Australian Prime Minister's house by
Jack Davies, Nick Roberts and Henry Stephens

| 11 comments
 

A team of New Zealand architects has won a speculative competition to design a new residence for the Australian Prime Minister.

Australian Prime Minister's house by Jack Davies, Nicholas Roberts and Henry Stephens

The Lodge by the Lake competition was held by the University of Canberra to encourage a discussion about an eventual replacement for the Prime Minister's current residence in the city, known as The Lodge.

Australian Prime Minister's house by Jack Davies, Nicholas Roberts and Henry Stephens

The winning entry, submitted by architects Jack Davies, Nick Roberts and Henry Stephens, is a lodge split over a number of levels with its front half sunk into the earth as it approaches the lake.

Australian Prime Minister's house by Jack Davies, Nicholas Roberts and Henry Stephens
Boatshed and wharf

"The brief was extensive and complex – especially when coupled with the particularities of the topography," Roberts told Dezeen, explaining that their lodge combines intimate, private areas with monumental spaces suitable for public events.

Australian Prime Minister's house by Jack Davies, Nicholas Roberts and Henry Stephens
Water garden

"Managing this interface architecturally is not dissimilar to the private/public balance we imagine the Prime Minister must deal with personally on a daily basis," said Roberts. "As a result the building resists becoming an object on the hill – the building both enfolds the landscape and is subsumed by it."

Australian Prime Minister's house by Jack Davies, Nicholas Roberts and Henry Stephens
Entrance

The lodge, which would be constructed from concrete, local timber and recycled metal, is proposed for a site at Attunga Point, a landscaped peninsula overlooking Lake Burley Griffin in Canberra.

Australian Prime Minister's house by Jack Davies, Nicholas Roberts and Henry Stephens
Plan – click for larger image

"This design stood out as one that most successfully integrates the built forms with the subtle landscape of Attunga Point," the judges noted in their remarks. "It responsibly owns the landscape, it is beautifully sited and it celebrates the lake edge location."

Australian Prime Minister's house by Jack Davies, Nicholas Roberts and Henry Stephens
Site plan - click for larger image

Entries were required to include a private home and study, function spaces, a jetty, a swimming pool and areas for garden parties as well as space to present works of art from the National Gallery of Australia.

Australian Prime Minister's house by Jack Davies, Nicholas Roberts and Henry Stephens
Section - click for larger image

Roberts and Davies are both architecture graduates working in New Zealand and Australia respectively, while Stephens is completing his Master of Architecture degree at the Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts.

A 388-metre-high tower for Melbourne, which will be the tallest building in the southern hemisphere when completed, was recently approved by planners, while London firm Grimshaw has submitted plans for a 90-storey skyscraper in a suburb of Sydney – see all Australian architecture.

  • Vicen Sanesteban

    The most representative images remind me of the flag of Ludwig Mies Van Der Rhoe of the Universal Exposition of 1929 in Barcelona that I place on the developer of the design for the twentieth century

  • zizi

    So dark and gloomy, looks more like Gotham than Australia.

  • gal

    Not a place I see a prime minister living in, too brutalist for me. Cold hard and soulless.

  • lille_jag_82

    Absolute genius work…

  • oli

    These images tell me absolutely nothing about the interior. There’s no real creativity here, just the sort of generic images you expect from final year architecture students. Very soulless, which is ironic, considering the beautiful landscape the building would inhabit.

  • http://www.as-polering.dk Sam Slei

    Very good job, but I dont see any prime minister living in it. It would be much too fancy, I dont think any western leaders will get away with that.

  • Andoru

    It seems a bit irresponsible to elevate a politician’s status with a building like this.
    I’d prefer a prime minister that could relate to the average joe.

  • Benben

    I agree with all of the above comments! The materiality and overall ambience reminds me both of Steven Holl’s Swiss Residence and Zumthor’s Therme Vals, albeit in concrete.

    There’s a lot to be learnt from these beautiful images in terms of graphic representation – seriously, I’m taking notes – but my primary concern is with the VISION. This is a beautiful building, don’t get me wrong, but this was for an ideas competition – and as arguably the most important residence in Australia, this design is just too conservative. For such a client, in such a location, on such a scale, the lodge should make a real statement.

    • Julia

      “This is a beautiful building, don’t get me wrong, but this was for an ideas competition – and as arguably the most important residence in Australia, this design is just too conservative. For such a client, in such a location, on such a scale, the lodge should make a real statement.”

      Absolutely could not have said it better, especially given the current woeful state of political discourse in Australia. Have some fun! Offend someone! Do something original!

    • aussiearch

      Let me say something as an architect who was unsuccessful in this competition. I hear what you are saying, but have a look at the brief – it was very rigid and highly specific.

      The designs needed to accommodate a huge and complex range of programs, not just display one idea. They had to allow for panic rooms, vehicle access, tennis courts, a boathouse, all within the constraints of a very specific site boundary and topography.

      It’s easy to be critical when you don’t know what is involved – for three young guys, none of whom are registered architects or maybe even still at school, they have done very well. Good on them.

      • Julia

        aussiearch, I read the competition brief and I agree, it was much too restrictive for an “ideas competition”. That said, some of the best work to come out of such competitions ignores the brief altogether. Why not, when it’s not going to get built anyway?