Architecture - Honours

The People’s Parliament

The Hall of Democracy aims to challenge and reform the way in which Queensland citizens perceive and engage with democracy. It has been dubbed the ‘People’s Parliament’ as will form the core of our reinvigorated democracy, with the interest of all citizens represented. Brisbane is an emerging ‘global city’, facing the challenges of sustainability and climate change. The Hall’s adaptability and sustainability is paramount, so it remains relevant to the evolving needs of the city. The Hall will function as a community hub and civic centre which integrates art and creativity, knowledge, history and diversity. It is a place for expression, to provoke change and serve its people, so that our society can function in a fulfilled, equitable way. This use is encouraged through the building’s floor plate, program and façade which speak of Brisbane’s history and culture whilst provoking and encouraging debate and community engagement. Local services, artists and academics will be invited to inhabit the space and engage with citizens to create a meaningful and useful building, telling the real story of what democracy means to Queenslanders. Before colonial Australia introduced the concept of democracy, Brisbane’s Turrbal and Jagera people lived by stories from the dreamtime as a moral code. They followed rules for living and interacting with the natural environment in order to sustain nature’s delicate balance. The building aims to integrate and embody this tradition of sharing knowledge and storytelling through its exhibition spaces, community services and learning facilities. The building is inspired by the dreamtime story of the rainbow serpent. The rainbow serpent is the protector of the land and its people, however it can be a destructive force if it is not properly respected, as with our democracy. “When the rainbow serpent first emerged, the world was flat dry and empty. As he trailed across the country looking for his tribe, he left an abundance of water and plants behind him. The further he travelled the more prosperous the land became. He is also thought to be in control of the weather and emphasizes the significance of water in human lives. Rainbows are thought to be the rainbow serpent hopping from one billabong to another after the rain.” In addition to its cultural references, the rainbow serpent is visually represented as a rainbow and a snake. The design of the Hall incorporates both references. These representations link the Hall to the coils of the winding Brisbane River nearby, which been interpreted and referenced in the floorplate.

The people’s parliament – a hall of democracy

luxfer system

The back plating of the Luxfer System is opaque photovoltaic glass, which generates renewable solar energy while reducing heat gain within the building. The textured, rainbow glass fins form a grid that mimics that of 1 William Street. The fins also project a phenomenal fountain of coloured light and shade into the perimeter atrium and deep into the structure, and at the same time serve a shading function. The fins vary in form from ribbed and rippled to plain glass, to intensify the colour and patterns spilling into the building. They are covered in a dichroic film, allowing light to be further refracted, creating kaleidoscopic projections into the building, which are constantly changing with the angle of the sun. The dappled, rippled and beamed light creates shadows, pools of light, rainbows and reflections off the water in its curved ponds and water features.

Lucy Hinchliff

Lucy believes that light determines the mood, aesthetics, complexity and functionality of architectural spaces as much as the design of the space itself. She is passionate a about sustainable design and believes architecture should always create a sense of place, make a meaningful contribution to its users and fit the context. This work incorporates references to indigenous history throughout the built form.