The Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre has scooped four of the highest honours at this year’s Victorian Architecture Awards.
Presented by the Australian Institute of Architects, 43 awards and prizes were announced at a dinner on Friday 25 June attended by nearly 800 guests.
The Melbourne Convention Centre and Exhibition Centre by joint venture architects, Woods Bagot and NH Architecture has been honoured with the 2010 Victorian Architecture Medal for successfully crossing design boundaries and taking out awards in four categories: the William Wardell Award for Public Architecture, the Steel Architecture Award, an Award for Sustainable Architecture and the esteemed Melbourne Prize.
Chair of Awards Task Force and Chair of Juries, Ms Sally Draper, says this is a construction that has been carefully crafted to make it a significant architectural experience for Melbourne and internationally, sentiments echoed by the jury.
“It is conscious that it is part the tradition of architecture being in the frontline of making public spaces a significant part of Melbourne’s cultural reputation,” she says.
The Melbourne Convention Centre has been fully integrated with the Melbourne Exhibition Centre to create the most versatile and advanced convention and exhibition centre in the Southern Hemisphere.
Setting new world benchmarks as the first convention centre to be awarded a 6 Star Green Star environmental rating by the Green Building Council of Australia, the centre is also raising standards to new heights in innovation, technology, imaginative catering and service options.
The top award for commercial architecture, the Sir Osborn McCutcheon Award, went to Wood Marsh Architects for the Port Phillip Estate Winery. Described by the jury as being like “an archaeological artefact revealed by drifting sands, the rammed earth walls of Port Phillip Estate winery spiral from the earth and heighten anticipation of what lies below.”
An organic expressionist architecture is discovered through an exploration of space and program. Spaces are not forced from the plan but teased out from the junctions and proximities of curving walls and subtly articulated with architectural details that respond to the underlying geometry.
Another major winner is the ANZ Centre by HASSELL and Lend Lease, honoured with the Marion Mahony Award for Interior Architecture and a Commercial Architecture Award. The ANZ Centre is the largest 6 star green commercial office building in Australia. Briefed, designed and constructed over a five-year period, this is an exemplary project demonstrating the highest levels of commitment and stamina from a multi-disciplinary team of interior designers, industrial designers, graphic designers, architects and landscape architects.
“It is refreshing to be reminded of what can be achieved when there is an alignment of budget, an informed client, a committed builder and an experienced and imaginative design team,’” notes the jury.
The stunning LyonHouseMuseum has won the Harold Desbrowe-Annear Award for Residential Architecture. Lyon Housemuseum is a family home that has been designed around an extensive collection of art. A function of the Housemuseum is to share the art collection with the community via public access. The success of the project has been the delicate and confident weaving of a sensitive family home through the towering galleries and spaces, says the jury.
Winner of the John George Knight Award for Heritage is The RMIT University Building 9 Rooftop Extension by Peter Elliott Architecture + Urban Design. The construction extends the purpose of this notable building in a masterful and sensitive way. The voluminous and predominately white interior is approached through a series of entry and circulation spaces that are, by contrast, black in finish. The interior has been deftly handled to provide flexible office accommodation that can be spatially negotiated through the operation of large sliding doors and retractable partitions.
Skipps Shade Structure by Grant Amon + Nervegna Reed Architects was presented with the Small Project Architecture Award. Descibed by the jury as “a butterfly lands in a severe black-top quadrangle at St Kilda Park Primary School. Its black steel skeleton supports a multi-coloured, transverse striped retractable roof” which cleverly employs the principle of leverage, and transforms an awkward area into the major social space of the school.
Seven Seeds by up-and-coming firm, Breathe Architecture, is a city edge warehouse converted into a coffee roastery and café. According to the jury, it embodies the client’s ambition “to provide a stimulating environment that showcases a transparent relationship from farm to cup”.
This hidden away café was awarded the Sustainable Architecture Award because of its potential as a model of how sustainability issues might best be considered as complex interconnected systems that have cultural, technological, economic and educational implications.
The Deer Park Bypass by Peter Elliott Architecture + Urban Design uses steel in its most efficient manner and with aesthetic authenticity to make it the winner of the Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture and Urban Design Award. “In contrast to its function as a noise wall the Deer Park Bypass appeal is in its confident silence, like a serpent sunning itself in the sun,” says the jury.
The Joseph Reed Award for Urban Design was given to Eastlake Freeway by Woods Marsh. This project extends the previous Freeway work of Wood Marsh, but it is a more ambitious, and richer, result. “Here they have succeeded in inventing a remarkable imaginary panorama through highly complex palette of forms and materials,” says the jury, who also notes, “With the extensive environmental initiatives, and the best public art program the jury has seen, this project could be one of the most progressive freeway designs in the world.”
There were 191 entries competing across 11 categories in the 2010 Victorian Architecture Awards, described by Ms Sally Draper as another extraordinary year.
“The standard and quality of design entries continues to rise ever higher, showing the strong local commitment to the advancement of ideas in this state,” said Ms Sally Draper.
Of the 43 accolades announced, 37 winners of Victorian architecture awards move into national contention to compete against winners from around the country. The National Architecture Awards will be announced in Melbourne in late October.
An exhibition of all Victorian Award entries is on display at Guildford Lane Gallery, 1st Floor, 20 – 24 Guildford Lane, Melbourne.
Winners list attached. Jury citations and high resolution images available.
The Institute's Victorian Chapter is grateful for the support of its 2010 awards sponsors: Aurecon (Public Architecture), Autodesk (Residential, Multiple Housing), AWS - Architectural Window Systems (Commercial Architecture), Colorbond (Steel Architecture), Department of Planning & Community Development (Regional), Dulux (Residential Architecture) and Kingspan (Sustainable Architecture).
All awards recipients are now in the running for National Architecture Awards, to be announced in late October.