Paul Berkemeier Architect Pty Ltd
Paul Berkemeier established his practice in 1988 and has since worked on a variety of urban, residential, commercial and exhibition projects. The practice is dedicated to providing outstanding design quality and client service. It has won several major design competitions and received numerous architectural awards.
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Maitland Regional Art Gallery
Maitland, NSW, 2009
Winner of MBA Prize for Building Excellence. Winner of 2010 Premier’s Prize, RAIA NSW Architecture Awards.
2006 – 2010 The project includes major new gallery spaces for permanent and travelling exhibitions, café and ancillary facilities as well as alterations to two existing historic buildings and new connecting links.
The new building fits between the existing gallery, housed in Vernon’s 1909 former technical college, and the 1911 classroom wing at the rear of the site. The latter was adapted to provide workshop spaces, an artist-in-residence studio and apartment, children’s corner and double height installation space.
In association with Barry McGregor & Associates.
Kia Ora Homestead
Scone, NSW, 2005
Winner of Invited Competition Winner of HIA/CSR Australian Home of the Year, Hunter Home of the Year, Custom Built Home of the Year and Most Efficient use of Water.
The site is exposed and dramatic, commanding a series of vistas over the Kia Ora Stud, the Segenhoe valley and distant mountains. The owner was particularly interested in developing an architectural solution that understood the uniquely Australian qualities of the place and held an invited competition to test approaches by four different Architects. The final design evolved from the conceptual base of the winning scheme.
The approach road and arrival sequence are carefully planned to heighten the drama of the site. The full scope of the outlook unfolds only after visitors park, walk along the screened pathway and enter the house. Once inside each room reveals its own special relationship to the setting, either a dramatic vista or intimate outlook to garden or landscape.
The homestead, out-buildings and associated enclosures generate a series of outdoor spaces, each with its own character and offering choices between sun or shade; shelter or exposure; active or passive use.
The building is carefully fitted into the contours, with field stone, dug from the site itself, facing the base and walls, anchoring the building to the hillside. The long folded roof forms which hover above, follow the lines of the hill making the building feel at one with its setting.
Hay, NSW, 2002
Winner of a two stage national design competition, RAIA National Commercial Award & Colorbond Award 2002, NSW Commendation for Public Building & Colorbond Steel Award 2002, Australian Steel Institute Award 2004,
Shear Outback is a museum and interpretive centre on the outskirts of Hay in western NSW. It documents and celebrates the role of shearers in Australia’s growth and development. The complex includes a new museum and associated facilities, a re-erected 1920’s woolshed, gardens, dams, windmill, tanks and levee banks.
The site plan and building design evolved from careful analysis of the landscape, climate and regional precedents as well as the functional requirements of a small museum. The new building is placed near the Sturt Highway, forming a sheltering barrier to traffic noise. Two long earth berms engage the building and landscape, overlapping to define the entrance and form an edge to a lush garden which will grow over time into a shady retreat, reminiscent of the formal gardens of an old homestead.
The former Murray Downs woolshed has been re-erected at a distance from the new building so that it is seen as an object in its own right, displayed against the broad horizon.
The new building is composed of sloping planes that define the major spaces and punch skywards to make a dramatic silhouette. The fully conditioned museum is complemented by more economical spaces with natural ventilation and evaporative cooling. Tall steel blade walls shelter the Hall of Fame, a robust space that evokes the character of the great woolsheds. Heat extractor boxes above harness the stack effect to draw air through the building. A low cantilevered verandah runs the length of the building, forming a contrasting space to frame the horizon and contain the never ending sky of the Hay plain.
In association with Jane Irwin Landscape Architecture