MG/GT Administration Building

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The MG/GT community facility and administration building in Kununurra is shared by the Miriuwung Gajerrong Corporation and the Gelganyem Trust, two traditional land owner groups in the eastern Kimberley. The two-level building is used by the staff of both organisations and by the community that they serve.

A requirement of the clients was to ensure that the building created a welcoming presence and was open both to the environment and community. We engaged in an extensive process of stakeholder engagement and invited elders from both communities to develop the schematic design and approve the final design, ensuring a truly inclusive and supported outcome.

An important first move was to place the offices upstairs, creating a shaded public space on the ground floor for people to gather informally or meet with the officers of the organisations. Upstairs the internal finishes have been selected with an eye to the desire for a less corporate space and to continue the dialogue of an inviting environment.

From the street, a ‘green screen’ constructed from vertically aligned painted steel angles provides cohesiveness to the two volumes of the building. During the day this screen creates a shaded, non air-conditioned space to be used for meetings outside of the offices; at night, the screen glows like a beacon providing a striking silhouette visible in the town.

The building’s materials and finish are necessarily tough. To enable the building to better cope with Kununurra’s climate, and the heavy user wear that it will receive, steel and fibre cement is used extensively as an external cladding. These robust materials are continually tempered by the use of colour throughout the project.

This project received an Architecture Award in the Commercial Category of the 2013 AIA Awards.