Ngunnawal Bush Healing Farm, Miowera ACT

role Architecture and Construction Phase Support value $11.7 million area 882m² completion date November 2016 client St Hillier's Group  

peckvonhartel was engaged by St Hilliers to provide architectural and construction advice for the Ngunnawal Bush Healing farm, an ACT Government Health facility for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander alcohol and other drug rehabilitation services. The facility will implement culturally appropriate prevention and education programs located at Miowera, a working farm located on the outskirts of Canberra.

The project has been created to architecturally respect and represent indigenous and cultural heritage and will directly benefit the local indigenous community. The design comprises an eight bed facility with the ability for a sixteen bed facility in the future as well as indoor and outdoor recreational facilities. Whilst not involved in initial design and construction documentation, peckvonhartel provided succinct construction documentation when co-ordination issues and insufficient detail had the potential to interfere with the construction timeline.

Keeping with the initial design and strong client feedback, the detailing and resolution of the bespoke rammed earth wall and complex geometry of the black butt timber “boomerang” roof became a priority for peckvonhartel. Regular site visits and a close working relationship between St Hillier and peckvonhartel ensured that problem resolution was readily achieved. As part of the due diligence, an energy efficiency consultant was engaged to ensure the construction documentation would provide an environmentally sustainable outcome whilst staying true to the initial design concept.

Key challenges include the resolution of the curving and raking rammed earth wall geometries, the complex roof structure which points to a place of significance on the site and the articulation of the brick work. Key strengths demonstrated include the detailed review of the construction documentation that lead to the implementation of 3D modelling to resolve inconsistencies and co-ordination issues that were not readily apparent in the 2D documentation initially provided.