Architecture - Honours

Hall of Democracy

In this project, the concept of democracy is explored and conceptualised into a public building as a beacon for Brisbane’s ever-evolving governing principle. The inception of this design begins from the understanding the basis of our process in lawmaking. Henceforth, the reinterpretation of the lawmaking process is translated into spatial qualities that are arranged in such a way to embody the concept of democracy.

Site Plan

Site Plan

In this assessment we are tasked to come up with a design that can symbolise the concept of democracy. The design will be located in the CBD, near the city’s governmental and heritage listed buildings, including Queensland parliament and The Mansions. Due to this it is important for a symbol of democracy to be built at the site. The design is to be called ‘Hall of Democracy’, a place where people can come together and practice the concept of democracy. This hall was to be a powerful symbol of equity, inclusion, diversity and transparency.

In response to this request, we have started to formulate our design by relearning and understanding the meaning and value of democracy. In our interpretation of democracy, we recognise the importance in equality and equity, transparency, and is made by and for the people. To link this into a design we have decided to re-interpret the concept that is the cycle of lawmaking and turning it into spaces that will provide opportunity for the public to practice democracy in. The program of the design is to follow each of the steps of law making in a radial orientation circling the concept of clarity and unity.

Before delving into the program, the orientation of the building is an important element in responding to the context. In establishing a responsive design, the design is aimed to retain the axis that stretches from the North to the South, and East to the West. This is established by placement of main entrances as well as placing the enclosure of the building to allow such circulation. The building itself is divided into 3 pavilions connected by bridges allowing open and closed circulation within the site. In addition, the design orientation is to maximise view into and out from the site which is why the outskirts of the building is facing all directions while the core is facing towards the centre of the site.


Floor plans

Render of Library from an Entrance.


The library is the interpretation of research and information gathering process. In turning this process into a space, the theme of enlightenment is used as a basis of the design. The entrance to the library is set as a low ceiling while the rest is set with high ceiling pushing through the second level encased in luxfer prism to allow light to come in into the space while still having a dimmed area.
Rendered Image of Collaborative Space

Collaborative Space

Then from the library the arrangement continues to the collaborative area which is to symbolise teamwork a reinterpretation of the drafting process in lawmaking. This area is designed to support openness and collaboration by arranging three open levels connected by seating staircases which allow numerous activities to take place.
Rendered Image of Auditorium and Debating Chamber

Auditorum and Debating Chamber

Following the collaborative space, the debating chamber is placed on the South side of the site reinterpreting the process of the bill presentation in lawmaking. In this area, the main idea about communication. This area is designed to allow people to voice their opinions or hold a debate. The speaker’s area is purposely stepped down with skylight placed above to emphasise the importance of listening to the speaker’s speech. All in while, the seatings are placed above the speakers as a representation of the importance of the public attention.
Rendered Image of Courtyard

Courtyard and Community Kitchen

Then the program continues on until we arrive at the community kitchen and food garden. This area is some of the representation of basic human needs being food, rest and connection to nature. In this area, the public are encouraged to be inclusive and care about their surroundings. The area is designed to allow the interaction with one another as well as nature and connecting through the use of open space. The food garden is also partially a centre point for meeting on the site.
Rendered Image of Glass Bridge


All of these ideas are connected by bridges and hallways that explore the idea of novelty following on the concept of human needs. The bridges and hallway are designed to guide the public through this process of lawmaking from one area to another in a circular manner. However, freedom in movement is still offered throughout this journey to allow the public access throughout the site however they would like.

One of the connection bridges utilises Luxfer prism panel – liquid lens as the flooring material. This choice is done to further emphasise the concept of transparency while adding into the notion of novelty as the public journey through the building. The liquid lens panel is made out of laminated glass, liquid centre encased in acrylic and concave lens. All these materials are then wrapped in an aluminium framing to structurally be connected during construction. The lenses work in a way where light or daylighting can pass through the stagnant liquid and project prismatic patterns onto the lower levels.
Rendered Image of the Great Hall

Great Hall

In the centre of all the reinterpretation of the lawmaking process, sits the Great Hall which symbolise transparency and greatness. The Great Hall acts as both the main entrance point as well as transition point from one space to another while still be able to be repurposed for a range of activities. The Great Hall is enveloped by a dome protruding from the roof higher than all the other areas of the site as a beacon of democracy for the site. Just under the skylight, sits an inverted dome with a water feature that symbolises both the flow in life as well as the water in human needs. This inverted dome is made of aluminium framing with glass panels allowing the water to fall from the dome to the centre of the room. In the centre of the room a well sits capturing the water pouring while underneath, a pond topped with glass flooring allowa the public to walk over this collected water from above. From there the water is circulated to the treatment system in the basement to be filtered and treated taking out of all minerals so it can be recirculated back to the top of the inverted dome.

Luxfer Prisms

The design of the building is encased in two layers of shading device. The outermost layer being a steel mesh shading device. This choice of steel mesh shading device as a skin for the building is done as a visual symbolism of water flowing from the top of the building to the site while physically it is acting as a shading device casting shadow into the landscape and the building.

On the inner layer, we have used Luxfer panel shutter range in a curtain wall system. This panel is used across the design as the skin of the building that has the ability to adjust the amount of light that can be brough into the building. The panel itself is made of a double concave glass, a service motor riser, an acrylic base lens, an aluminium aperture lens with rubber ring with a low e-coated glass panel sitting facing the exterior and enclosed in an aluminium framing. The use of double concave glass allows light coming in or out of the building to be refracted allows a more distributed illumination. This panel is fixed using hinges to allow easy opening for the purpose of maintenance of the whole panel. Service motor risers are designed to connect cables and motor to operate the shutter from one panel to another in an easy manner. Then the shutter is installed on an acrylic panel to allow light while the shutter itself controls if more lights it to enter the panel or to be kept at bay. Finally, the low-e glass is placed on the exterior to protect the panel but also decrease the unwanted heat from entering the building.

physical model

Technical Documentation
File Type
File Size
Download File
Presentation Panels
File Type
File Size
Download File

Tristan John Radam

Tristan John Radam is a student graduating from a Bachelor of Design majoring in Architectural Studies, with minors in both Landscape Architecture and Domestic Construction. His interests include construction management, inclusive design practices, sustainable design principles, as well as physical model making and photography.