Dunn + Hillam Architects are based in Sydney, Australia. We work on projects throughout urban, regional and remote areas of Australia. We work as a critical practice combining building projects, research and teaching. We produce inspiring, innovative, responsible and practical architecture that is of an international standard. Our practice has a broad range of project experience producing architecture at different scales for domestic, commercial and government clients. Dunn + Hillam Architects has proven that as a practice we are consistently capable of delivering high quality design on time and on budget.
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Junee NSW, 2009
We believe that architecture is indivisible from issues of sustainability and social responsibility. We wanted the library to convey a sense of town pride and encourage social interaction. The library was conceived as a Junee building from its’ choice of materials, builders, suppliers, to the arrangement of spaces. We wanted to avoid the tyranny of the new, for it to be instantly familiar. It’s resolution is gleaned from 1880’s railway buildings that make up the town. Our goal was to reconstruct the street elevation using existing patterns. We wanted it to fit in, to be elegant and quiet but, to be a contemporary building. There has been a holistic, triple bottom line treatment of issues of sustainability. Embodied energy has been minimised, forms influenced by the desire for natural ventilation, light, heating and cooling. The climate control integrates passive elements, thermal mass, heat stack ventilation, rainwater collection and heavy insulation with a mechanical system that integrates night-sky cooling, chilled slabs, displacement ventilation and solar power. For a very tight budget this building has fulfilled it’s social and pragmatic brief, while maintaining a high standard of building. Decisions to ‘do less’ have benefited the project in more than mere economic terms.
South Coast House
South Coast NSW, 2010
Once upon a time this was a miners cottage clinging to the side of a mountain which falls into the Pacific Ocean. As time passed many accretions have formed around the original cottage, making the original patterns hard to discern amongst the modern house. It is a house many times recycled. Throughout the project-long conversation with the clients it was always felt that this pattern should be continued. The project made seemingly small interventions (patches, mending, stripping out, drawing together) in the internal spaces, which resolved many uncomfortable bottlenecks and inefficiencies in planning and in the relationship of the internal spaces to the deck and to the ocean. This is a house which embraces it’s geographical position. It describes, by it’s architecture, a life which is engaged with the climate and the topography. Views are carefully framed and still moments in the planning are crafted to bring particular aspects of the view, the light and the landscape into focus.
Botany NSW, 2009
In 2008 we completed a separate building on the northern boundary of the site that now accommodates our architectural practice. It is a brick and steel building reflecting the vernacular of the surrounding industrial buildings. We sculpted the volume in a pragmatic way, using sun shading modeling and close study of the relative scales of the (small) house and the (massive) industrial buildings around it. Many interesting issues arose from the development of this project with reference to new concepts of mixed use sites. Botany Bay City Council (and many other councils around Australia and the world) see the importance of developing old industrial areas in a way that can accommodate residential, light industrial and commercial functions. If people can live near their work, work near their shops and walk safely between them, the suburb has a constant life to it that benefits all. It is through projects like ours that these intentions can be tested and developed and we are pleased to have been able to work closely with the council planners to achieve this very successful outcome. Both the house and the studio face into the garden which is shared by architects, children, a dog and a productive vegetable garden. Work and life boundaries are blurred by the architecture. Commuting time is nil and family life is holistically included in our architectural practice.