The Hon. Peter O’Neill CMG MP, Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea (PNG), approached Jim Fitzpatrick Architects (JFA) in October 2016 to design an iconic building specifically for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit meetings to be held in Port Moresby in November 2018. Named ‘APEC Haus’, it was necessary for the building to provide the PNG Government with a notable facility of international standard. APEC Haus will host world leaders for the APEC summit in 2018 when 21 Pacific Rim member economies gather to hold forum meetings that promote free trade throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
For Jim Fitzpatrick Architects, the importance of international trade negotiations – already robust within PNG – formed the basis of the architecture of APEC Haus. JFA responded with an architectural language based on the strong cultural symbolism evident in the traditional hiri trade of the Motu-Koita culture. The dominant sculptural roof form and the central public art piece are contemporary references to the unique crab-claw shape sails found on traditional motuan ‘lakatoi’ (lagatoi) boat used during trade journeys. JFA also references customary lakatoi tattoo markings in patterning throughout the building as motifs within sustainably farmed Papua New Guinea timbers.
APEC Haus extends into Walter Bay on a peninsula adjacent to Ela Beach in Port Moresby. The building and its public art are emblematic of the trade and civic ambitions of Papua New Guinea and symbolises the historic and continued progressive trade of Papua New Guinea. The intent of the building post-APEC will be a world standard conference, museum and function/exhibition centre that will serve the people of PNG well into the future. Conrad Gargett were successful at tender to support JFA in delivering the project through documentation of APEC Haus.