By ERWIN CHLANDA
A building project with remarkable ambitions is getting underway in Railway Terrace.
Tenders are closing this week for the construction of a new office, between the Centrelink Office and the Desert Rose Inn, for the Regional Anangu Services Aboriginal Corporation.
Currently located in Hartley Street, it is “a medium-sized organisation that works to benefit the Aboriginal peoples of the APY Lands,” according to the development application.
Across the road are the Railway Cottages: “The proposal references these buildings in material palette and form.”
The building “steps back from the front boundary” to preserve existing established trees.
“This also preserves the vista north to Anzac Hill,” says the application.
“The outdoor areas and openings from the building also provide elevated views.
“The building has been rigorously designed to … modulate and control thermal variation.
“Materials are carefully chosen and used in harmony with climatic conditions to harness the benign seasonal months, with zoned mechanical enhancement [air conditioning], powered (at least in part) with PV panels proposed for the roof.
“Solar ingress and exposure is limited in hotter months to avoid heat gain and latent heat release to the street and outdoor areas.
“Roof pitch provides shade to walls and openings for tempered natural light throughout the internal footprint, while allowing warming winter sun into areas when wanted.”
The Centrelink building to the north of the site provides a “continuous blank masonry wall” proposed for work of artists for whom the corporation provides service.
The building will feature rainwater storage for reticulation of plants, five bicycle parking bays and “associated End of Trip facilities” including a shower.
The development applicants say the building will fall in line with the NT Planning Scheme which aims to “promote an active and attractive mixed use environment … responds to and encourages pleasant microclimates, including through breeze capture and shading … maximises overlooking and passive surveillance of public spaces, maximises pedestrian activity along the primary street frontages … creates attractive outdoor spaces and enhances the streetscape”.
A masonry base will help to regulate temperature through thermal mass and a lightweight yet strong material “tops the building with a ‘big hat’ … shading walls and openings to reduce temperature transfer through the outer envelope and thus improving the energy efficiency the building”.
Use of timber sourced from the Aboriginal owned and operated Gumatj Mill at Gunyaŋara, Arnhem Land, will “provide a porous shade screen to the most vulnerable facades of the building”.