Bice, a moment in the sun…

Working with heritage buildings requires care, patience, and the ability to deal with the unexpected. It also requires a desire to reintegrate old buildings into the day-to-day life of the city.


On Thursday night last week that care, patience and passion was rewarded, with the State Heritage Listed Bice Building at Lot Fourteen receiving the named award for heritage – The David Saunders Award for Heritage Architecture at the 2022 Australian Institute of Architecture’s South Australian Chapter Awards. It was an unexpected recognition for our team whose efforts spanned their transition from Hassell into Baukultur.


With great support from heritage consultants Purcell and the enthusiastic backing of our client Renewal SA, and the efforts of the consultant team of WSP, Katnich Dodd, Turner Townsend, D-Squared and RLB along with contractor Hansen Yuncken, the Bice Building has once again become a centre piece of this end of North Terrace.

​Although our studio is more known for its new buildings, heritage buildings have been an important part of our collective careers, especially over the last five years.


They have included:

  • the refurbishment of the Adelaide Festival Centre, arguably Adelaide’s most significant heritage building from the latter half of last century
  • The upgrade of the Supreme Courts in Victoria Square that resolved significant circulation cross overs to create a contemporary court environment while revealing the splendour of 19th Century buildings
  • The integration of the Telephone Exchange Building adjacent to the GPO into the GPO Exchange development, where it is now an important part of the foyer experience


All of these are listed in the State Heritage Register.

Add to this the preliminary design concept that formed the basis of the redevelopment of Her Majesty’s Theatre, and it is a body of work in which we feel privileged to have been involved.


A fundamental tenet of the concept of baukultur is to draw on the existing qualities of a place –natural, built and cultural – to add to the experience of our cities. Heritage is a key part of the existing baukultur of a place, one of the foundational layers of its cultural and built richness.


Our lived experience of working in another recipient of the David Saunders Award for Heritage – the delightful Darling Building in Franklin Street by our upstairs neighbours Williams Burton Leopardi – has cemented our thinking in this regard and reinforced our appreciation of the value of these wonderful places and their contribution to the life of our city.

We can’t wait to reveal the beautiful spaces that are currently taking shape in the new Marriot Hotel at Adelaide’s GPO late next year.


04.2021 1 year on

Baukultur, one year on…

Early last month we made it to an important milestone – our first full year in business!

Even with the complications of COVID, we feel we’ve achieved something.


We started Baukultur with a clear purpose. To give life to the insights that arise when design thinking inspires our collective imaginations. To use ‘design thinking’ to create built environments that have enduring cultural, social, environmental and economic value. And to do this collaboratively with our clients and communities.


But it’s one thing to aspire to something. It’s another thing to put it into practice.


We’re pleased to say that we feel we’re well on the way.

Our first-year highlights have been:


Designing and securing planning approval for the Entrepreneur and Innovation Centre at Lot Fourteen for Renewal SA. We wish Quintessential Equity and their design delivery team all the best.


Introducing design thinking to the formative stages of projects through business cases, including among others the Adelaide Concert Hall and Justice Sector initiatives. It’s always been our belief that design thinking has a critical role at the inception of projects, even before we put pen to paper. We will continue to advocate for this.


Revisiting the strategic planning of Adelaide’s most recognised precinct, Karrawirra Pari (the Riverbank) through the lens of its purpose, identity and millennia-old indigenous history – more on that soon

Other highlights have been:


Making the final shortlist of 18 for the Barangaroo Pier Pavilion design competition out of 178 entries (congrats also to the other SA practice who made the final – Tridente Boyce)


Seeing the completion of work from our Hassell days, including recognition for the Salisbury Community Hub at the SA Chapter AIA Awards and the rapid expansion of the terminal at Adelaide Airport which is due for completion in 2022


Working on our first residential project and


Just enjoying our wonderful studio in the Darling Building

Most of all though,


we’ve made some delightful new connections, and enjoyed the enthusiastic encouragement of many old friends – we couldn’t have done this without your support and engagement.


We’re looking forward to our second year and using our skills as designers to provide even more focussed, strategic and uplifting outcomes in the built environments in which we live.

07.2020 Lot Fourteen

Lot Fourteen – Entrepreneur and Innovation Centre

We’re delighted that the Premier of South Australia, the Honourable Steven Marshall MP has released the expression of interest for the new Entrepreneur and Innovation Centre – the centrepiece of the Lot Fourteen innovation precinct and Baukultur’s first commission!


Innovation buildings are an emerging typology. They need to support constant change and reconfiguration – an agile building.


But our experience tells that at their heart they are about bringing people and ideas together to create the new and unexpected. And with its two degrees of separation, Adelaide is just the type of city where this works exceedingly well.


Many thanks to the team at Renewal SA for their support, along with  KBR, Arup, dsquared and RLB


View the project

07.2020 It's all about the community...

Salisbury Community Hub an Award Winner

We’re proud on behalf of Hassell to have won the  Jack McConnell Award for Public Architecture and a Commendation for Interior Architecture for the Salisbury Community Hub at the Australian Institute of Architects SA Chapter awards.

We love these community projects, and we’re delighted at how the locals have embraced this one as their own – it’s worth checking out

From the Jury:

The architects have ensured that Salisbury Community hub displays a strength and consistency of architectural and interior expression from the external ground plane to the upper level.

The expressive foyer allows daylight to permeate the building’s spaces making the activities of Council staff and public apparent to each other. The design invites opportunities for community use, both internally and externally.

The building is sited immediately adjacent to a local cemetery and the design team has successfully embraced this unique site feature providing a strong sense of place for the building’s users, gently looking back to the past and nodding forward into an exciting future.

Photography: Baukultur and Lillie Thompson

View the project

03.2020 Covid-19

Unprecedented times…

In this ever-evolving landscape, the need for kinship is now greater than ever before. Foremost is the health and welfare of our community and reducing the risk of the spread of this infection.


We are following the guidance from the Australian and State governments, as well as the World Health Organisation, and like many in our community are minimising face to face contact where possible.


We are fortunate to have geared our business to be mobile, agile and highly adaptable, so you can be assured of a seamless service for your projects. Flexibility is part of our culture and a basis of our approach to working.


Our entire team are working remotely in our homes to deliver projects, benefiting from years of experience of virtual teaming – although we are dispersed across Adelaide, we are still working as a team. Business continuity is being maintained through a multitude of online technology platforms and the dedication of our staff.


This is a challenging time for us all, but now is a time to reflect, conceptualise, brainstorm and plan for the future. We hope that you are all remaining positive and that this experience will unite us as a community, more than ever.


We look forward to the day when we can connect again in person and welcome you to our studio. In the meantime, we will continue to work with you online – rest assured we are all here and striving to maintain business as usual.


This is a good moment in time to remember that through adversity comes ideas, innovation and reinvention to the benefit of all of us.


We hope you all stay safe.


Baukultur team

03.2020 Day #1

Baukultur opens its doors…

Baukultur [is a compound word]; it combines the verb to build or construct (Bau-) and the noun for culture or civilisation (Kultur), giving it a simultaneous meaning of a society’s particular ‘culture of building’ (how they go about creating their built environments) and the ‘building of this culture’ (how the quality of what they do and what they produce can be raised).

Matthew Trigg, Public Affairs Manager at London North Eastern Railway

It is with great delight that Chris Watkins, David Homburg and Mariano DeDuonni announce that this morning our new design practice baukultur opens its doors in the Darling Building, 28 Franklin Street, Adelaide South Australia.

baukultur isn’t business as usual – its driving force is design, but it is much more than a traditional architecture practice.

We will be harnessing our skills as designers, working collaboratively with our clients and our communities, and using ‘design thinking’ to create solutions to current-day challenges – built environments that have enduring cultural, social, environmental and economic value.


We know from 85 years of practice experience between us that design is a powerful tool for generating creative new solutions to disparate and complex challenges. We will continue to design, and we will use design processes to provide even more focussed, strategic and uplifting outcomes in the built environments around us.


Our practice will work toward both the creation ‘of architecture’ and ‘the architecture of’ a particular outcome – this is where our value as designers lies.

We can’t think of a better place than Adelaide to strike out in a new direction at the end of our long association with Hassell. We live and work here in Adelaide because we love the place and believe in this city. And working with us are some of the most talented people you can find anywhere!

We know that it is a great place for incubating new ideas and doing business across the globe – if you can get something working here, it will work anywhere.


baukultur’s purpose is to give life to the insights that arise when design thinking inspires our collective imaginations.


We look forward to continuing our working relationship with you.