Durack Centre, Woodhead, Perth

Nestling on the Swan River in Perth’s CBD, the Durack Centre by Woodhead has just been awarded Western Australia’s first six-star Green Star rating. The commercial office building spreads 7,200m2 over four floors and showcases environmental features such as grey water recycling and extensive energy and water sub-metering. 

“The overall technical objective of the project was to create a fully integrated process that would achieve a six star green landmark office building,” architect John-Paul Davies said.

The building’s automated louvres can be invididually monitored and tilt in response to sunlight, allowing the building to maintain views and natural light. The Durack Centre also features active chilled beam mechanical services for air-conditioning, peak energy reduction and extensive cyclist end of trip facilities. 

There are also three roof-top wind turbines that cleanly supply up to 25 per cent of the building’s base electricity requirements. 

The building is due for completion in June 2009.

Broadgate Tower, SOM Architects, London

Described as “a work of manoeuvre and negotiation, shaped by the invisible constraints of the City of London” by the UK’s Architects’ Journal, at 164m, the Broadgate tower is the third tallest building in the city.

The large, diamond patterns tracing the glass wall provide additional bracing for the building, in lieu of central cores. The industrial look of the two buildings is reminiscient of the style of Mies van der Rohe.

The Broadgate Tower, along with the 201 Bishopsgate, provides 800,000 sq ft of office accommodation to meet the needs of both financial and professional occupiers, with both buildings now complete and at the fit-out stage.

The buildings represent the largest speculative office development ever undertaken in the City of London.

Finnish embassy building, Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Ltd, Tokyo

Architects Lahdelma & Mahlamäki Ltd may have scooped the design competition ran by the Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs for the new Finnish Embassy in Tokyo, but it will have to wait for the global credit crunch to die down before it can get building.

The ministry has this week said it was strongly considering a collaboration with the Japanese private sector to help construction get moving. 

The jury of industry professionals and ministry officials chose the design unanimously because it created an image of Finland. “The Embassy must represent Finland in the right way,” director for real estates for the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, Mikko Paaso, said.