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    Architecture & Design’s top 10 articles for December – from Beyonce-inspired towers to record breaking house prices

    As December comes to a close and we close out 2016, we’ve decided to recap the top 10 stories covered this month.

    Click on the title to be taken to the original story, and let us know which your favourites were - or what else we should have covered.

    1.jpg1. Construction begins on $315 million 'Beyonce' tower in Melbourne

    Construction has begun on what will become a new icon on the Melbourne skyline. The 79-storey Premier Tower is located on the corner of Spencer and Bourke Streets in the CBD and has been designed by Elenberg Fraser entirely by parametric modelling, which its architects likens to “the essence of first principles design”. Multiplex has begun construction at the site.

     

    2.jpg2. Two massive Darling Harbour developments hit planning same day

    Two of the most significant development proposals in the history of Sydney’s Darling Harbour hit planning simultaneously in December, both from FJMT.

    Fresh from winning the tender for the Star Sydney casino hotel tower at Pyrmont, and while participating in another tender process for a skyscraper at Circular Quay, FJMT still managed to churn out two State Significant Development applications before Christmas, one for the redevelopment of the Harbouside Shopping Centre (HSC) and another for a total overhaul of Cockle Bay Wharf (CBW).

    3.jpg3. Great Victorian architect Peter Corrigan passes away

    Victorian architect, set and costume designer Dr Peter Russell Corrigan passed away on 1 December.

    Corrigan was an RMIT Architecture Professor and Royal Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal winning architect who was widely respected and loved by the architecture community.

    A tribute to Corrigan was also written by Conrad Hamann of RMIT University which can be read here.

    4.jpg4. In 2017 let's pledge for no unpaid overtime: NSW architect

    Clinton Cole, managing Director of Sydney architecture and construction outfit, CplusC Architectural Workshop writes a scathing review of the current working and wage conditions for architects in Australia. His article, which has since been read, shared and supported all over the nation, exposes a culture of unpaid overtime and exploitation in the architecture profession that is often swept under the rug and overlooked for other important issues. 

     

    5.jpg5. Sociable Weaver creating architect-designed homes for the masses

    A new Victorian housing company is using top Australian architects to design a suite of off-the-shelf homes that are affordable, sustainable and socially enriching.

    Launched in March 2016, The Sociable Weaver is a partnership between Martin Builders and purpose-driven investment company Small Giants. It was founded upon the intention to bring high-quality alternative housing to the Melbourne market, and the company has been busy recruiting some of Melbourne’s top architects to achieve this vision.

    6.jpg6. Bates Smart propose tapered tower with CLT podium for growing North Sydney

    A Section 75W Modification development application for a commercial tower in North Sydney could finally bring the long-awaited project to life.

    Development at 1 Denison Street, North Sydney has been on the cards for nearly a decade, but has been stalled thanks to owner receivership, failure to obtain pre-commitment from a tenant, and a number of ownership changes.

     

    7.jpg7. Designinc Perth splits with company as former director sets up new office

    The WA office of Designinc (trading as Designinc Perth) left the group and rebranded as DAPM Architects.

    DAPM was to be headed by former Designinc Perth Managing Director Ron Jee but has since gone into liquidation, no more than a week after its founding. 

    Jee says that the liquidation was the first step in the process of establishing a new firm, Modcon Architecture, with the new name to better reflect the operations of the company.

    8.jpg8. Maher and Murcutt outraged by fence proposal for Parliament House, Canberra

    Two respected Australian architects are outraged by plans to build a 2.6-metre high fence around the perimeter of Parliament House in Canberra.

    Pritzker Prize Laureate, Glenn Murcutt and National President of the Australian Institute of Architects, Ken Maher were quick and unanimous in voicing their outrage for the project, both adamant that a fence would betray the design intentions of the original architect.

    9.jpg9. International architects bring baggage as they fly into Sydney

    Richard Rogers, Ivan Harbour, David Chipperfield and Muir Livingstone are just a few of the big-name international architects that visited Sydney in December. 

    And as is often the case when foreigners come to town, fresh and diverse opinions on building and urban design have come with them. Rogers and Harbour made headlines yesterday when they challenged popular local opinion by suggesting that high-density at close proximity to the harbour is a good thing for the city.

    10.jpg10. Architect-designed mansion sells for record price in Victoria

    A Wood Marsh-designed house in Toorak, Victoria has sold for a record $26.25 million, $4 million shy of its target.

    The house, which includes an underground private art gallery and basement, and two storeys of living space, was the home of Lawyer and property developer Daniel Besen and cost a reported $20 million to build.

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