Wednesday, 1 July 2015

michael banak architect | architecture. design. inspiration

michael banak architect | architecture. design. inspiration



Brisbane River Tower


nly a few months to go before Crone Partners “180B” signature commercial development, reaches practical completion. 180 Brisbane is a 34 level commercial office tower, with 3 levels of retail and 5 levels of basement parking and estimated construction cost of $300m. Crone Partners designed the building in 2010 for Japanese client Daisho and construction giants Watpac. The project is due for completion November 2015. Crone architects have worked collaboratively with Watpac on a number of significant Commercial Office buildings in Australia, including the Telstra Tower at 275 George Street Brisbane and 333 George Street in Sydney. 333 George Street is also under construction and due for completion this year.
180B is ambitious, gutsy and a highly intelligent building. The tower will be Brisbane’s first 6 Star Green Star V3 certified office building and aiming for a 5.5 Star NABERS Energy Rating. This is the highest sustainability rating attainable through the Green Building Council of Australia’s rating system and described as “World’s Best Practice”.
The structural design is innovative using a side core to straddle the Brisbane railway lines that run directly under the site. The lift cores act as a beam to span over the railway tracks. Crone worked with Hyder structural engineers to develop the structural system and a series of large diagonal trusses to support the typical floor plates. This strategic thinking helped unlock the opportunities of the site. The resulting floor plates are regular in shape, open planned and saturated with light and spectacular views. It was through this innovative thinking, Crone were able to win the project through a Design Review Phase, against 6 major architectural firms in Australia. Other key issues that informed the design where overshadowing of King Georges Park, the requirement for a through Site Link and Wind Amelioration.
The Brisbane River super graphic, so dominant on the facade and no doubt controversial, becomes a theme throughout the development. It’s a signature to the building easily recognizable from a distance. A very bold idea, the Brisbane River is pix-elated on the North Eastern facade of the building through the use of a Frit on the glass. The Frit on the curtain wall panels is a rain drop pattern, following the theme of water and sustainability. The building itself has already been nicknamed the “Brisbane River Tower”
When complete this iconic building will truly transform the CBD and set a new standard for commercial buildings.
Below are aerial images of the building under construction;







Five-star Wanda Vista hotel to grace Circular Quay | afr.com

Five-star Wanda Vista hotel to grace Circular Quay | afr.com

City Of Sydney Proposing To Heritage List 62 Sites

City Of Sydney Proposing To Heritage List 62 Sites

Designing with Solid Wood

Designing with Solid Wood

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

the power of the oculus | michael banak architect

the power of the oculus | michael banak architect



The Oculus is a highly sophisticated computer device that allows the user to experience a virtual world by wearing a head piece. When you put the goggles on, you are transformed into an amazing computer generated world, where your imagination has no limits. You can create buildings and spaces not constrained by structure or gravity. Together with Crone Architects, Sunny Chan from Ivolve Studios, has been developing the virtual software to run off the Oculus device and other VR (Virtual Reality) devices. For example the software allows you to, stand in a luscious green courtyard and look around at a virtual world of buildings, birds, trees, people and look up at a brilliantly sunny day, or stand in a living room looking at a custom designed television cabinet you always wanted and at the marble kitchen bench, fridge cabinetry and parquetry flooring you designed with your architect. The beauty of the software is it allows you to experience a building, or interior space, without having to build it.
What we didn’t realize, was when wearing the Oculus goggles, it also has the power to transform our staff into something quiet disturbing. I was lucky enough I couldn’t see this happening before my eye, due to wearing the goggles. Extreme caution should be used when using VR headsets.

Thursday, 30 April 2015

Australian Institute of Architects (NSW Chapter) – Champions of Change Charter | michael banak architect

Australian Institute of Architects (NSW Chapter) – Champions of Change Charter | michael banak architect



On Thursday this week, architectural leaders from 10 of the top architectural firms in Australia, signed a Charter for the Australian Institute of Architects (NSW Chapter), Champions of Change initiative. Principals of the 10 firms met at the AIA offices at Tusculum and agreed to work together over a 12 month period to promote and support equitable workplaces within the architectural profession. Firms signing the charter included; Crone Partners, Cox, Architectus, Hassell, BVN, SJB, Woods Bagot, PTW and Batessmart.
The Champions of Change Program has a simple theory behind it; men of influence have the capacity to change the status quo.
Crone Partners look forward to learning more about how we can contribute to this program and as a collective group find creative ways to help change the work environment in Australia. Our aim is to be a more rich, diverse and flexible work place attracting the best talent into the architectural profession and providing men and woman with equal opportunities.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

megablock stage 1 is under way at filinvest city | michael banak architect

megablock stage 1 is under way at filinvest city | michael banak architect



Project Megablock is a BPO office development located in Alabang, Philippines designed for Filinvest land Inc. BPO stands for Business Process Outsourcing and a good example would be a telephone company that outsources its Help Desk services overseas. The design took into consideration BPO working environments, including a daytime and graveyard working shift to cater for companies all around the world. Food and Beverage retail outlets and an expansive green space were designed by Crone Architects, providing areas of quiet respite for BPO workers and other workers in the Northgate Cyberzone Precinct of Filinvest City.
The development has 4 office towers of approximately 20 levels each and a total GFA of 180,000m2. The floor plates have an NLA of 2,000m2 giving a NLA/ GFA efficiency over 90%. The floor plates are designed to be open planned, with large structural grid bays and side core arrangement.
Below are recent site photos of the stage 1 works.



Tuesday, 31 March 2015

aqualand’s “lindfield village” sales fury | michael banak architect

aqualand’s “lindfield village” sales fury | michael banak architect


Aqualand’s signature residential development named “Lindfield Village”, has experienced extraordinary high sales since its launch earlier this month. A sales fury, occurred during the opening Saturday of the marketing campaign, with over 90% of the 88 apartments sold within 2 hours. Over 100 apartments have now been sold and the investor and home owner market is nervously waiting for the final trench of 40+ apartments to be released. The fast sales are testament to a successful collaborative design alliance between Crone Architects and the Aqualand Development team. Good design, perfect location and a highly professional marketing campaign have proven a winning combination.
Some images below of the Development.







Wednesday, 25 March 2015

How good would it be to have our buildings clean the environment rather than destroy it? | michael banak architect

How good would it be to have our buildings clean the environment rather than destroy it? | michael banak architect


The ideas generated from this Student Design competition run by CTBUH are highly commendable. In Particular I liked the “Clean Air Tower” by Alec Balchin which responds to issues of air quality. His design for Tianjin uses industrial air-cleaning technology together with a stack effect air circulation system to clean 8.5 million cubic meters of air per year. How good would it be to have our buildings clean the environment rather than destroy it?

Monday, 9 February 2015

180b time lapse photography | michael banak architect

180b time lapse photography | michael banak architect



I love time lapse photography. This is a video showing time lapse photography of 180B under construction from Sept 2013 to Jan 2015. Watpac Constructions setup the camera on a building adjacent to our site. 180B is a 34 level commercial office tower designed by Crone Architects in 2012 and located in Brisbane, Australia. It is a 6 Star Green Star Sustainable Development designed for Japanese developer Daisho, due for completion in Nov 2015.



Thursday, 29 January 2015

Australian business, trade to increase presence in PH

Pick the only guy wearing a tie?



Australian business, trade to increase presence in PH



Australian business, trade to increase presence in PH

Australia notes though that mining is a missed opportunity for the Philippines, an industry that significantly contributes to the former's growth
Chris Schnabel
Updated 9:11 AM, Jan 29, 2015
BULLISH. Firms from "Down Under" are bullish about their growth prospects in the Philippines, says Australia senior trade commissioner Anthony Weymouth (4th from left) with representatives from Australian businesses. Photo by Chris Schnabel / Rappler
BULLISH. Firms from "Down Under" are bullish about their growth prospects in the Philippines, says Australia senior trade commissioner Anthony Weymouth (4th from left) with representatives from Australian businesses. Photo by Chris Schnabel / Rappler
MANILA, Philippines – Australia is more bullish in their business and trade growth prospects in the country, firms from Down Under said.
Anthony Weymouth, Australian senior trade commissioner to the country, said that it is time for Australia to increase its trade presence in the Philippines.
Two-way trade between the two countries is at AU$3 billion ($2.40 billion) and an estimated 200 Australian companies now have a significant presence in the Philippines, employing 15,000 to18,000 Filipinos, Weymouth said.
These include ANZ Bank and Macquarie, two of the major Australian locators in the country.
The landmark ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement (AANZ) also now allows for 95% of Australian products to enter the Philippines duty free while 97% of Philippine-made products can enter Australia with the same benefit.
An increased popularity of Australian products is also seen due to the recent fall of the Aussie dollar.
“It’s basically a 20% price reduction in 3 months,” Weymouth said.
About 15,000 Australians currently reside in the Philippines while about 250,000 Filipinos now call Australia home, Weymouth shared.
Increased investment
Other Australian firms, meanwhile, praised the government efforts to improve the overall environment in doing business in the country.
“We see a country that is really getting its act together,” James Young, country director for Cardno, said. Cardno, a professional infrastructure and environmental services company is involved in some of the important public-private partnership (PPP) infrastructure projects planned for the next few years.
Michael Banak, director of Crone Partners, an architectural firm, confirmed that it is looking for a partner to set up a permanent base in the country.
The firm has been in the Philippines since 2006 and is notable for designing Arya Residences, the country’s first residential building receiving the “green” certifications of Building for Ecologically Responsive Design Excellence (BERDE) and Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED). Crone Partners is also designing a 20 hectare master-planned project.
Meanwhile, Sight Skills based in Clark, Pampanga, is providing training services for construction, gas, mining, and oil. The company is behind Asia’s only simulated underground mine and an offshore platform which it uses to train workers involved in the Malampaya deep water gas-to-power project.
Telstra, a business process outsourcing (BPO) company, is also among locators that employs the highest number of Filipinos in the industry.
Mining a ‘missed opportunity’
When asked about the problems Australian firms face in the country, Weymouth singled out mining as a great “missed opportunity,” saying with significant investment in mining the Philippines could achieve an 8% or 9% gross domestic product (GDP) growth instead of 6%.
The Philippines is one of the most mineral-rich country in the world, but only about 2% of the resources are being extracted, Weymouth said. On the other hand, mining is a significant industry and major contributor to the Australia economy.
“The bottom line is that there are mining projects in places like Mindanao that have the potential for billions of dollars in investment that can raise the GDP by 2% for the next 40 years,” Weymouth said.
The trade commissioner added that Australia would like to see the issues addressed, as it is a big challenge facing Australian mining firms.
Australian mining firm Indophil Resources has a significant stake in the controversial Tampakan project.
The firm is set to be taken over by local firm Alson. – Rappler.com
(AU$1 = US$0.80)

Wednesday, 28 January 2015

arya at the fort | michael banak architect

arya at the fort | michael banak architect


What a great feeling! Finally sitting on the right side of the plane, camera at the ready, capturing on film, our towers at the end of the Manila American Memorial, Fort Bonifacio Global City. I was also lucky to have the opportunity to walk around the development, whose concept was visioned in 2010 and now nearly complete. Arya Residences is a premier grade, mixed use development designed by Crone Architects, for Arthaland and boasting dual green certification, LEED Gold and BERDE. These photos were taken in the Philippines earlier this week. Tonight its flying back home to Sydney. Marimang Salamat Po my Filipino friends, thanks for the hospitality!




















































Wednesday, 21 January 2015

garden towers grows fast | michael banak architect

garden towers grows fast | michael banak architect

Below, a photograph taken today of our project for AYALA Land Premier named Garden Towers. The basements are well underway for the twin tower condominium development, showcasing green design and smart living. Garden towers is located in the heart of Makati, in the Philippines.


Monday, 12 January 2015

Pavilion at Architect’s Residence / Kythreotis Architects | ArchDaily

Pavilion at Architect’s Residence / Kythreotis Architects | ArchDaily

this is why I love my office | michael banak architect

this is why I love my office | michael banak architect

how do you put a super-graphic on the facade of a 34 level tower? | michael banak architect

how do you put a super-graphic on the facade of a 34 level tower? | michael banak architect



So you've come up with this great idea to superimpose an image of the Brisbane River on the facade of a 34 level tower. Now.....how the hell do you do it?



Not that easily actually. During Design Development, we decided we would use a ceramic frit pattern on the glass to create the image. The frit pattern would give a solid appearance to the glass panels, these combined over the face of the building to form a large pixelated image of the river. To further emphasize the image we changed the colour of the glass to be clear, contrasting with the green DGU (Double Glazed Unit) panels adjacent to it. The final touch was to remove our horizontal sunshading devices where the graphic was to appear, to let the river pattern flow across the facade.



Now the tricky bit. A Double Glazed Facade Unit is made up of 2 sheets of glass with an air gap. The numbering of surfaces goes from 1 to 4. 1 being the outside surface (exterior of the building) and 4 the inside surface (Interior of the building) . Typically the Ceramic Frit pattern is applied to surface 2 or 3. The problem with this, is the pattern gets lost behind the glass, it becomes green in appearance due to the natural colour of glass. What we ended up doing is something a lot more sophisticated and expensive. It's called a Triple Glazed Unit. Two sheets of glass make up a laminated panel using low iron glass, there is an air gap and then a 4th sheet of glass. Confused yet? I would be too if I was reading this. I'm hoping my crude little sketch will explain things better. Low iron glass is an ultra clear glass and because of this the pattern appears clear on the facade. We will see over the next few months if our assumptions are correct, but what we have reviewed of mock-up panels and the panels on site, everything is looking good!




Wednesday, 7 January 2015

5 Of The Best Sydney Developments Of 2014 - TheUrbanDeveloper.com

2 of our buildings were featured in the Urban Developer end of last year as the 5 best Buildings in Sydney. Yeehar! The project names are 333 George Street and 20 Martin Place.


5 Of The Best Sydney Developments Of 2014 - TheUrbanDeveloper.com