbon neutral, and most probably a disaster for the environment.

    • Good point – sorry it was J. Bam.
      I agree more people should be members, I’m not sure of the numbers in WA but from events that I’ve been to I would say that it is quite a small proportion of the total number of architects, graduates, students etc out there. Then maybe we, as a profession, could start to make some impact…
      Yes Lyons does use a lot of green – not sure of an alternative, it just seems a bit stereotypical to use the colour green for ‘eco’ buildings all of the time. Just to make sure people get it, because what’s the point of a ‘green’ building if people don’t know its green!

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