Kerry Hill wins Perth Public Library comp

From eighteen competitors, Kerry Hill have been awarded the Perth Public Library project. (How did they find out about this competition?? I would have loved to enter. Anyway…) This building is to be inserted in to the Perth CBD in place of the Law Chambers building and will form part of a precinct around St Georges Cathedral. See here here for more info including a gallery of renders of the winning entry.

ps Has anyone else been to the National Library in Singapore? The interior of the main library, with its circular balconies, photos on the upper level walls, overlooking a central study area, looks very very similar.

pps Is my maths correct? $14 million build, $3 million architects fees = about 20%??!! wow.


7 thoughts on “Kerry Hill wins Perth Public Library comp

  1. This was less a competition than an open EOI which was then used to shortlist three firms (from memory) who were then asked to come back with design concept and fees. I came across it on tender link who take their info from the public domain so it was probably advertised in the paper and the City’s website.

    The original document indicated a $38M budget (including plaza and fit out – $30M base build) so the fees are good but not quite THAT extraordinary! Don’t know where A&D’s two figures of $55M and $14M came from – I suspect there were from the City of Perth and the $14M refers to a section of the project only whilst the fee is on total project?

    That said this was yet another method of procurement heavily biased toward large established firms – it was not anonymous. Previous experience and tenderer identity were crucial selection criteria for the shortlisted firms. So we get the same players as always. When is Perth going to have the foresight to have an open anonymous competition, issues of buildability and servicing should easily be addressed b the judging panel and if necessary the winning entrant can be teamed with a larger firm to ensure the project is delivered, Thus allaying risk (which is the biggest concern of most procuring bodies) . This is a model that has served well globally and delivered some excellent projects, some just completely out of the box from absolute unknowns – and sometimes from well known and established firms too – it’s an even playing field.

    Is it too controversial to ask that we stop protecting large firms and start protecting design integrity?

    • Not just Perth – Australia. Look at the Australian Pavilion for the Venice Biennale… I think they changed their mind after a lot of pressure, but early on the Australia Council were saying that they didn’t want the project to fall into the hands of a firm that wasn’t experienced in working in the specific international context. How many Australian firms have experience in cultural building work in Venice?

      • Yep, and now Barnett has decided not to let the stadium out for competition. What is with the fear over trying something (someone) new? Foster, Gehry, Zaha, they all had to start somewhere…someone needed to take a chance on them, and look at them now. And using an experienced firm doesn’t necessarily lower the risk of budget or time blow outs – look at the Arena, ARM are one of the biggest firms in Aus.

      • Not that I’m saying its because of ARM and CCN that the Arena is over. If you don’t have a proper planning process and get the brief locked down before signing contracts, it won’t really matter what the size of your architecture firm is.

      • An insider tells me that the arena contract was perfectly written to lock the government into paying for whatever the architects designed. We should encourage more government projects like this.

  2. The John Fitzgerald Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum was designed by I.M. He seemed to her so filled with promise and he had the imagination and temperament to create a structure that would reinforce her vision of the goals of the library.Ieoh Ming Pei was born in Canton China in 1917.

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