Michael Banney’s UQ architecture 2018 lecture at the State Library provided a brief glimpse into his (and the M3 team’s) design approach.

Using as example diversely scaled and purposed projects, he illustrated his search for a more profound connection to site, and applying the ordinary in extraordinary ways.

The presented work revealed a deeper consideration for their location, the essence thereof becoming a core driver in the design process. Be it the respectful acknowledgement of an ancient tree in its spatial expansion and façade treatment, the subtle imprinting of the “ghost” of a bygone structure in an eaves line, or imprinting an image synonymous with the heritage of an institutions in a façade treatment, the underlying spirit of the site will be a significant driver in generating the design.

Their quest for an evolved, as opposed to a preconceived design, accounts for the diversity of the Banney / M3 portfolio.

Unsurprisingly, careful consideration of all aspects associated with a project will ensure a magnitude of design generators that will result in a truly significant result. Finding supporting links between them provides functional and economic justification.

The lecture reminds architects of the fascinating and exploratory nature of our profession, aspects that becomes so easily lost in its rushed commercial reality. Regulatory, economical and administrative aspects often become the primary focus, making concept driven consideration almost redundant. The presented work clearly reveals the significant value added to the built environment by designs that establish links to its broader location, reveals the history of its site, and acknowledges its existing features rather than erase them.

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