"A model for integrating environmentally sustainable ambitions within the brief, and resolution of a publicly funded project"
Jury citation, 2006 RAIA NSW Sir John Sulman Award

Bligh Voller 6

Bligh Voller 8

RAAF Richmond 36/37 Squadron HQ

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Department of Defence
Richmond NSW
October 2005
Full Architectural Services



The Squadron Headquarters building at RAAF Richmond provides workplace accommodation and shared support facilities for 2 squadrons in a secure, cost effective and environmentally advanced design. The building promotes a number of dialogues both within itself and with its surroundings.

Large, simple timber-clad blocks contrast with planes of glass. Materials such as recycled Blackbutt cladding lend warmth to the coolness of the exposed steel structure.

The design references the Richmond and Hawkesbury region landscape. The dominant horizontal plane of the overhanging fly roof echoes the flatness of the surrounding landscape while the natural ventilation chimneys are suggestive of nearby groves of trees.

The exposed structure and services refer to both the industrial heritage of neighbouring hangars and the singular functionality found in military aircraft.

High-tech building management electronics sit comfortably with low-tech construction techniques.

Environmental imperatives of daylight and natural ventilation are fully explored without compromising operational security. RAAF Richmond is the first project in Australia to be awarded a 5 star Green Star rating by the Green Building Council of Australia in both Design and As Built categories which recognises the highest standards of sustainable design.


Richmond NSW


RAIA NSW Sir John Sulman Award
RAIA NSW Ecologically Sustainable Design Award
MBA NSW Energy Efficiency Award

Brief Elements

  • Maintain high levels of operationsl security
  • Required to achieve 5 star Greenstar ratings in Design, As Built and Interior catregories
  • Undertake analysis of current working practices to determine optimal building size
  • Workplace facility for 2 active RAAF squadrons


  • Balances requirements for security, sustainability and being cost effective
  • Building engages with surrounding landscape, context and military history of the air force base
  • Incorporation of daylight and natural ventilation without compromising operational security
  • High degree of cost scrutiny throughout design process and large amount of creative redesigning to ensure the maximum value for minimum cost