Author Archives: JPA&D

SMH: Lift planned at historic stairway

Plans for a lift next to one of Sydney’s public stairways have stoked concern from a residents’ group that says people who cannot climb the steep set of steps should catch a bus instead.
The City of Sydney will investigate the feasibility of a lift next to the historic McElhone Stairs after the council backed Liberal councillor Lyndon Gannon’s call for improved accessibility between Potts Point and Woolloomooloo.

Gannon said a lift next to the stairway would make it easier for pedestrians to go from Kings Cross, through Woolloomooloo and past the Art Gallery of NSW, to Sydney’s CBD.
“The steps have served the community well for over 100 years,” he said. “But it’s time for an accessibility upgrade.” Gannon said the demographics of the inner city were changing, with more elderly people and families with kids living in the area. “People, especially elderly folks and mums with prams, find it really hard to navigate them,” he said.

Potts Point and Kings Cross Heritage Society president Andrew Woodhouse said he was not opposed to the plan if it was genuinely required by large numbers of residents and had minimal heritage and visual impacts on the stairway. However, Woodhouse said people unable to climb the heritage-listed stairway could catch a bus instead.
“People wanting to come up the stairs could use the 311 bus with its bus stop at the foot of the stairs and arrive in Macleay Street,” he said. “To descend to Woolloomooloo, locals in Potts Point can also use the 311 bus as they do now.” Woodhouse said a lift should not be built until its heritage and social impacts were assessed and costs, including ongoing maintenance, were revealed.
One of several public stairways in inner-city Sydney, McElhone Stairs is one of three that connect Woolloomooloo to Potts Point.

Australian Institute of Architects chairwoman Jennifer Preston said public staircases were an important part of the city’s urban heritage. McElhone Stairs was the site of espionage activities during the Cold War when it was used as a secret drop-off point by Soviet spies. The historic stairs have also been featured in movies, novels and paintings by Sali Herman, John Olsen and Brett Whitley.
Preston said public staircases such as McElhone Stairs were free and open to anyone able to access them physically to enjoy the views, opportunities for exercise and the shortcuts they provide.
“I think if we are to have a city where the access is as equitable as possible then a lift between the lower level of Woolloomooloo and the upper level of Victoria street is crucial,” she said.

NSW branch of the National Trust’s director of conservation David Burdon said there were terrible examples of an ugly ramp or unsympathetic lift poorly grafted onto an old building with little care or attention.
But he said modern accessibility requirements can often be reconciled with heritage values. “After all, the McElhone Stairs were ultimately a beautiful municipal response to an accessibility problem,” he said. “Hopefully, a similarly beautiful response can be delivered to address the same issue for today’s needs.”

Physical Disability Council of NSW chief executive Serena Ovens said it would be fabulous to provide lift access wherever there were stairways.
But she said it was more important to include full accessibility “from the beginning of any project, not as an afterthought” and provide options for people with disability that do not require significantly longer travel times.
Ovens said lifts have been installed on landmarks such as the Sydney Harbour Bridge without impacting heritage values. “Australia needs to step up and overcome its aversion to improving access,” she said, “both in our heritage buildings and places and in the new structures we build.”

> Read article online, at this SMH link

Garryowen House

Year: 2022
Client: FDC
Location: Rozelle, NSW

Garryowen House at Callan Park in Rozelle, dates from 1840 when its verandah surface was comprised of sandstone flagging. This was replaced by hexagonal asphalt pavers in the 1880s when the House was part of the Callan Park Hospital for the Insane. Although repair and replacement of some pavers had occurred previously, by 2022 the asphalt pavers were generally worn and presented a trip hazard.
Create NSW engaged JPA&D to help them address the issue. Following extensive research into the likely original sandstone flagging and the 1880s asphalt pavers, a proposal was put forward to replace the pavers with sandstone flagging. As the asphalt pavers were evidence of a significant period in the building’s life, following discussions with the client, council and other stakeholders, a sample area of the asphalt pavers was retained within the new sandstone flagging with explanatory signage. New tactile ground surface indicators were also installed to comply with current building standards.



JPA&D Office

Year: 2022
Client: JPA&D Australia Pty Ltd
Location: Ultimo, NSW.

When JPA&D expanded our workspace across two office suites we took the opportunity to fully refurbish the spaces to improve the facilities for our staff and clients.
The increase in remote working and virtual meetings brought new technology to meeting spaces to enable better collaboration with colleagues and clients both inside and outside the physical office space.
The open ceiling of the warehouse space was retained and new linear lighting, sit to stand desks, and planting was incorporated into the design. Joinery finished in sustainably sourced blackbutt veneer provides storage and
kitchen facilities as well as the opportunity to display objects. Heavy velvet curtains create flexibility within the space and control views and sound with additional acoustic treatment introduced in ceiling panels above meeting
tables. A variety of storage solutions were developed to accommodate books, journals, hard copy large format documents and the sample library. Existing shelving was reused with the sample library being wrapped in mild steel sheet. The placement of original artwork was included from the early design concept with many pieces by Ross Thornton.


Ravenswood School Art Room

Year: 2022
Client: Ravenswood School for Girls
Location: Gordon, NSW

Ravenswood School for Girls invited JPA&D to design and document the conversion of a general classroom into a purpose designed Art teaching room to accommodate twenty-three students. The design allowed for lockable storage cupboards for staff and open storage for paint supplies and student work. An area with four art sinks and a work bench was included with pinboards above for the display of student work. Whiteboards and a video screen enhance the teaching capabilities. The new space configuration brings increased natural light into the room from the north-facing windows along the covered walkway.


Casula Library Garden

Year: 2021
Client: Liverpool City Council
Location: Casula, NSW

Liverpool City Council wanted to expand the space of the Casula Library into the outdoors and engaged JPA&D to undertake a fully accessible garden design. The existing doors and threshold from the building were modified to provide equitable access to a sensory garden with accessible pathways, garden beds and seating options. The area was surrounded by a fence that facilitated the growth of climbing plants and provided windows onto the adjoining sports fields. A pergola was designed along the walk in front of the windows to provide shade for garden users. Perennial herbs, rosemary and lavender were specified for their scent and other plants were selected for a variety of colour and texture. Different paving and ground covers were used to create different areas to the garden including a ‘story lawn’ where people can gather for readings with the option to sit on groundcovers, raised platforms or more traditional seats with paved areas created to accommodate wheelchairs and mobility scooters.

Stante Reserve Amenities

Year: 2021
Client: Liverpool City Council
Location: Middleton Grange, NSW

JPA&D were invited by Liverpool City Council to undertake the design and documentation of a new amenities block at Stante Reserve, Middleton Grange to provide facilities for a new water play park. The building incorporated a layered roof to not only provide weather protection but also allow natural light to penetrate into the building. The dramatic skillion roof form signals the buildings location from across the waterpark and strong contrasts in colour facilitate ease of access for all users. Brickwork was used externally and internally to provide a robust public building and textural patterns in the brickwork create interest. Showers and a handwash trough were located external to the building.

SMH: ‘Love of mail-order’

‘Love of mail-order’: How Australia’s earliest buildings came out of a box. By Julie Power, 11th September 2021.

Nearly 200 years before any couple tested a relationship by trying to assemble an IKEA flat-packed Billy bookshelf, prefabricated and portable buildings – including NSW’s Legislative Council – flooded into Australia.
Shipped from the United Kingdom, Singapore and Germany in wooden crates, some of these buildings came with instructions. Others didn’t.
These portable buildings were part of a Victorian-era “love of mail-order”, according to NSW Parliament’s collections and heritage co-ordinator Wes Stowe. A catalogue advertising the building that ended up becoming NSW’s upper house included fences, warehouses, dwellings, arcades, government buildings and military barracks.

Dr Jennifer Preston, the chair of the NSW Institute of Architect's heritage committee

Australia has more surviving examples of these 19th-century portable buildings than anywhere else in the world. It is estimated that 117 still exist across Australia, including around 17 in NSW.
“Elsewhere, almost none survive,” said Professor Miles Lewis, an architectural historian from the University of Melbourne who has been studying innovation and technology in architecture for decades.
He is part of an international lobby group that is campaigning for these portable buildings to be listed as a group on UNESCO’s world heritage list of treasures alongside the Opera House.
“We take the view that [the buildings] are as much as part of Britain and Germany’s history as they are of our history,” said Professor Lewis. “It is like the Parthenon. It is important to humanity,” said Professor Lewis.

Together, they represented an “international phenomenon of historical, economic and technical significance,” the group argues. Prefabrication stimulated new building techniques, prompting a range of patents.
For NSW, the mail-order council building was also a “good deal” at 1200 pounds, said Mr Stowe. NSW purchased it from a Victorian company that had paid 4000 pounds to import it from Scotland intending to store grain.
Intended as a temporary building, labourers worked night and day to ensure it was ready for the first sitting of the new parliament, with two chambers, on May 22, 1856.
Dr Jennifer Preston, the chair of the NSW Institute of Architect’s heritage committee, said the history of these buildings was intriguing.

NSW’s collection includes two cottages in Hunters Hill, called Carey and The Chalet, and the home of the Oxley family outside Bowral, known as Wingecarribee House. The latter was imported as a package deal including folding shutters, doors and marble fireplaces. Many were used as factories, including the Retort House at Sub Base Platypus park at Neutral Bay and the Grissell Building (now located on the old ACL site).

Many used tricks to make them look expensive, or were finely detailed, said Dr Preston. The supporting columns at Retort House have intricately detailed capitals and bases, she said. This was typical of Victorian industrial design. “It is lovely inside,” she said. Because they were portable, buildings like Grissell had moved over time. It is believed it was originally used for brewing on the Tooth site at Broadway, but Dr Preston said they were still looking for conclusive documentary proof.

Other prefabricated buildings used Victorian-era tricks to make them look more expensive. The legislative council, for example, appears to be made from Sydney sandstone. But Dr Preston said the facade is cast iron, which was finished to look like rendered masonry. According to research by Professor Lewis, some portable buildings arrived with instructions, including Roman numerals or markings.

Wooden portable houses exported to Melbourne during the gold rush were often stamped with Chinese characters. Professor Lewis wrote these included, ‘Lee’, which might refer to the maker, and terms like ‘double’, ‘connection’, ‘secure” and fixed’ that could refer to the method of assembly. They also included Chinese characters, including the words for ‘moon’, ‘sun’, ‘pearl’, ‘road’, ‘horse’, ‘bee’, ‘egg’, ‘vegetable’, ‘fruit’, ‘surplus’, ‘hero’, ‘prosperous’, ‘bitter’, that he thought could have provided some sort of sequence for identifying components.

At Wingecarribee, the struts were lettered from A to D, with A always being at the bottom with uprights numbered to correspond. Though the exterior was made of corrugated iron, it was said to be a grand home.
A member of the Oxley family wrote that the materials were imported “ready fitted, with a view to saving expense”. “The experiment turned out to be a very troublesome and unsatisfactory one, and little or no saving on the cost of erecting an ordinary brick one.“ Not all the finished buildings resembled the images promoted in the mail-order catalogues, selling everything from fences to churches, said Mr Stowe. “It is kind of like when you get Ikea furniture. And you look at the leftover bit, and you think, ‘Where do you fit?’”

Hemmings portable building, believed to be the same model as the home at Wingecarribee built by the Oxley family.

> Read article online, at this SMH link

Griffith Courthouse

Year: 2021
Client: Department of Communities & Justice
Location: Griffith, NSW

The original Griffith Courthouse building has been associated with the provision of law and justice in the town since 1928. JPA&D were engaged by the Department of Justice to design upgrades to the building to enhance security at the courthouse. The new extension to the front of the 1985 portion of the building created a new entry from the street including enhancing perimeter security, an enlarged waiting area, jury assembly room and other facilities. Minor internal upgrades within the 1928 building were also undertaken. The work provided a new brick and zinc clad facade to the 1985 structure but had a minimal impact on the 1928 building. The junction between the two buildings was designed so that the two parts of the building are read as separate elements. The junction is recessed from the main façade of both buildings allowing the 1928 building to read as a stand-alone structure although it is linked internally to the newer additions.





Year: 2020
Client: Create NSW
Location: Woolloomooloo, NSW

JPA&D were engaged by Colliers International on behalf of Create NSW to undertake a remedial works survey of the east, north and west facades of the Carriageworks building.
The purpose of this survey was to identify the attachments and timber windows on the facades and to report on their condition.
The attachments to the facades represent successive layers of history in the life of this major industrial building, and as such, are of significance in themselves. The recommendations provided by JPA&D therefore prioritised conservation and retention. This involved the creation of elevational drawings, the physical inspection of the facades, and the creation of a condition report based on the findings.


SMH: Stairways to heaven

Stairways to heaven: The amazing history of Sydney's most impressive steps. By Julie Power, 3rd January 2021.

Away from the cameras surveilling Sydney, public stairs remain among the few places where people “can still be private in public”, says architect Jennifer Preston.
As poet A. A. Milne wrote: “Halfway up the stairs isn’t up, it isn’t down … It isn’t really anywhere, it’s somewhere else instead.”
And in the case of the Steps to Nowhere on Hickson Road, Barangaroo, they lead up and down, but will take you absolutely nowhere.

Over the centuries, Sydney’s stairs have been the drop off point for messages written in invisible ink by Russian spy Ivan Skripov, which prompted a global scandal, as well as a rendezvous point for lovers and dealers.
Before lifts and moving footways – and long before people thought of counting steps on a device – traversing Sydney was a workout.
For all their film noir appeal, though, history shows you’re more likely to break a leg tripping down Sydney’s public stairs than have one broken by a thug, says Dr Preston. As chair of the NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects Heritage Committee she is one of the few people in the world to study the role of stairs in urban architecture. Although researchers have studied parks, neighbourhoods and footpaths, stairs have been neglected. Her interest resulted in a 90,000 word doctoral thesis, and numerous research papers.

Dr Preston’s interest in Sydney’s stairs was prompted by walks near her home in Glebe. “I am a pedestrian – I walk a lot,” she explained.
When she climbed the Chapman stairs, sandstone steps that curl up from Parramatta Road and Arundel Street with “beautiful sculpted sandstone pillars”, she wondered who Chapman was and why the stairs were named after him. It turns out Michael Chapman was an Irish merchant born in 1802 who migrated to Australia where he rose to become a member of council and NSW Parliament.

“Urban stairways are contested terrain, where the public and private domains meet, overlap, and sometimes conflict,” Dr Preston wrote in one paper. As a result, there are often arguments over who is responsible for policing and maintenance. Dr Preston found complaints in the Sydney City Council archive about stairs being covered with “expectoration, tobacco juice, etc”. Others complained that the stairs were the “resort of people who continually lounge” about them.

Public urban stairways like McElhone rising from Woolloomooloo were places of contrast: beauty and refinement contrasted with the condoms and syringes she had found there.
“It leads upwards towards brightness, promise and adventure,” she wrote of the McElhone stairway. “It descends into shadow, the hidden and unknown. It is enveloped in the delicious scents of flowers, gardens and nearby baking, but is also plagued by the rank smells of urine, dampness and vomit.”

Over the years some steps such as Carahar in the Rocks were demolished, but clues remain, such as parts of their brickwork. On Hickson Road, the Steps to Nowhere are still embedded in the sandstone, but inaccessible.
Dr Preston’s research shows very few surveillance cameras have been installed on Sydney’s stairs, suggesting they are safer than they may feel.

Here are some of her picks for the best stairs to rack up steps, be a tourist in your own city and learn about Sydney’s history after colonisation (and snap some Instagrammable photos).

McElhone stairs: Connecting Woolloomooloo with Potts Point, the “heart thumping stairs” were also the location of a real life spy drama that saw secret documents – with instructions written in invisible ink by Russian spy Ivan Skripov. They were exchanged in a canister hidden behind a balustrade on the stairs. He was caught, expelled from Australia and the spy scandal went global. Like many of Sydney’s stairs they were named after a local businessman.

Fleet Steps: Often wrongly thought to relate to the arrival of the First Fleet, these steep and long stairs at Mrs Macquarie’s Chair were built to celebrate the arrival of the “Great White Fleet” in 1908. The arrival of American peace time fleet – a huge armada – brought record numbers of Sydneysiders out for a day described by some newspapers as the “greatest ever” in Sydney’s history.

Man O’War Steps: With a name like this, they should be huge. Though there are only eight or nine, the steps near the Opera House are full of history and very likely the oldest steps in Sydney, dating back to soon after colonisation. They were built to provide Governor Macquarie and his family with direct access to a jetty.

Chard stairs: Quite short stairs but Sydney’s “most beautiful”, says Dr Preston. They were initiated by William Chard, a local who was concerned that the widening of William Street had caused a huge drop at its intersection with Forbes street. Mr Chard wrote to the council – and to move things along, he paid an architect to draw up the plans. The steps contain detailed “little gargoyley faces carved in the 1930s”, Dr Preston said.

Argyle stairs: Described by tourists as leg pumping, the Argyle stairs in The Rocks have a majestic entry through an arch and lead up to the Harbour Bridge walk. They also feature in the Justice and Police Museum’s forensic archive (1910 to 1964). Curator Nerida Campbell says stairs are often the scene of accidents that “don’t turn out to be accidents”.

Agar steps: A massive set of 108 steps that link Kent Street with Observatory Hill. Tall and narrow with views towards the water, they are Dr Preston’s favourite. They have been portrayed by a range of Australian artists and some of the Victorian terraces that front on to the stairs use the landings as extensions of their own homes.

> Read full article and view more photos online, at this SMH link.

Maitland CCO

Year: 2020
Client: Department of Communities & Justice
Location: Maitland, NSW

JPA&D were engaged by the NSW Department of Communities and Justice as the Principal Design Consultant for the design of the new Maitland Community Corrections Office. Working within the ground floor of what had previously been a local club building, the design followed recent modernisation fit out guidelines for Community Corrections offices and included a waiting and reception area, interview and programme rooms as well as open office space and staff facilities. A ceiling design was detailed that maximised height within a grid of existing low beams to maximise the feelings of space and light within a restricted volume.



The Gunnery

Year: 2020
Client: Create NSW
Location: Woolloomooloo, NSW

JPA&D was engaged by Create NSW to inspect the timber windows of The Gunnery, Woolloomooloo, and to produce the documentation necessary to enable Create NSW to appoint a contractor to undertake repair and painting works to the windows on the north, west and south elevations. During the inspection, deterioration of the brick pointing was noted and this was included into the documentation for remediation. A change of colour to the windows was also included in the approval application.
The Gunnery is a State heritage listed former warehouse and artillery school, built in the early 1900s. The building is now used as an arts centre.





Garryowen House

Year: 2019
Client: Create NSW
Location: Rozelle, NSW

JPA&D were engaged by Create NSW to provide heritage advice for a range of works to be undertaken at Garryowen House, part of the State heritage listed complex at Callan Park.
The works included the design and documentation of sandstone flagging to the verandah, the installation of air-conditioning and the assessment of the condition of plaster in the stair hall.
This involved physical investigation, research into the history of the site, likely paving design and the relevant heritage legislation and recommendations, and the creation of advice documentation.


Hadley Park

Year: 2019
Client: NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
Location: Castlereagh, NSW

JPA&D was engaged by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to produce a reviewed Conservation Management Plan, Section 170 listing and Maintenance Schedule for Hadley Park, a State heritage listed property located at Castlereagh on the Nepean River.
The property contains a 210-year-old farmhouse and a weatherboard cottage dating from 1806. It also contains a number of outbuildings, as well as a large collection of movable heritage items associated with the history of the site.
The project involved multiple site visits to assess the buildings and movable heritage items, as well as investigations and research into the history and use of the site, and extensive cataloguing of the movable heritage items.


Fernhill Estate

Year: 2019
Client: NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment
Location: Mulgoa, NSW

JPA&D was appointed by the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment to produce a Conservation Management Plan, Section 170 Listing and Maintenance Schedule for Fernhill Estate, a State heritage listed property located in Mulgoa, in the foothills of the Blue Mountains.
The property contains a 180-year old homestead, a stable building dating from c. 1839, and multiple outbuildings, in a modified picturesque landscape.
This project involved multiple site visits to assess the buildings, and research into the history and use of the site.


Healthshare Jessie Street Centre

Year: 2018
Client: Healthshare NSW
Location: Chatswood, NSW

JPA&D were engaged by Healthshare NSW to design and document internal design works for eHealth NSW in the Jessie Street Centre at Parramatta.
The project involved the redesign of an area of 2,649 square metres and included working, meeting and break out spaces.


The Public Guardian

Year: 2018
Client: NSW Department of Justice
Location: Sydney CBD, NSW

Offices for the Public Guardian were created within a heritage listed building in the CBD providing work, meeting, utility and breakout spaces.
Acoustics within the open plan office space were addressed by utilizing a pattern of pinboards and whiteboards on the long wall of the office space to provide practical functions as well improve the acoustics of the space.


Cardno Wollongong

Year: 2018
Client: Cardno
Location: Wollongong, NSW

JPA&D won the tender to design the new offices for Cardno in Wollongong in 2017. The brief was to create a safe, healthy and compliant environment that was functional and cost-effective and was adaptable to new ways of working and new technologies. The space created was to be visually stimulating and to provide a working environment that promoted a positive work culture and high staff satisfaction.
The underside of the ceiling slab and all the services were left exposed and sprayed black, planters were introduced between banks of workstations and a ‘greenwall’ was installed behind the reception counter. In key spaces such as the meeting rooms and reception area feature ceiling panels were included to assist with acoustic control. A variety of meeting spaces lead of the reception area which can accommodate small casual meetings as well as large formal presentations. The meeting rooms can be altered by the use of operable walls to create a variety of configurations.
A large staff lunch and games room was created that provided a fully fitted kitchen and space for the table tennis table as well as a variety of seating configurations. Within the main office space a variety of workstation types were provided with offices, quiet rooms and break out areas. A collaborative work space at the centre of the floor plan was equipped with in-built storage, interchangeable seating blocks, white boards, pinboards and power and data to enable a flexible and collaborative work experience.


OSL Heritage Asset Management Programme

Year: 2018
Client: NSW Department of Planning & Environment
Location: Various sites, Sydney NSW

JPA&D were engaged by the Office of Strategic lands to undertake a Heritage Asset Management Strategy for Heritage properties within the OSL portfolio. This involved undertaking Conservation Management Plans, section 170 register listings and other heritage documentation for multiple properties from a wide range of periods and typologies.


Castlereagh Public School

Llandilo Cottage

Mamre House St Marys

Wool Pack Inn

Rotunda Orchard Hills

Robin Hood Farm

Cecil Hills Farm Stables

Atherden Street, The Rocks

Year: 2018
Client: NSW Department of Planning & Environment
Location: The Rocks, Sydney NSW

JPA&D have worked with Place Management NSW to care for properties and public spaces in Sydney’s heritage and cultural precinct at The Rocks.


Atherden Street The Rocks Sydney

Atherden Street The Rocks Sydney

Atherden Street The Rocks Sydney

New Wallsend fire station opens

The Newcastle Herald logo

Edited from Brodie Owen and Renee Valentine | Local News.
Picture: Max Mason-Hubers.

At the official opening of the new station on Friday, station captain Robert Walker said the occasion marked a “momentous day” for Wallsend. “This infrastructure enables us to better serve the community of Wallsend,” he said.

Wallsend Fire Station 2

Wallsend Fire Station 3

Wallsend Fire Station 4

Wallsend Fire Station 5
Dancers from Plattsburg Public School warming up ahead of the new Wallsend fire station’s opening on Friday.

Wallsend Fire Station 6.

Kariong Fire Station

Year: 2017
Client: Fire and Rescue NSW
Location: Kariong, NSW

JPA&D were engaged by Fire and Rescue NSW through Public Works Advisory, Hunter Region, to undertake the design and documentation of a significant refurbishment and extension of the Fire Station at Kariong to incorporate a zone office and accommodation for duty commanders. The refurbishment of the facility also aimed to enhance work efficiencies and better provide for the diverse workforce of FRNSW.


Legal Aid NSW

Years: to 2021
Client: Legal Aid NSW
Location: metropolitan & regional NSW

JPA&D have completed multiple office fit-out projects throughout the state for Legal Aid NSW, including offices at Bankstown, Liverpool, Parramatta, Penrith, Gosford, Lismore, Newcastle, Orange, Tamworth, Wollongong, and at their Sydney Central head office.
These projects required a detailed understanding of the client’s functional and security requirements, to provide an environment where cases can be discussed professionally and in confidence. Reception and Waiting areas have information displays and writing facilities; interview rooms and video conference rooms facilitate communication between solicitors and clients; open office areas for support staff link directly to reception, and provide cabinetry for sorting and filing correspondence. The reception counter and writing benches are set at both standing and accessible heights.


Legal Aid NSW

Legal Aid NSW

Legal Aid NSW

Legal Aid NSW

Legal Aid NSW

Photo credits: Matthew Harper Photography, JPA&D.

Wallsend Fire Station

Year: 2017
Client: Fire & Rescue NSW
Location: Wallsend, NSW

JPA&D were engaged by Fire and Rescue NSW through NSW Public Works, Hunter Region, to undertake the design and documentation of a new Fire Station at Wallsend near Newcastle.
The Wallsend Fire Station was designed to initially be utilised by retained fire fighters and permanent staff. However future expansion for a fully permanently staffed station also needed to be considered.
The site was challenging as it sloped away from the road and was affected by mine subsidence. Major work was undertaken to remediate the site and provide a level and stable earth platform for the construction of the building.
The brief required a new fire station to better meet the needs of firefighters serving the local community on the new site located at Summerland Road, Wallsend. The new facility provides a double engine bay, office and watch room to better meet operational needs. Modern male and female bathrooms and locker areas, fitness room, and accessible toilet facilities were also be provided. Storage for Personal Protection Equipment and Breathing Apparatus were incorporated within the engine bay. A Large Mess and Training room with associated kitchen facilities enhanced the staff facilities.
Water storage tanks, a solar hot water service and photo voltaic cells for electricity generation were also part of the works to offset the environmental foot print of the project.


Warrawong High School

New Warrawong High School lift boosts its many students with a disability.

The challenge to get to and from classes is now much easier for Borce Petreski and other Warrawong High School students with a disability. The installation of a $500,000 lift at the school means students such as Borce no longer have to rely so much on teachers aides to move around the school. Support unit head teacher Jeff Bailey said the much-needed lift also meant students would now be able to spend more time learning than actually commuting to class.

Before the lift was installed the trip to classes cut about 10 minutes out of lesson time for students like 17-year-old Borce. ‘’The lift really was imperative for our school,’’ Mr Bailey said. ‘’We have the largest support unit on the South Coast. We have eight classes here for our 75 students with a disability. ‘’These kids need to access three different levels in the school to access our support classrooms which all have specific learning resources in them. ‘’The lift will be advantageous really to all our students as well as to our staff.’’

Mr Bailey praised principal Rick Coleman for his part in securing the lift for the school. ‘’It’s a win for students and the support staff,’’ he said.

> Read article online, at this link

Illawarra Schools upgrade

Year: 2017
Client: NSW Department of Finance & Services
Location: Illawarra region, NSW

In 2016 JPA&D undertook the design of lifts, ramps and bathrooms to improve the quality of access to six schools in the Illawarra Region. The main focus was to increase access for students with disabilities.
All of the schools required ramps and some, notably at Nareena Hills Public School and Bomaderry High School had a requirement for ramps that were very extensive. The costs to construct the larger ramps in concrete would have been significant so JPA&D researched alternative materials that would provide robust performance, minimal maintenance and aesthetic appeal.
New lifts were provided at Warrawong and Illawarra Sports High and these were constructed externally to the existing structure but integrated with the existing building to provide direct access from existing corridor spaces.
Bathrooms were upgraded at Illawarra Sports High School and Bomaderry high School to provide new toilet, shower and change facilities for students with disabilities.


Powerhouse Museum Castle Hill Group Entry

Year: 2015
Client: NSW Department of Finance
Location: Castle Hill, NSW

The design of the Group Entry for Museums Discovery Centre at Castle Hill resulted from the need to provide an entry into the upper floor of an existing building that caters for large groups of the public.
The project involves re-configuration of existing parking to provide for a bus drop off zone and changes to landscaping to provide a wide paved path through the tree to a covered entry ramp.
The new structure provides a dramatic entry point and also acts as a screen to the existing adjacent loading dock.


Museum of Applied Arts & Sciences
Museum Discovery Centre

Castle Hill Discovery Centre


Australian Museum on the move as its critters find a cool new place to call home

Peter Munro
Published: November 7, 2016

The hairy rhino is rolled out last of all the beasts from the back of the truck, then dispatched across the polished concrete floor. Every creature has its place in the scheme of things. Here, at the Australian Museum’s new storage centre, the stuffed Sumatran rhinoceros slots in neatly near a Komodo dragon and wallaroo.

The Castle Hill warehouse resembles a Noah’s Ark menagerie, without all that God stuff and two-by-two. Lions watch over lambs, seals sit near stoats, near badgers, near a reclining red kangaroo. Shelves are loaded with whale bones and plastic-wrapped baby leopards. Trolley-loads of specimens deliver new discoveries: marbled quails, black-tailed godwits, a Pondicherry partridge or two.


“I’ve been moving stuff up and down the east coast for years and I’ve never seen anything like this,” remarks a removalist, after a close encounter with a tiger. “I move office furniture, mostly.”

Close to 250,000 specimens that don’t fit within the museum’s city site are filling its first custom-built off-site storage facility, under a joint venture between the Australian Museum, the Museum of Applied Arts and Science, and Sydney Living Museums. The government-funded Castle Hill site, at the Museums Discovery Centre, contains collections from all three museums.


The new building housing the Australian Museum’s collection sits on 3000 square metres. The temperature is set at a mild 21 degrees, with relative humidity at 50 per cent.

If you squint, it could be an Ikea, albeit one containing 20,000 birds eggs, 150 seal skulls, 14 lemurs, two giraffes and a mounted ostrich. The building also houses much of the museum’s cultural collection, including paintings, canoes and 21,000 spears.

Managing the three-month move, which started in September, is Dr Anja Divljan, who has a PhD in flying fox ecology and usually works in the museum’s terrestrial vetebrates section. Stranger still, she likes moving. “It gives you an opportunity to declutter.”

Creatures are first packed in specially built stillages and frozen for seven days to kill any bugs, before being thawed and stored. Finding space for everything is a bit like Tetris, Divljan says. “I have tried to keep it neat but it’s an eclectic collection.”

The museum’s off-site stocks have moved at least six times since the 1970s, prompting chance discoveries such as an enormous sunfish inside a crate labelled “baby elephant”.

The Museums Discovery Centre offers public access to part of the collections of all three museums. The Australian Museum plans to hold guided tours of its own warehouse from next year.


“Generally, the first question we get from visitors is: ‘Is that a real animal?’,” Divljan says. And the second question? “Did you kill it?”

Most of the material has come to Castle Hill from a temporary storage site in Lilyfield, inside an old parachute factory with no air conditioning or heating. I visit on a Monday morning, when natural sciences conservator Sheldon Teare is preparing seven pallets of whale skulls and skeletons for the move.


He’s been readying the collection for removal from this aged building for more than a year, working through the winter dark and the wretched humidity of summer. “This place is pretty creepy, it makes some very weird noises,” he says. He’s not bothered by stuffed animals. “I don’t mind taxidermy eyes,” he says. “It’s paintings that freak me out – the eyes that follow you.”

We stroll past a white box marked “wallaby pink muffs”, a dinosaur turtle thing and several black plastic-wrapped stillages. “Inside those ones are two boxing red kangaroos,” he says. “There’s a lion in that one. This one could be almost anything.”


Moving a museum was never going to be easy. Objects in the oversized collection are large, heavy and dusty. Each move risks damaging the collection. Teare prefers the creatures safe and sound on a shelf somewhere. But he seems to be in the swing of this whole moving thing.

Have you ever considered a career change, I ask. “I never want to move again,” he says.


Museums Discovery Centre reopens

Historical treasures sit waiting to be discovered at the newly reopened Museums Discovery Centre

Stacey Roberts, Hills Shire Times

Margaret Simpson curator video


Millions of treasures from the state collections can be viewed at the centre, ranging from engineering and architecture to science, art, transport, fashion and design, and health and technology.

Minister for the Arts Troy Grant and Minister for Heritage Mark Speakman attended the launch of the redeveloped centre on Wednesday along with board members from each of the three museums.

Mr Grant said the upgrade was “significant money that has been exceptionally well spent”. “This is an excellent facility and it has wonderful, excellent exhibits contained in it,” he said. “They are diverse and they speak a lot about our history but also tell us a lot about what our future can be.”

Mr Speakman said the reopening of the centre was “a historic collaboration” between the three museums.


“The display store here at the Museums Discovery Centre lets Sydney Living Museum showcase many significant items, that are either too large or too fragile for the house museums,” he said. “These are items that have rarely, if ever, been seen in public before and they include archaeological remnants from some of Sydney’s most important lost colonial buildings.”

Mr Speakman said the centre was a “fantastic new facility” for Greater Western Sydney. “It compliments Sydney Living Museum’s other two visitor experiences in Western Sydney, Elizabeth Farm and Rouse Hill House and Farm.”

MDC is open at 172 Showground Road, Castle Hill, every weekday.


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Office of State Revenue

Year: 2016
Client: NSW Department of Finance & Services
Location: Parramatta, NSW

JPA&D were invited to design and document the refurbishment of two existing spaces for the Office of State Revenue to provide collaborative working environments.
The Collaborative Hub required a new meals area and flexible furniture with collaborative walls of pinboard and whiteboard to facilitate communication in collaborative working, meetings, conferences and seminars. JPA&D worked with the end users to develop a colour scheme to suit their tastes and developed furniture options to provide maximum moveability and flexibility. The design for the collaborative walls combined coloured strips of pinboard to create a dramatic effect as well as a useable wall space. A charge bench was designed to enable laptops and other items to be recharged without obstructing the floor or taking up workspace. Sophisticated audio visual equipment was incorporated into this space. The corridor was enlivened with new paint finishes, an upgraded tea prep bench and new colourful secure lockers.
On level 6 existing workstations were reconfigured and new colours were added. A new space was created that was lined with collaborative walls of striped pin board and white board and was separated from the workstations by a glass writable wall. Movable furniture in a bright colour palette enlivened the space and made it flexible for a variety of meeting and collaborative working types.