MELBOURNE ARCHITECTURE – A NEW DIRECTION
Architecture can be summarised as the art of planning, designing, and realising the construction of buildings, structures, and built environments, through manipulation and co-ordination of materials and technology, light and shadow, form and function. At its best it is an emotive expression of sculptural art that enriches and creates the backdrop to our daily lives. It should always be recognised that Architecture responds to the requirements of the users and the functions conducted within that space.
CBG Architects has always, and will continue to value the experience of the participants and the surroundings that they interact with.
As with most newly formed Architectural firms, when CBG was first established in 1981, its main projects were small renovations and extensions. With the excesses of the 80’s, CBG developed its skills in the commercial sector through repeat work with major commercial entities like AMP and Centrelink. Following the recession of the early 90’s, CBG was forced to reassess its direction. A keen understanding of residential requirements and large scale commercial projects enabled CBG to understand and deliver multi-residential developments that would continue to be the cornerstone of Melbourne’s construction industry for the next 20 years.
In recent years, the industry has seen a shift towards more sustainable design and construction, co-sharing of commercial spaces, and more educated users and clients. Throughout the last 40 years, CBG has valued knowledge, and the ability to communicate and utilise it passionately in its approach. This understanding that personal and professional growth comes from knowledge has driven CBG to realise numerous other typologies, including educational, aged care and retirement, government projects, and places of worship.
Recent world events have created and left a profound impact on many. We have all been forced to look at how we live our individual lives, and how our lives impact those around us. The social conscious of the world has shifted, and we would be reckless to not view this an opportunity for greater understanding and growth. The importance of Architecture in uniting community through the creation of inspirational, functional and inclusive designs should not be underestimated. Providing a platform for the vulnerable, less fortunate, or those who have not had a voice in the past is important for their integration, and in many cases it is as simple as giving choices and opportunity that most of us take for granted. The federal government has outlined Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) as being an area that has consistently been overlooked and deprioritised due to it’s a docile and quiet presence. CBG views the NDIS and SDA as an area that requires greater attention to support those in our community who may find it difficult to support themselves.
Over the past 18 months, the team at CBG has familiarised and educated themselves with the requirements of SDA. Through the introduction of SDA units into existing apartment complexes, and specifically designed SDA residences, CBG is now beginning to realise some of these learnings in practice. In particular, developing an understanding that whilst regulations set the parameters for the functional needs of residents, this can however be very different to how residents want and choose to live. Designs need to cater for more than just regulations. Designs need to provide an experience and level of comfort that most of us take for granted.
CBG currently have projects being documented for construction and in planning for SDA participants, with some notable examples listed below -
It has been a steep and challenging learning curve, but one that CBG embraces as a positive step in our individual and collective professional and personal growth. Being able to play a small role in providing those within the NDIS with a greater choice of lifestyle and accommodation, a better and more integrated approach to their daily lives, and a better acceptance within our community harmonises comfortably with CBG’s values of designing a positive outcome for the user and their requirements.