Stephen Crafti visits the Transport Accident Commission’s award-winning headquarters.
May 4th, 2010
The TAC Headquarters successfully showcase the potential of collaborations between architects and artists.
And when MGS Architects received the 2009 Australian Institute of Architects Victorian Award for Commercial Architecture, it was precisely this element that the judges noted.
“The building’s generous expression is skilfully articulated and the architects have successfully incorporated the work of artist Mathew Johnson into the building’s façade.”
Constructed in precast concrete, with aluminium panels shielding the western light, a mélange of green, blue and red panels on the western façade add a playful edge to the commercial headquarters.
“Mathew is known for his use of colour. His palette is always vibrant,” says architect Chris Jones, a director at MGS Architects.
Located near Geelong’s waterfront, Johnson’s treatment of the prominent corner site draws employees, as well as locals, to the landmark building.
“We wanted to link the waterfront and Deakin University to the city, but we also wanted to design a building with urban design credentials,” says Jones.
The urban design features of the TAC Headquarters are as impressive as the building.
As well as the street-like ambience of the lobby, with its bluestone floors, the promenade is approached like a boardwalk, evocative of Geelong’s waterfront.
Recycled timber was used, with aluminium panels set into the treads explaining the site’s history.
“We were conscious of what was here before the bulldozers came in,” says Jones, who laments the loss of the heritage wool stores.
“We can’t bring them back. But we could try and create something that was going to occupy that vacuum.”
Photography by John Gollings
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