Building History

Adam Hannon of Cox Architecture

Adam Hannon of Cox Architecture

You may not know his face, but you have seen Adam Hannon's work, ranging from Adelaide Oval to Her Majesty's Theatre. Adam is an architect and urban designer who has shaped award-winning Adelaide landmarks and spaces. 

Graduating from The University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of  Architecture Studies in '93 and a Bachelor of Architecture in '97, Adam's career has taken him to Sydney, Melbourne and Singapore, but working on iconic projects in his home state of South Australia that has been the highlight. As a Director of Cox Architecture, he was lead architect for the Adelaide Oval redevelopment and Design Director for the award-winning Adelaide Botanic High School, Her Majesty's Theatre, Karen Rolton Oval and many more of our state's important public and private projects.

"There's never been a more exciting time for architecture in our city," said Adam.

"Adelaide is really growing, it's being activated and is really well placed to harness emerging technology.

There are so many projects, and all the architecture firms are so busy that there's plenty of opportunities for new graduates to get embedded and gain experience. When I graduated most of my class had to go interstate to find work but that's absolutely not the case now."

Adelaide Oval Redevelopment: image John Gollings Photography

Adelaide Oval Redevelopment: image John Gollings Photography

We asked Adam what makes a distinctively Adelaide design.

"Adelaide is a unique boutique cityscape where the parklands are a ribbon that connects the city to a beautiful landscape," he said.

"Protecting our green spaces has retained the city's character. Our rich history allows us to blend and combine historic settings with contemporary design, celebrating the social and cultural history of each site. With Adelaide Oval, we designed three pavilions that stop it being overbearing by responding to the setting, allowing views of the parklands and acting as a gateway to the city and the river, giving each a distinctive personality and view of its surroundings, from heritage brick arches and a traditional village green on the western stand, to the eastern stand's views and forecourt of parkland, and the riverbank stand acting as a gateway to the city." 

Adelaide Bontanic High, image: Sam Noonan Photography

Adelaide Bontanic High, credit: Sam Noonan Photography

Sustainability is at the heart of all Cox Architecture's projects.

"It's about understanding the site and its history to incorporate both passive design, such as utilising natural light and ventilation through orientation, and active design elements like solar power, water collection and low carbon energy systems," Adam said.

"Our current project at 60 King William Street is the first commercial building in the state with a full electric plant and services arrangement. At Botanic High School, the sustainability services are exposed, becoming an educational tool in their own right as they are displayed for students to see.

"The University of Adelaide is such a great place to study architecture - in the heart of the CBD with all the contemporary buildings, but also embedded in the landscape with the campus opening out onto the river.

"I'd encourage students to get everything you can from Adelaide, embrace everything the city has to offer, both its history and the contemporary design that surrounds you."

Adam Hannon will be leading 'Make history: the art of placemaking' as part of Illuminate Adelaide at Elder Hall on Saturday 16 July. Attendance is free, find out more.

Story by Catherine Woods

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