Cape York Partnership Offices
The idea of the Cape York Partnership Offices was to reduce structure and material by expressing it as a
matter of efficiency and culture. The Offices are located in Cairns and surrounded by adapted 2 storey
'Queenslanders', multi-storey rendered block hotels and a service station. Upon entering the building, a
central informal lounge greets visitors with three skylights filtering the tropical sun into a series of softly
lit volumes. At the centre of the open office plan is a courtyard with native species from the locale. The
structural resolution enabled the expressed cantilevered steel truss to the street to brace the building,
with the cast-on-site concrete walls panels providing the remainder of the vertical bracing. The roof
takes advantage of the structural properties of cool room panels (with a reflective layer above) to
suspend the services, and provide a return air plenum with the ceiling grid. With the external fabric
performing at an optimum level, it was possible to minimize the mechanical plant and electrical loads.
The architecture extends and contradicts the 'less is more' ideal by expressing structure while removing
material as a means to an ornamental end.
Images: © Toby Scott