Tuesday, January 5, 2010


In Novemeber 2009 we were approached by Canberra Investment Corporation and invited to participate in a competition to design a community center for Googong, a new master planned township located 15km south east of the Canberra CBD. Googong is CIC’s flagship project, being a township of some 6,000 dwellings of various typologies, retail, commercial and community uses to be developed as five walkable neighborhoods. We were invited alongside Cox Humphries Moss, AJ&C and Hassell.

CBA Design response

“An iconic building of quality built to be at one with nature but of today in its response to the vision of Googong.”

The Googong Design Vision
“Googong is a new beginning. A new township nestled within a unique landscape where innovation and a sustainable way of living create a true sense of belonging.” Our response to this vision for a Community Clubhouse is a timeless sustainable design which reinforces its natural site and surroundings and forges linkages in a new community.

Pavilions form a Community
A community of pavilions in a parkland setting provide reinforcement, protection and focus to a gathering space for the neighbourhood.  Pavilions create a clustered village within an expansive landscape.  A cluster of buildings provides a variety of spaces and experiences, both indoor and outdoor. 

Orientation, Sustainability and Identity
Pavilions are oriented to maximise solar energy production, passive heating and cooling, and rainwater harvesting. Strategic wall locations provide buffers to hot summer winds and cold winter winds while scooping in cooling summer breezes. The buildings are set well back from the road, except the entry and sales to maximise the parkland setting yet clearly identifying access.  Linkages with the surrounding open spaces blur boundaries between inside and outside and increase sharing of space and a sense of community.

Site Linkages
View corridors, roads, pedestrian pathways intersect at the gathering space fostering community and identity. A community of buildings on a sloping plane provides focus and protection amongst a sharing of views to a new pond and amphitheater of green.

Functional Building Elements
Local stone walls integrate, camouflage and insulate interior spaces into the sloping ground plane. Strategically sloped large overhanging roofs provide solar protection, collect solar power and rainfall and harmonize with the expansive landscape. Interconnected walkways provide physical linkages and shelter between a variety of indoor/outdoor spaces. Large insulated window viewing walls provide indoor/outdoor connections and passive solar heating.

Flexibility and Cost
Pavilion linkages integrate disparate functions whilst also proving flexibility of use for future changes. Elegant and sturdy local sustainable materials require minimal upkeep. Simple long span structures can easily adapt to future changes in use with minimal fit out costs. Passive heating and cooling provide lower life cycle operating costs.  By maintaining the buildings as one storey, access is for everyone and the costs of lifts, stairs etc are eliminated.