The Victorian Pride Center | BAU Brearley Architects and Urbanists and Grant Amon Architects

Melbourne / Australia / 2022

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The Victorian Pride Centre, St. Kilda, Melbourne by BAU Brearley Architects and Urbanists and Grant Amon Architects


Building the unfinished


 


Project Description


In 2017, a national survey in favour of marriage equality lead to the Australian parliament passing the bill to legalize same-sex marriage, a milestone in the struggle for equality of the LGBTQI+ community. The same year, the Victorian Price Centre (VPC), a not-for-profit organisation, received funding from the Victorian Government for Australia’s first purpose built LGBTQI+ centre and subsequently held an open architectural competition for the design of the centre in Fitzroy Street, St Kilda. In January 2018 BAU and GAA were selected winners of the design competition.


The VPC houses numerous resident organisations and welcomes dozens of groups for meetings, events, and projects. The building provides a public working hub, health and welfare centres, bookshop, theatrette, archives, roof terrace, and a gallery. Planned for 2022 are a café, rooftop events pavilion and community garden.


Augmenting the client’s excellent brief, BAU and GAA carried out workshops with user groups and the local indigenous community.  Consequent ambitions for the architecture included the creation of a profoundly welcoming and safe place; a significant landmark of Australia’s cultural progress; and flexible workshop spaces for driving campaigns of equity, liberty and inclusivity further. Spirit of place and notions of becoming provided the conceptual frameworks for the design.


St Kilda’s queer history unites many LGBTQI+ communities. Learning from St Kilda, the VPC includes and then abstracts cultural traditions of the exotic, the exuberant, the surreal, and the in-between. The Fitzroy Street strip, the beach, the baths, Luna Park, Catani arch, Esplanade vaults, dance halls, and other histories, all inform this process.


A series of conceptual tubes emerge as an abstract armature that maximise the urban envelope; provide relevant and significant architectural forms and spaces; and generates an overarching order. Most importantly, these conceptual tubes are then acted upon by extraction of the specifics of the brief; the more the internal program disrupts the tubes, the more the forms and spaces of a coexistence emerge. These emergent and surprising outcomes embrace difference, diversity, and inclusion. The resultant sense of a constant becoming, of a work in-progress, embodies the ongoing struggle toward equity, freedom and fellowship.


The VPC aims to see beyond conventional uses and spaces, to challenge norms and hierarchies, to create a flexible and evolving program. Circulation radiates from the atrium, which provides legibility, natural light, a performance stage, an informal amphitheatre, and a dynamic focus at the heart of the building.


Structural and non-structural fabric is clearly articulated, explaining what is permanent and what is easily changed. The interiors combine raw structural concrete and exposed services with warm materiality including timber, coloured ceramics and velvet curtains. These coexistences further the notion of an aesthetics of inclusion.


Smaller tenancies in the building resemble laneway shopfronts. A sacrificial timber framework integrated within these shop fronts along with hanging rails and track lighting above walls enable tenants to adapt and experiment with the spaces, enabling the emergence of an authentic self-expression.


 


Project Data


Completion Date: 19/01/2022


Location: 77-81 Fitzroy St, St Kilda, Melbourne, Australia


Year: 2017-2022


Client: Victorian Pride Centre


Construction Cost: AUD 35 million


Typology: Public Building, Culture, Office and Commercial


GFA: 6,200


 


Program


Public shared work spaces; 


Multi-function theatre; 


Joy FM 94.9; 


gallery; medical clinics; 


six shared meeting rooms; 


roof top terrace withevents bar; 


community garden; book shop; 


café;


children’s room; 


resident tenancies shared work space; 


four tea kitchens; 


Australian Gay + Lesbian Archives; 


MelbourneQueer Film Festival; 


Multi-Faith Australia; 


Switchboard Victoria; 


Minus 18 youth org; Koori Pride; 


Thorne Harbour Health; 


Monash Trans Health; 


Star Health.


 


BAU Brearley Architects+Urbanists


BAU Project Team Competition: James Brearley, Steve Whitford, Jens Eberhardt (Partner in Charge), Fonarri Chen, Charles Hu


BAU Project Team Documentation: James Brearley, Steve Whitford, Jens Eberhardt (Partner in Charge), Fonarri Chen, Prague Unger, Adrain Coleiro, Manny Houdek, Tammy Li


 


Grant Amon Architects


GAA Project Team Competition : Grant Amon; Stephen Herbst; Estelle Peters; Karen McMull


GAA Project Team Documentation : Grant Amon; Stephen Herbst; Tony Trajikoski; Yiyang Xu; Bruno Rabl; Junbo Qu; Roberta Caione; Millicent Baddeley.


 


Local Council: City of Port Phillip


Town Planner: SJB Planning


Project Management: Case Meallin / Bates & Co


Quantity Surveyor: Slattery


Structural Engineer, Mechanical Engineer, Hydraulic Engineer, Electrical Engineer, Facade Engineer, Traffic Engineer, Fire Services, Fire Engineer: WSP


Acoustic Engineer: Resonate


ESD Consultant: Hip v. Hype


Building Surveyor: Checkpoint Building Surveyors


Landscape Architect: BAU Brearley Architects+Urbanists, Thompson Berril Landscape Design


Contractor: Hansen Yuncken


Lighting Consultant: Schuler Shook


Structural Concept Engineer: Peter Felicetti


Suppliers: Shape Shell - atrium pre-cast shell, Auscast Constructions - pre-cast  concrete facades, Fade Australia - acoustic plaster.


 


Copyright


Architecture photographs: John Gollings, BAU


Diagrams: BAU


VPC opening photographs:


Speech: Luke David


Audience: Anne Papadakis

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    The Victorian Pride Centre, St. Kilda, Melbourne by BAU Brearley Architects and Urbanists and Grant Amon Architects Building the unfinished   Project Description In 2017, a national survey in favour of marriage equality lead to the Australian parliament passing the bill to legalize same-sex marriage, a milestone in the struggle for equality of the LGBTQI+ community. The same year, the Victorian Price Centre (VPC), a not-for-profit organisation, received funding from the...

    Project details
    • Year 2022
    • Work finished in 2022
    • Status Completed works
    • Type Offices/studios / Hospitals, private clinics / Multi-purpose Cultural Centres / Theatres / Bars/Cafés / Restaurants / Interior Design / Book shops
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