Final AAA Residential Coach Tour For 2019

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Don't miss out on securing your tickets for the last AAA Residential Coach Tour for 2019.

Taking place Saturday 30 November, this tour promises to provide another fascinating insight into the latest contemporary home design in Sydney.

The tour will showcase the work of the latest upcoming and established architects, such as Annabelle Chapman - whose Mosman House is featured in this email.


Date: Saturday 30 November 2019
Time: 9.30am - 5.30pm
Tickets: $205 (public) / $190 (AAA Members)

A full lunch is provided on the day of the bus tour.

Numbers are limited, so book now! Click here to secure your place on the tour.

In Review: At Home With CplusC

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By Deborah Singerman

The Sunday morning was glorious, with sun, a slight wind and the promise of an insider’s account of a corner house in Darlington within a typical inner-city Sydney network of streets.

Welcome to the Jungle House, three levels plus a flourishing roof garden, with upright plants like sentinels jutting out of the rooftop.

One reason the architect, Clinton Cole of CplusC Architectural Workshop, liked the site so much was because its orientation guarantees it gets whatever sun there is from morning through to late afternoon. Its outlook too, taking in the tree canopies of surrounding properties, appealed to him.

He is also the owner-occupier and has lived around the area for nearly 30 years, walking past the building every day first as a student. He values the strong emotional attachment. “If you are buying a property it has to feel right,” he says.

The original spackled, rendered masonry façade had cultural and streetscape significance. As Cole’s design statement says, “it was in the local heritage conservation area typified by late Victorian row terrace housing and post-industrial warehouse conversions.”

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The two-storey shop top house was in disrepair and close to collapse, he remembers. Its radical reconstruction (adding among other things steel, timber and greenery inside and outside) was managed under heritage controls even though the existing building was initially incorrectly listed as a contributing heritage item.

This led to months of rework and submission of a new development application (DA) to Council following advice from a heritage architect and a structural engineer. To Cole’s exasperation, “the total assessment time for the DA and the modifications was 412 days. This is a preposterously long time. In my view, many Council planners treat plans from professional, reputable architects like sport.” 

However, he does not regret persevering with the project. The house took two years to build. There is a new addition to the original northern façade, according to the statement signalled by “a black photovoltaic panel array harnessing the sunlight throughout the day and contrasting with the original rendered heritage façade”. 

Sustainability measures were always factored into the budget, Cole says. He leveraged the Sustainable Sydney 2030 program designing to reduce energy, water and waste, with elements such as solar panels, LED lighting and a rooftop constructed of steel planter beds, which provide deep soil for native plants and fruit and vegetables (carrots, cabbages, tomatoes, broad beans spring onions and the like).

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The garden beds are irrigated from the mid-level fishpond with silver perch creating nutrient rich water (the perch are edible). A beehive is up there too (honey expected in a year). He admits the additional scope added costs “but the physical, emotional and lifestyle value we receive from these decisions far outweighs the cost (and these are reduced by the lower operating costs as well).

Spatial planning considerations mean that a spiral stair joins the three levels (plus rooftop), which I climbed tredidatiously (a bad bout of cellulitis a few years ago played havoc with my right leg) but the AAA crowd scampered up and down. As they did the narrow ladder to the roof garden.

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The ground floor living room, mind you, converts into a bedroom (in deference to Cole’s shoulder surgery a while back). Natural light floods the spaces, with a fully operable glass inner skin and banks of louvres throughout.

A corridor runs from the top of the first staircase. There are two bedrooms (beds and bunk beds and lots of robust storage made of black plywood) and a main bedroom. a bathroom and laundry. The Corian tub and long-spouted tap running from the ceiling were big successes.

The second storey has kitchen down one side, assembled from an array of machined and polished metals (and a recycled timber island/dining bench) contrasting with the concrete and timber finishes of the floors below. There are also crumpled sofas from Italy and recycled timber tables, their solid presence softened by round edges (mindful of children).

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Jase Sullivan, the interior designer, has worked with Cole before and his love of “collectable vintage furnishings in a modern, contemporary setting” is well-demonstrated, the top floor in particular oozing an aged dignity.

Cole’s wife Hanne, who is the office manager, and their three children, Chilli (7), Nina (6) and Mack (1), live there. They love it, he says. “We can all be together when we want, and yet also have our own space.”

And there’s a large plasma screen for those collective times when, guess what, they watch the footie together.


AAA Volunteer Deborah Singerman is a writer and editor, with extensive experience interviewing people, researching stories, finding angles and then disseminating the information for different readerships.

She offers professional writing and editing services for articles with content that can be adapted for websites, blogs, magazines and university journals.

Check out her website at:

  • Article: Deborah Singerman
  • Image 1: Welcome to the Jungle House, designed by CplusC Architectural Workshop. View of the rear extension at night (Photographers: Michael Lassman and Ryan Ng)
  • Image 2: The spackled, rendered masonry façade conceals floating planting beds and a fishpond which provides nutrient rich water created by the edible silver perch (fish), to the rooftop garden.
  • Image 3: Clinton Cole on the rooftop talking about the edible garden and his native bees.
  • Image 4: The spiral staircase that links together all the levels of the home.
  • Image 5: The Kitchen / living space on the top level of the home.
  • Photographer: Vanessa Couzens

Discover Sydney's CBD on the Twilight Tour

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Wind down from a day at the office and enjoy an evening stroll, learning about architecture in Sydneys central business district. On Wednesday 23 October, experience the city as it’s wreathed in the glow of twilight.

Over the 90 minute tour your AAA trained tour guide will walk you through the development of Sydney and the evolution of skyscrapers which define the Sydney skyline.

We examine many of the buildings in the Central Business District and trace the development of modernism and the high rise tower. 

From Harry Seidler's iconic Australia Square tower that dominated the cityscape in the late 60's to more recent additions such as Sir Norman Foster's Deutsche Bank and 1 Bligh Street, a 6 Green Star rated office building, the highest rating that can be achieved in Australia under the Green Building Council of Australia's measurement standards for a sustainable building are just some of the buildings you will be visiting.

As we walk, many of these Sydney icons start to put on their night-time glittering look and you will find out how much lighting can beautify the city at night!


Meeting Point: Entrance to Customs House, 31 Alfred Street, Circular Quay NSW 2000
Date: Wednesday 23 October 2019
Time: 6.00pm - 7.30pm
Tickets: $30 (Public) / $25 (Concession) / Free (AAA Members)

Numbers are limited. Click here - to secure your place on the tour.

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  • Image 1: Sydney City Skyline (Photographer: Vincent Lam)
  • Image 2: Australia Square Tower, designed by Harry Seidler (Photographer: Vanessa Couzens)

Last Days of the AAA Fundraising Campaign

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We are in the final days of the Australian Architecture Association's annual Keep Architecture Open fund Raising campaign. This is your last chance to enjoy one of the fabulous rewards we have on offer for your generous donation.

As a not for profit organisation, run predominately by a group of committed volunteers, the AAA depends on the support of our members and the wider community of design enthusiasts to meet our operational costs for continuing to open the doors on architecture.

We are passionate about promoting and educating people about the value of architecture and design. We believe that the more you know and appreciate about design, the greater your say in the way our environment is shaped for the better.


You can simply donate to our campaign by clicking here.

Or you can enjoy a variety of rewards for your generosity.

For instance check out the rewards listed below, which are just some of the great ways we would like to thank you for your continued support.

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Give the gift of books to someone you love.

Enjoy a $ 150 voucher to use at The Architect’s Bookshop in Surry Hills.

Located on Crown Street in Surry Hills, this bookstore is the ultimate retail destination for architects, designers and design enthusiasts.

In addition to your gift voucher, you will also receive two tickets to either the AAA Ultimo Walk or Chippendale Walk.

Follow the instructions below to claim this reward.


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Enjoy a private tour led by local architect Ben Gerstal for up to four people to a contemporary house in Castlecrag by Engelen Moore. 

The discreet street presence disquises the proportions and design of the house, however, upon entry, three connected pavilions are revealed, creating courtyards in between. You will see the use of ‘the pod’ celebrated in bright red in contrast to the neutral and natural surroundings. 

Available dates and time:

  • 3pm Saturday 12 October 2019
  • 3pm Saturday 19 October 2019, OR
  • 3pm Saturday 2 November 2019

Follow the instructions below to claim this reward.

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Reward yourself with an original artwork by Australian print artist Craig Couzens.

‘Metropolis I’ is a collagraph print that explores how individual form unites to create the rich tapestry of a city. This is an anonymous city, yet its layered skyline evokes a sense of familiarity. We ‘read’ the city in its context with nature, in this case how the brilliant light of a sunset picks out individual details.

Craig Couzens is a print artist based in the regional NSW city Wagga Wagga.

Passionate about elevating the profile of fine art printing, his work is produced using archival inks and paper.

Craig’s work has been exhibited in a number of public group shows, as well as in successful solo exhibitions in 2017, 2018 and an upcoming solo exhibition on 25 October 2019. His work is included in numerous private collections in NSW, Victoria, South Australia and Queensland.

Artwork Details:

  • Artwork Name: ‘Shadows and Shapes’ (U/P) Edition of 3 (signed by the artist)
  • Art Type: Collagraph type
  • Printed on Fabriano paper (230gsm)
  • Print Size: H 220mm, W 350mm
  • Framed Size: H 440mm, W 520mm

Archival inks

  • Artist: Craig Couzens
  • Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Notes for abbreviations:

  • U/P = Artist proof



To claim one of our rewards click here to visit our Keep Architecture Open 2019.

Scroll down the page to see what rewards are currently on offer.

Click on the offer you want and then click on the link called: Purchase this Reward.


Thank you
With your help - we look forward to reaching our target of $12000.

Iconic Buildings of the 20th Century Talks - Centre Pompidou

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On Thursday 26 September 2019, don't miss the final talk in the AAA 'Iconic Buildings of the 20th Century' series. Hosted by Brickworks Studio, you will be enthralled as Tone Wheeler, architect and President of the Australian Architecture Association, reveals the story of how the Centre Pompidou was conceived and executed. 


The most visited building in Paris, in a city that boasts the Louvre, the Musee d”Orsay and the Musee du Quai Branly. In fact the most popular museum in the world!

So everyone knows the Centre Pompidou, colloquially known as Beaubourg, right? Wrong, and more than most could believe.

In this talk we go back to the competition (Tone has a copy of the original brief) and look at the ideas of the time.

Did you know that a now well-known Australian architect came second? And what bought Renzo Piano from Italy and Richard Rogers from London together to create a building that many believe is a turning point in Modernism?

Not just an ‘inside-out’ building, not just a great place to see Paris, and not just a backdrop to the most lively space in Paris, it is a formative work of art, a tour-de-force of architecture.

Come and hear the background to this extraordinary building that will give you a completely different perspective on this great site.


Time: 6.00pm (6.30pm start) - 8.15pm
Date: Thursday 26 September 2019
Location: Brickworks Design Studio, 2 Barrack Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Cost: $55 Earlybird (public) / $60 (public) / $50 (AAA Members)

Drinks and canapes will be served before the talk commences.

Don't miss out on the final in this series of popular talks.

Click here to buy your ticket for the Centre Pompidou Talk.

  • Article: Vanessa Couzens / Tone Wheeler
  • Image 1: Centre Georges Pompidou, designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers
  • Image: Supplied by Tone Wheeler