Griffiths House is a new accommodation building is built on the site of HMAS CRESWELL in Jervis Bay, established in 1915 as the location for the Royal Australian Naval College. It provides short term accommodation for Officers of the RAN who are at HMAS CRESWELL to undertake leadership and management training, and consists of 32 single bed units with shared ensuite and deck facilities.
HMAS CRESWELL has major national heritage significance and is located on the Commonwealth Heritage List, is a Register of the National Estate and is classified by the National Trust of NSW. The site is characterised by white washed weatherboard buildings set out either in a formal manner around manicured lawns and gardens (the training precincts) or in a more organic fashion following natural contours and surrounded by native bushland (the accommodation precincts and married quarters).
The new building sits in an ambiguous zone, alongside buildings inappropriate to their location and climate (1970’s 3 storey face brick accommodation blocks), yet not sitting amongst the original graceful timber and terracotta tiled building stock of CRESWELL. As such this new building has determined its own built language, in an economic and robust manner whilst being sympathetic to its environment. It utilises the weatherboard cladding and vertical proportioned windows of the original building stock and picks up the gentle curved timber ‘bell’ detail typical in the decorative verandah elements of the original buildings, yet expresses the floor structure within a grid like pattern to reduce the scale of the three level elevations.
It employs simple yet highly effective sustainable devices to create a comfortable internal environment without the need for mechanical ventilation. It is a reverse brick veneer construction which provides thermal mass to the building, with a load bearing brickwork internal skin, and lightweight ventilated weatherboard external skin. The corridors are connected over 3 levels with ventilated skylights and voids, bringing natural light and cross ventilation to the common spaces, an initiative which required a fire engineered solution. The bedrooms are planned with a shared outdoor deck, which allows all bedrooms to be cross ventilated and in addition provides natural ventilation to the bathrooms. Rainwater capture is collected in storage tanks located underground.
The lapped white boards across the majority of building surface, the open boards over stair windows and verandahs, the curved ‘bell’ at each floor level, and the deep reveals provided by the shared decks creates a play of light and shade. This restrained composition allows the single material across the building’s facade to be modulated with texture, depth and interest.Location: Jervis Bay, Australia
Architect: BVN Architecture Project name: HMAS Creswell Griffiths House Category: Housing (inc mixed use) WAF: Entry2011
Award: World Architecture Festival 2011 – Shortlisted Photograph by: Christian Wild – BVN Architecture