GENTON

Developed and championed by our students and graduates, Genton’s ‘336 Hours’ design — a quarantine facility conceived to nurture mental health — has been shortlisted for the AA Prize for Unbuilt Work. Established in 1992, the award invites conceptually rigorous, inventive responses to contemporary architectural issues, aiming to promote debate and generate ideas by rewarding compelling work in its conceptual stages.

“We’re so proud of our students and architectural graduates. It’s wonderful to see the quality of their ideas recognised by such a respected panel of industry leaders,” says Genton Principal Marc Debney.

“The competition brief was shared at our monthly practice meeting and, for many, COVID presented the most compelling issue with an architectural solution. We asked ourselves, ‘how can the quarantine period be used to improve people’s mental health?’”

“Our students and graduates took ownership of the project. They really enjoyed having free rein with the brief, testing their ideas and working collaboratively.”

336 Hours enables guests to tailor their quarantine experience through customisable accommodation and a choice of three different communities: Social, Fitness, and Focus. 

Guests arrive from the airport and move through the check-in facility, where a COVID test is performed and luggage is screened. Once complete, they hop on an autonomous vehicle that transports them to their accommodation.

Modules are autonomously assembled prior to arrival, moving along a network of raised tracks which enable reconfiguration to take place with minimal impact to the existing landscape.

From the three experience-based communities, guests choose where their unit is located, with Fitness providing additional amenities for running and physical activity; Social centering an open-air central screen among pods, where interactive activities are hosted in which guests can participate; and Focus offering opportunities for guests to relax and focus on specific tasks with landscaped buffers and increased privacy.

“As a design-led practice, we are strong advocates for design competitions, and our consistent growth has been contingent upon these successes. Though it’s our first time submitting for this prize, it’s provided a great opportunity to empower our students and graduates and, with guidance from the Principals, see them embrace our design-led philosophy,” says Debney.

The winner of the prize will be announced on 13 January 2022 on ArchitectureAU.com and in the January/February issue of Architecture Australia magazine.

View the 2021 AA Prize for Unbuilt Work shortlist via ArchitectureAU.