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BVN Stories — November 9, 2021

BVN wins at the 2021 National Architecture Awards

BVN has won two Australian Institute of Architects National Awards for defence project Land 121 (Laverack Barracks) as well as a commendation for university masterplan project Campus to Country (Queensland University of Technology).

Land 121 won both The Colourbond Award for Steel Architecture, and the Commercial Design award. Land 121 is a new precinct for the Australian Department of Defence, based in Townsville, QLD.

Land 121 won both The Colourbond Award for Steel Architecture, and the Commercial Design award. Land 121 is a new precinct for the Australian Department of Defence, based in Townsville, QLD.

Campus to Country is a special project for BVN. Campus to Country is a masterplan for Queensland University of Technology’s campus, developed in reference to the local First Nations knowledge and culture.

BVN is delighted that Land 121 and Campus to Country have been recognised in these awards, which are genuinely shared successes with clients, the Australian Defence Force and the Queensland University of Technology.

More about the projects

Land 121 The design team at BVN, led by Principal Architect David Kelly, aimed to create a precinct imbued with a quiet sense of dignity and composure to convey respect and value to ADF personnel working on site.

For Land 121, BVN created a design that provides care and protection from the harsh natural conditions, encouraging connection, and providing generous space for working conditions. It also brings an environmental mindset to the precinct, connecting personnel to the elements and sheltering them from its extremes.

Land 121 was a very collaborative project between our architectural firm BVN, Lendlease, and the Department of Defence. Doing design projects with real social value are always particularly rewarding and this has been just such an undertaking.

David Kelly, Principal BVN

BVN undertook extensive and meticulous engagement with key unit representatives during the design process. This enabled them to address unique challenges for the unit (individual unit identity, workspace requirements, and accountability). And to give form to some unique benefits (enhanced formal and informal gathering spaces, improved workflows, and greater environmental amenity).

Designed for the 3rd Combat Services Support Battalion, Land 121 comprises a total of nine buildings including offices, workshops, warehouses, stores, training facilities, vehicles shelters and amenities.

The largest element is a 200m long workshop building which unusually collocates a number of different Army units in one shared facility. Uniquely these are organised around a large breezeway which enhances a mixed-mode ventilation strategy, designed to maximise natural light and cooling airflow.

Campus to Country

This is a special project for BVN. Campus to Country is a masterplan for Queensland University of Technology’s campus, developed in reference to the local First Nations knowledge and culture.

“Campus to Country has been a milestone project as part of our Designing with Country methodology,” says Kevin O’Brien.

“We’re grateful to QUT Elder-in-Residence, Gregory Egert’s (Uncle Cheg) in particular, for providing a valuable link and knowledge base about the land, culture and people of the QUT locale. We look forward to seeing how Campus to Country helps chart a deepening understanding of place and Country, for its students and people.” he says.


Designing with Country

Principal Architect Kevin O’Brien leads the Designing with Country methodology at BVN. It’s an approach to the land and architecture that considers the many layers of meaning in place, designing buildings with care and respect to Indigenous values.

Campus to Country strategy shows how each university site can be a reflection of place both physically and through its engagement with Indigenous Australians. It ensures the underlying stories and local cultures are embedded in the campus environments, becoming integral and visible parts of everyday life. This in turn, encourages a deeper connection and engagement with Aboriginal culture and knowledge systems.

To learn more about Designing with Country listen to a recent interview with Kevin O’Brien on ABC Blueprint here.

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