Charles Wright Architects Pty Ltd
Charles Wright Architects Pty Ltd was established in 2004 and is a contemporary design practice with offices in Port Douglas, Melbourne and Shanghai. We are at the forefront of environmentally sustainable design (ESD) and driven toward carving out a new direction for a progressive architecture. We are a company with fresh perspective and specialist technological capabilities to develop iconic and sustainable solutions to complex problems. We possess the required experience, knowledge, information and contacts to develop a successful architectural outcome for any scale project and are constantly researching and developing new and innovative ESD initiatives that are cost effective.
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Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitors Centre
Cairns, Far North Queensland, 2011
We set-out to design a “green” building which represents a paradigm shift for Cairns, moving away from the conventional building vernaculars toward new and progressive solutions that can be applied anywhere on a tropical latitude. This project is a new, iconic gateway into the botanic gardens and tanks arts centre precinct – “a democratic public space under-cover” – a challenging new architecture for the tropics which will act as an attractor to assist Cairns in its mission to be seen as a progressive city nationally and globally significant. Council called for the building to be long, low and blending seamlessly with the surrounding environment (ideally invisible). We proposed a design which literally reflects the gardens as camouflage for the building with visual effect similar to the suit as worn by the alien hunter in the original 1987 Predator film. We sited the new building to straddle and activate the pedestrian promenade linking the gardens with the Arts Centre, acting as an open and flexible conduit into the interpretive and performative spaces. The project team had a collective desire to develop a world-class ESD, flexible office and mixed use public facility which wasn’t reliant on complex technological solutions or costly maintenance.
Port Douglas, QLD, 2007
This house was developed as an investment for the client – the Wright family. This is where the conceptual framework emerged in the form of helicoidal minimal surface geometry – like that of the Wright brother’s first kite flyer, airfoils and even in the tail of a breaching southern right whale. We found the (w)right proportion in the Golden section and used the Fibonacci spiral dissection as a form of fractal design generator. The intention was to create a strange attractor, an enigmatic signifier – an extraordinary landmark that doesn’t look like anything identifiable. The project attempts a democratic poetry as a result of conflicting forces & contradictions producing bizarre results.. Helicoidal twist was a generator for roof forms in conjunction with maximum & minimum prescribed roof pitches under the building covenants for the development. The maximum allowable plot ratio for the site resulted in the area under a Fibonacci dissection of a golden rectangle sized in accordance with mandatory boundary offsets. There was serendipity in the outcomes that could not be ignored. We wanted to create a very ‘cool’ house and ESD initiatives were critical design generators in conjunction with other conceptual concerns. The entire building opens onto reflection ponds and pools allowing for evaporative cooling.
Shannonvale QLD, 2008
Sited within a 16 hectare estate in world heritage tropical rainforest, the initial design brief called for a signature sustainable country residence to provide eco-tourism opportunities as an executive retreat. The conceptual framework for the project embodies ongoing pre-occupation and experimentation core to our practice in the idea of un-conventional outcomes from a set of conventional criteria. The climate of the wet tropics enables you to think about buildings in an entirely unique manner