Sowing the seeds

Inspired both by hearing Jeremy McLeod of Breathe Architecture speaking about it on The Architects and Melbourne Coffee Review glowing endorsement of its coffee I thought it was about time to check out Seven Seeds, whose website describes themselves as:

A small micro roaster located in Melbourne, Australia. We source green coffee from around the world and concentrate on Estate, Micro lot and Single Origin coffees.

Seven Seeds, was the winner of the Award for Sustainable Architecture at the recent AIA Victorian Chapter Awards and it’s a building that wears its environmental credentials on its sleeve. From the bike racks on the wall as you enter through to the use of plywood cladding throughout and  its use of water tanks as a heat sink as well as for the collection of water is the kind of sustainable design that really rocks my world. There is none of the fancy whizz bang technology of recent winners of the Sustainable Architecture Award (an award that should really be rendered defunct because of its commonality) with the building relying simply on good common sense. It is the kind of sustainable idiom that is easily attainable by all without the need for spending up big.

As for the coffee, unlike the architecture, I was a tad disappointed by my long macchiato with soy  milk. And yes I know it’s a bit of wanker coffee.

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Sticking to convention

For the third year in a row, the Australian Institute of Architects Victorian Chapter has stuck to convention (pun intended) at its annual awards night by handing the big awards to the biggest project entered, namely the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre by NH Architecture.

Personally, I’m not exactly a big fan of this project which I premise by noting that I only have been inside its foyer. In particular what irks me about the project is its lack of respect to DCM’s Melbourne Exhibition Centre and that your first glimpse of it as you enter the city via the Westgate Freeway is of the DFO outlet.

Also not a fan is Melbourne architect and RMIT adjunct professor of architecture, Norman Day  who stated that it:

”Suffers the weight of trying hard to be up to date and fulfil a giant need for providing space.These two characteristics are not necessarily opposite, but perhaps a less effusive shaping of walls and ceilings so they appear different would have saved many trees.”

Other winners are on the night were Wood Marsh for their Port Phillip Winery and Eastlink Freeway and Lyons for the Lyon HouseMuseum which I visited and was impressed by a few weeks back. idontwearblack favourites, McBride Charles Ryan also picked up an award won for their Fitzroy High School project.

Whilst the usual suspects picked up awards some of the smaller and lesser known practices such as Breathe Architecture, March Studio and another idontwearblack favourite, Multiplicity also were recognised for their work.