"the new Geelong House will produce great leaders of the future"
Her Excellency Quentin Bryce AC, Governor General

HMAS Creswell Cerberus and Geelong Houses

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Department of Defence
HMAS Creswell, Jervis Bay Territory, New South Wales, Australia
September 2006 - November 2011
Full Architectural Services

3,380m² GFA


This project is restoration and rebuilding of heritage naval training buildings.

Cerberus and Geelong Houses were built in 1915, some of the first buildings of the Royal Australian Naval College located at HMAS Creswell, Jervis Bay.

The Houses were originally built as trainee common rooms and dormitory style accommodation.

As part of the $86million HMAS Creswell redevelopment project, Cerberus House underwent total renewal, and a new Geelong House was built on the site of the original 1915 building, which was demolished in 1980.

The new design for the buildings is sensitive to the significant heritage considerations of HMAS Creswell.

The ground floor of Cerberus House is back to its original configuration, with the Gun Room (naval common room) and Bar. This involved a complete rebuilding of the original structural frame; boards were counted and marked, and replaced on completion of the new frame. The first floor is repurposed as a new office environment for instructors.

The new Geelong House is influenced by the formal and stylistic elements of the elegant weatherboard clad Cerberus House. It provides multi-function training rooms and an auditorium. Flexible design allows conversion of the space from classroom to lecture theatre to auditorium delivering cost and space efficiency.

The buildings restore the symmetrical, formal backdrop to the Quarterdeck parade ground.


HMAS Creswell, Jervis Bay Territory, New South Wales, Australia


RAIA ACT Heritage Commendation

Brief Elements

  • Flexible teaching space which can adapt to many different teaching formats
  • Reinstatement of 'missing' building in heritage masterplan
  • Ground floor to be re-configurable to allow for passing out parades


  • Innovative structural solution which created a large, column-free space with maximised ceiling heights on the ground floor of Geelong House; achieved through ‘hanging’ structure from first floor truss wall
  • Exemplary conservation techniques; restoring the heritage fabric of Cerberus house, including total structural rebuild with boards counted, marked and replaced upon completion of the frame
  • During peak periods of trainee throughput and activity, flexible wall systems in Geelong House allows the space to convert from classroom to lecture theatre to ceremonial hall


Department of Defence
Hansen Yuncken
Managing Contractor
Taylor Thomson Whitting
Structural Engineering
Civil and Hydraulics Engineering
Mechanical, AV, Security, Acoustics, Comms/Data, Fire and Specification
Electrical, Security and Lifts
Bennett Design Group
Kitchen Consultant
Gardner Group
Fire Engineering
Wilde and Woollard
Quantity Surveyor