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   -   Commendation in The Australian Institute of Architects Award for Commercial Architecture (NT)

Imparja Television Studio



Conceptual framework Imparja Television Studio in Alice Springs is the first fully-digital television station in Australia. This landmark construction has huge cultural, political and social significance for the Alice Springs community and the people in remote areas of Australia. For the people of the Red Centre, the iconic building, which sits prominently in the Alice Springs Civic Precinct, is symbolic in that it represents a local success story. Twenty years ago Imparja became the first indigenous-controlled commercial television station in the world. Today, it transmits to a footprint larger than Western Europe, including some of the most remote areas of Australia. A bold Architectural language communicates this achievement. With its large scale, striking colours (referencing the traditional Indigenous pallet), expanse of sun shading and enormous satellite dishes perched on the roof, the building sits in stark contrast to the brilliant blue Alice skies and grey/ greens of the surrounding native Australian landscape. Public and Cultural Benefits The progressive symbolism that the building offers has been celebrated by the local community. Relationship of Built Form to Context The large scale building gives a much needed presence to the high-profile corner in the centre of town. The integrated footpaths and landscaping is a major new pedestrian space in Alice Springs. Program Resolution The brief was to deliver a technologically advanced television studio, and a building which advertises the arrival of Imparja as a world class broadcaster. We strove to provide an

architectural land mark that would offer a certain sensory impact that communicates this message. Integration of Allied Disciplines Being located on a flood plain, it was necessary to collaborate with allied disciplines so as to ensure the integrity of the building structure and broadcasting operations, in the case of a natural disaster. The integration of specialist digital facilities (including the central digital hub and satellite dishes), as well as acoustic considerations, also informed many aspects of the building design. Cost Value Outcome Council agreed to the building footprint occupying virtually the entire site, leaving no open space. In return, the client agreed to install a large, landscaped verge and footpath on council/ government land. This enabled the Architect to provide an under croft car park in lieu of an at-grade car park, and remove an entire floor from the building. In doing so the project was delivered within budget. Sustainability The expansive sun shading of the building facades ensures that the need for air- conditioning is minimised. The road verge, which was previously barren, now boasts an array of water wise, native species. Response to Client and User Needs The new landscaped verge is intended to be a catalyst for further upgrades in what is proposed to be an 'interpretive walk' precinct along Todd River. The building becomes a town feature at night with its creatively illuminated facades. Its presence connects the shopping/ entertainment precinct in Todd Street Mall, with the Tourist Precinct on Barret Drive.

Project Team
Project architect: Vicki Jacobs
Project Director: David King-Jones
Electrical Engineer: Kevin Byrns Consulting
Mechanical Engineer: MGF Consulting
Structural Engineer: Wallbridge & Gilbert
Civil Engineer: Wallbridge & Gilbert
Acoustic Engineer: Bassett
Surveyor: GHD
Contractor: Sitzler Bros
Photographer: V. Jacobs
Photographer: V. Jacobs
Photographer: V. Jacobs
Photographer: V. Jacobs

Photographs by V. Jacobs, V. Jacobs, V. Jacobs & V. Jacobs, text by WOODHEAD

Link directly to this award entry: is the website of The Royal Australian Institute of Architects