Institute of Public Administration - Bully Beef Wing

Location: Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea
Client: DFAT / Technical Enabling Unit / Insitute of Public Administration
Status: Completed 2017


James Cubitt Architects were engaged by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) through the Technical Enabling Unit (TEU) to undertake the design and documentation of a new Administrative Building for the Papua New Guinea Institute of Public Administration (IPA). This project forms part of the Pacific Leadership and Governance Precinct reflective of a MoU between the GoPNG and GoA to support public sector education and training. The Administration Building affectionately known as the Bully Beef Wing, holds significant cultural value to PNG in particular the political environment through the involvement of many of the first leaders of Pre Independence PNG forming their ideologies and country ambitions eating Bully Beef under the shade of the now demolished A-Wing for which the Bully Beef Wing will replace. 

The design of the Bully Beef Wing and New Library (being completed by JCA) strategically redefine and renew the IPA campus.  Both buildings form gateways to the IPA Campus while creating a memorable landscaped space between; fostering a sense of place at the heart of the IPA campus. Effectively bookending the campus and in turn enhancing the existing green quadrangle within the campus. In particular with the Bully Beef Wing this opened the opportunity for increased connectivity with the existing Main Hall. One of the fundamental goals of the IPA was to improve the Campus function spaces not only for internal training and learning but to also enable the IPA to generate revenue through access to high quality function space for rent. This forms part of a broader plan to use income generated to further improve the campus facilities and add to the ongoing maintenance fund. In developing the masterplan and concept both buildings accept to the simple building form and east west orientation of the existing building fabric while playfully reinterpreting and revaluing the predominant use of face blockwork. The IPA currently comprises a number of single storey blockwork constructed buildings. A form reflective of its 60’s origins. What the buildings have proven is the idea that the fundamental design principles adopted then offer a low cost, low maintenance highly successful solution. Adhering tot this principles in a very contemporary way become essential in allowing the campus to retain its holistic and reserved aesthetic. Mosaic walls and internal screens have been treated as opportunities for integrated artwork as subtle layers of cultural significance. Breaking the mass and form and offering moments of colour and shadow. Both buildings are open plan environments with adjacent multipurpose meeting rooms to that facilitate a diverse set of group activities whether they are board room meetings, seminars, symposiums, lectures, tutorials or informal gatherings. The relationship between transparent open plan and enclosed meeting rooms is made dynamic through the use of timber screens and various forms of glazing motifs that create an environment where staff and students are empowered to choose the spatial quality that most suits their needs. The open plan spaces in both the new Administration Building and New Library are designed to be generous in scale, lively, mechanically ventilated but able to be naturally ventilated, naturally lit environments. They are designed so that the furniture and joinery within them create flexible and intimate work and learning environments.