KIRK recently submitted their design for the invitation-only UTS Blackfriars Precinct Research Building (BPRB)FF design competition.
Our vision for the BPRB was to create a new industry hub that is both innovative and connected to the urban fabric in which it sits. As a leader in the community, this new building could further set UTS apart as a benchmark for connected, progressive and global Universities.
The new Blackfriars Precinct Research Building (BPRB) posed a challenge to integrate a 21st century building into what is a very cohesive, finely grained and historic educational site. The site is significant as a complete city block of 19th century buildings with a shared palette and fine grain articulated forms.
We developed a response to this through a careful reading of the site’s scale, form, materiality and spatial qualities. The design process was one of research and exploration that aimed to:
1. Enhance…. and extend a significant piece of 19th century Sydney urban fabric.
2. Consolidate…. by knitting the site together.
3. Explore…. utilising traditional materials in a contemporary manner to reflect the homogeneous materiality and form.
4. Refines…. our practices interest in transferring domestic material palettes into a larger scale project and;
5. Transforms…. the generic “research” building into one of particular, specific and memorable spaces.
In 2013, Kirk was appointed as Design Architect for Purple Jade Stage 2, a series of luxury villas and apartments within the prestigious Beijing development. The waterside villas are each unique in their language and materiality, but share the common objective of maximising the experience of a landscape setting.
The idea around each of the eight villas follows a defining material or elemental theme – forest, stone, water, glass. Maximising the luxury of space and landscape was central to planning views within and across the villas, which themselves play an important role in enriching views in their surrounds. The sculptural nature of the villas punctuate Purple Jade with focal points, set apart from the homogeneous typology used more generally across the development.
“From the minute we opened the doors this morning, it was clear we were on a winner. Smiles and goggle eyes everywhere. A pleasant hum of activity from the foyers forms a backdrop to my office. Dancers are warming up in the corridors and eating their lunch in the kitchens. Drama students are going to rehearsals, then discussing their work at the tables adjacent and even occupying meeting rooms. Musicians are running jam sessions. The building needs no user manual and, as I suspected, the students will lead the culture in the spaces.” ~ Greg Jenkins, Head of Studies, School of Media, Entertainment and Creative Arts, QUT Creative Industries Faculty