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Defence Projects

176 Air Despatch Squadron Relocation, RAAF Base Richmond


Parachute Packing Facility: A parachute washing and repacking facility comprising goods receiving and despatch area, washing area, 20m high shakeout and drying tower, repacking areas, repair shop and main storage areas.

Other Ranks’ Accommodation: Accommodation for 40 soldiers comprising 10 units each accommodating 4 soldiers. The buildings are arranged in clusters of two and three units with one way pitched roofs and skylights. Our planning and design for the 176ADSQN’s Other Ranks’ Accommodation were so appropriate to Defence’s needs that it was used as a prototype for subsequent accommodation developments.

Quartermaster’s Store and Transport Compound: Storage and workshop facilities to allow relocation and consolidation of the Squadron in one location.

Australian Defence Force War Gaming and Peacekeeping Facility


This high security facility is used for war games, military planning and education. It includes a 100 seat lecture theatre, 50 seat war-gaming operations room, planning and seminar rooms and offices. The design allows for expansion without compromising the security and productivity of its current form.

Designed and documented by Michael Davies Architecture, in conjunction with one of Australia’s largest building companies, the innovative modification and interpretation of Australian Defence Force’s design brief allowed submission of ‘non-complying’ bid and rearrangement of areas of various spaces, together with addition of seminar rooms all within original tender cost.

The war-gaming offices were ‘slipped apart’ to allow the planning rooms to be relocated further into the core of the building. As a result, the fixed elements of the toilets, stair and bridge were centralised, with three wings of open, flexible space extending from the core to the north (planning rooms and future offices), west (war-gaming offices) and east (peacekeeping offices). This increased the feasibility of the building being expanded in these directions in the future.

The revised footprint of the building allows the two-storey high gallery space to rest on the axis of the existing main building. Access between buildings is more direct and the relationship between them is more clearly defined. The rearrangement of the planning rooms and their incorporation into the main body of the building means that the first floor slab can continue over the planning rooms more easily. This inclusion will prevent the necessity of decommissioning the planning rooms in order to build the proposed offices in the future.

The relocation of the planning rooms closer to the gallery spine also ensures better communication between the planning rooms, lecture/war-gaming theatre and operations rooms, and computer/control areas. The ‘fixed’ elements, comprising toilet, stair, bridge, etc, are located to better serve all areas including the future offices.

The heart of the facility is the Lecture and Gaming Theatre. Lecture room seating is provided in a gentle radial pattern and is set on tiered timber-framed platforms. The Lecture and Gaming Theatre is generally carpeted throughout, including the tiers, which are used for return air in order to avoid penetrating the acoustic barrier provided by the ceiling above. The walls of this space are developed and sculpted to provide acoustic absorption and reflection. The ceiling is similarly sculpted to provide acoustic reflection and to control reverberation times.