Clarence House and Town Beach North amenities named finalists in the Australian Institute of Architects’ NSW Country Division Awards

Clarence House, Port Macquarie. Photo: Andy Warren.
Clarence House, Port Macquarie. Photo: Andy Warren.

Two outstanding projects in Port Macquarie by Chris Jenkins Design are competing in the coveted Australian Institute of Architects’ NSW Country Division Awards.

Both projects are vying for honours in the Public and Commercial Architecture category.

Clarence House is a speculative mixed-use commercial building situated on a prominent corner in the Port Macquarie central business district, adjacent to a number of historic buildings including the museum and courthouse.

A low-tech horizontal aluminium louvre brise-soleil along the north, east and west facades create the building's dramatic visual impact on the streetscape. Along with the 2.5- metre-deep roof overhang and awning, they determine the public face of the building, while creating privacy for the occupants and shading from the mid north coast’s abundant sunshine.

The building's sustainability credentials are supported by a basic passive solar design approach.

Town Beach North amenities.

Town Beach North amenities.

Town Beach North Public Amenities were designed to meet council’s brief for an “iconic” community structure which would be a centrepiece of the town’s main beach.

The building’s architecture is inspired by its location. Its organic, serpentine form takes its cues from the curvaceous forms of the skate park, sand dunes and the rolling ocean waves which it faces.

This building does not look like your proverbial public brick outhouse. The public amenities and kiosk occupy opposing ends of the “S” shaped plan while a covered dining deck is contained between them.

The completed building is a “lighthouse” on the beach front, and since opening it has become a beacon at the end of the popular breakwall tourist path and a hub for community activities.

NSW Chapter President, Andrew Nimmo, said the awards, which have been running for more than half a century, demonstrate the breadth and depth of design excellence in regional communities.

These two are among 31 projects competing in eight award categories. Winners of the seven categories will be decided by a panel of expert judges from the industry, with a final category to be decided by members of the public who can show their support for a local, or favourite, project by voting in the People’s Choice Award before 5pm on September 29.

You can cast your vote for the People’s Choice Award by clicking here.

The award winners will be announced at the NSW Country Division’s Annual Conference on October 5.