Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Molesworth 2

Project description pending.

Location: Kew
Type: Apartment
Size: 165 sq m
Status: Under Construction
Design: WSH
Design Team: Andrew Simspon, Owen West, Steve Hatzellis, Dennis Prior, Eugene An

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Beach Hill

This existing detached dwelling in Somers is the site of a change from weekend retreat to coastal residence. The design for an extension to the rear of the dwelling subsequently addresses the implications of such a shift, including specific brief requirements that accompany it. This project alludes to the lifestyle of the beach-comer - sensitive to the changing of the weather, the collection of flotsam and the marking of time based on the rising and setting of the sun.

The extension combines an extensive new timber deck, sheltered by a metal canopy with laser cut perforations, folded strategically to respond to solar tracking and the daily usage of the spaces below. These two floating planes bracket an extended kitchen, external laundry unit and self-contained master bedroom and ensuite, with each new pavilion shifting the quality and use of interstitial space along the new deck.

Location: Somers
Type: Residential Additions and Alterations
Size: 150 sq m
Status: Unbuilt
Design: WSH
Design Team: Andrew Simspon, Owen West, Steve Hatzellis, Stephan Bekhor

Monday, February 11, 2008

Seaford LSC

The design addresses the complex needs of sustainability, local community and natural ecology by proposing that the Seaford Life Saving Club is a precinct that responds to and enhances the unique qualities of the site.

To achieve this, four key strategies guide the architecture and planning. These include: minimal intervention to the existing site by using lightweight construction techniques, raised floor and a dispersed building footprint; the development of a cladding system design as stacked sand shelves to encourage propagation of grasses and local plant species around the building perimeter; the inclusion of a significant water retention system and the use of transpired solar air heaters to the north of the buildings for winter heating; and a plan arrangement design to splice landscape and architecture as co-dependent elements of the project.

Location: Seaford
Type: Life Saving Club and Community Centre
Size: 500 sq m
Status: Competition - Commendation Award
Design: WSH
Design Team: Andrew Simspon, Owen West, Steve Hatzellis, Mark Bol

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Bridge Road

This project involved the facade design for a new multi-residential development on the high exposure corner of bridge and punt roads in Richmond.

Viewed as a gateway building to the fashion shopping strip of bridge road, the design developed as a response to the history of the street, the background of the client (who had established an indigenous Australian art gallery nearby) and the western orientation of the building.

The facade design was conceived as a billboard, incorporating laser-cutting technology in the fabrication of operable panels that allowed the occupant to control sun-shading of the internal living zones, thereby minimizing solar gain. The perforations also animated the facade through the cyclical play of light and shadow, day and night.

Location: Richmond
Type: Mixed Residential/Retail
Size: 1,720 sq m
Status: Pending Planning Approval
Design: WSH
Design Team: Andrew Simspon, Owen West, Steve Hatzellis, Stephan Bekhor

Saturday, February 9, 2008


This project was an entry for an urban design competition for the City of Broadmeadows. Developed as a critique of conventional masterplanning processes, the scheme was developed as a means, not of defining a solution for urban development in Broadmeadows; but rather speculating on the latent potential of the site. Rather than an utopian vision, this is architecture and urbanism as open possibilities and speculation - hence the title - transition city.

We contended that growth and change occur in Broadmeadows incrementally, given suitable interventions. As the interventions proposed in this submission may have different outcomes than predicted we did not show a fully developed 'solution' to development in Broadmeadows, unlike a masterplan which tends to homogenize future possible outcomes. Instead, we show possible outcomes of interventions at two scales which seek to attract growth from outside Broadmeadows and simultaneously from within the local community.

Location: Broadmeadows
Type: Urban Design
Status: Competition
Design: WSH with Mark Bol
Design Team: Andrew Simspon, Owen West, Steve Hatzellis, Mark Bol, Stephan Bekhor, Dennis Prior


The project consists of a number of interrelated procedures in order to construct an urban proposal for Tai'An. At the core of these operations is the strengthening of connections between cities, places and people - the aim to create sustainable social and economic communities. Two assumptions guide the overall approach to Tai'An as a 'connected city'. The first assumption is that cities are defined topographically and through infrastructure. In other words cities are connected from the start. These two forms of definition allow for an urban typology to be developed that brings actual and virtual interconnections to be established. Once established generative diagrams of a connected city can then be constructed. By combining topography and infrastructure the city can be reconfigured as a dynamic system which while having the level of abstraction necessary in order that any ensuing diagram contains a generative quality, the presence of different configurations of topography - from the geographical to the historical - allows for the reintroduction of the initial site's already inherent complexity. Abstraction and the pre-given - the latter operating within a number of different permutations - will work together to maintain the masters plan's overall utility. Abstraction is necessary in order that the plan allow for the development of different strategies. This will allow the specific demands of the brief to be addressed.

The second assumption guiding the project is that the density of Tai'An will allow for internal rather than external development. The city can increase in size by 100% within the pre-existing fabric. Hence it is essential that this fabric be mapped in order to develop generative diagrams that will position and define possible sites of urban development. The procedures leading to the master plan began with a series of diagrammatic exercises. In addition to the initial road systems, maps were constructed of divisions and location of public and private space; the site and the interconnection of historic buildings; major tourist areas; international comparison of cities in terms of density; view analysis diagram incorporating Taishan Mountain; relation of Tai'An to other major Chinese cities. These maps established pre-given points of connection within a dynamic system. At the same time they allow for the development of new points of connection. An example of the latter would be the new connections between historic sites within Tai'An. The new connection would cut the pre-existing systems of connection - roads, public transport etc - opening up places for densification. Tai'An's historic areas are maintained by the twofold strategy of holding then in play while allowing their connection to other sites and systems to define sites for possible development. Nodes within the mapping are no longer points within a Cartesian grid. Each point is a node of intensity. (Andrew Benjamin 2006)

Location: Taian China Type: Urban Design Status: Competition Design Team: Steve Hatzellis and Andrew Benjamin with the mDaLab students

Friday, February 8, 2008

R House

Conceived as a series of wraps, straps and ribbons that bifurcate to allow programmes to emerge within the spaces created, this addition and alteration to an existing house adds volume and coordinates human movement. The existing house is a two storey Cape-Cod style block-veneer house built in the early 1960's. Its lower level house the living, dining kitchen and laundry facilities and the upper level has three small bedrooms and a shared bathroom. The upper level is concealed within a mock dormer style roof attic space – the rear roof is an unconventional skillion roof. The design included the remodelling of the existing house to make it into a contemporary home for a family of four. This included extensive landscaping, a double garage, swimming pool, fencing and outdoor entertainment areas and a complete redesign of the interior to allow for larger bedrooms, additional bathrooms and improved living, kitchen, laundry and guest areas.

The family had lived in the house for four years prior to the proposed renovation and had developed patterns of inhabitation and use. We sought to map the existing human patterns as a tool in understanding the inter-relationship between the existing architecture and its users. As we started to add new design elements into the existing house we continued to evolve the mapping diagram to show a superimposition between existing patterns and new patterns of use. We continued this diagrammatic approach of developing new programmes and mapping existing and proposed movement patterns until we started to conceive of the diagram as a series of straps that guided people through the spaces. Initially these straps were single curved planes constructed by extruding the paths of movement found in the diagrams into NURB based vertical surfaces. We doubled these surfaces which allowed us to bifurcated, bend, join and split them – thus allowing programmes of varying sizes to emerge in the spaces left between these straps. For example, a 600mm space between the straps created the cupboards, a 100mm space created the walls and a 3000mm space created a room. These straps where explored three dimensionally using animation software. We sought to create dynamic movement by wrapping the stairwell with a new strap.

Location: Hawthorn East
Type: Residential Additions and Alterations
Size: 250 sq m
Status: Unbuilt Design
Design: WSH
Design Team: Steve Hatzellis

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Steve Hatzellis

Steve Hatzellis gained his architectural and urban design experience in offices in London, Sydney and Melbourne, most recently working at the Pritzker Prize winning office of Zaha Hadid architects. He has led teams on major international projects include a Masterplan for Bilbao and the Offices and Music centre for BBC London and similarly in Australia on Scala and Pran Central apartments and the Cranbourne masterplan. He has taught at the Architectural Association, RMIT and together with Professor Andrew Benjamin was the founding Director of a new Master of Digital Architecture programme at UTS Sydney. He graduated from the University of Melbourne and from the Architectural Association, London. His art and architectural work has been exhibited and published in Europe, UK, Sydney and at the Beijing Biennale. He currently is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Technology, Sydney.