Thursday 18 June 2009
A small school that’s reinvigorating western Sydney’s Greek Orthodox community has been named NSW’s best new public building at the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2009 NSW Architecture Awards.
All Saints Primary School at Belmore by Candalepas Associates was announced winner of the prestigious 2009 Sulman Award for Public Buildings at a special awards ceremony at the Sydney Hilton tonight (Thursday 18 June 2009). All Saints is the first primary school in NSW to receive the major award in 28 years, and it marks a first time Sulman win for Angelo Candalepas of Candalepas Associates.
In awarding the prize, NSW Architecture Awards Jury Chairman Sam Marshall said the project serves the Greek Orthodox community based around Belmore’s All Saints Church and offers “moments of delight”. He said: “It has an unassuming civic quality that is appropriately institutional, with a refinement and scale to the detailing that is right for children and families”, with the building already having “taken its place in the heart of the community”.
The school was one of three educational facilities dominating this year’s public buildings awards – with Architecture Awards also presented to the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Law, Library and Teaching Complex by fjmt (Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp) and the Jane Foss Russell Building at the University of Sydney by John Wardle Architects in association with Wilson Architects and GHD.
In a multiple win for fjmt, the University of Sydney’s Faculty of Law, Library and Teaching Complex also received an Award for Sustainable Architecture and a Commendation for Urban Design (with Jeppe Aagaard Andersen, Tinka Sack).
All up, a record 200 architectural projects were entered in this year’s awards, ranging from projects at Casuarina near the Queensland border to the Snowy Mountains and from toilet blocks to multi-million-dollar public buildings – with the jury awarding 41 awards and commendations across 10 categories.
Sydney’s party hot-spot, ivy, on George Street in the CBD, by Merivale Group, Woods Bagot and Hecker Phelan Guthrie, emerged as a major architectural winner – receiving the Lloyd Rees Award for Urban Design and a Commercial Architecture Award. The jury said: “ivy’s planning deftly understates the scale of the complex, which includes 18 bars, nine restaurants, a ballroom, a garden atrium and rooftop swimming pool, as well as two penthouse suites. In spite of its overall area, most of ivy’s venues retain a sense of intimacy more akin to a domestic environment, albeit an extravagant modern residence of the late 1950s.” They added, the relocation of laneways had “ensured a new vibrancy for these long-neglected spaces”.
The Milo Dunphy Award for Sustainable Architecture was presented to the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) in Ultimo by Smart Design Studio. The jury said, apart from the adaptive re-use of the existing warehouse building, a well-considered array of specific initiatives was successfully adopted. Jury Chair Sam Marshall said: “Across the range of projects visited, it was encouraging to see that environmentally sustainable design is no longer an add-on, but is fundamental, and seems to be both driven by client and architect. While this is comforting, we still have a long way to go given the widespread changes needed to be made over the next five years to save the planet.”
An exceptionally strong field of residential projects from across NSW were shortlisted for the State’s top residential award - the Wilkinson Award for Residential Architecture – which went to the Whale Beach House by Neeson Murcutt Architects, representing the second win in three years for design team Rachel Neeson and Nick Murcutt. The couple now join an elite group of architects to receive the award more than once, with Australia’s best known architect Glenn Murcutt holding the record at six wins.
A further five Architectural Awards and five Commendations were presented to outstanding new residential projects in this category, reflecting the strength of this year’s entrants. Of these, the Snowy Mountains House by James Stockwell received three major awards – an Architecture Award for Residential Architecture, the Blacket Prize for regional architecture and the Colorbond Award, with the jury saying the “building’s arched façade, curved spine and cocoon-like internal spaces are daringly anchored with fins of galvanised steel, at once tethering the house to its windswept site”.
A small budget, small-footprint house on the Central Coast, the Recycled Fibro Cottage by Michael Dysart and Partners P/L, received this year’s Small Project Architecture Award, with the jury saying: “This project celebrates the humility of simple weekenders, and the light touch of a masterful architect whose work here is both timeless and selfless.”
In a departure from recent years, when public buildings vied for top heritage honours, this year’s Greenway Award for Heritage Architecture has been awarded to a small budget residential project in Redfern – the Fitzroy Terrace by Welsh + Major Architects, with a further Architecture Award going to Luigi Rosselli Pty Ltd for a sensitive alteration and addition to a Professor Leslie Wilkinson house at Double Bay.
And in an encouraging sign for the mass housing market in NSW, a Special Jury Prize was given to The Logic at Homeworld in Sydney’s western suburbs by Environa Studio. The jury said: “The majority of new housing in NSW is designed by non-architects and the project home market in particular has, for many years, favoured quantity (floor space) over quality (liveability and sustainability). This has meant that buyers had little access to innovative sustainable design, and little opportunity to adapt standard project-home designs to meet the climatic/orientation needs of individual sites. The Logic represents an initiative to offer a better compromise to project-home buyers between cost per square metre and good (and more sustainable) design. The jury was enthused by the potential of this approach to deliver better designed and more sustainable homes to the broader market.”
This year’s Premier’s Prize, awarded by Nathan Rees and presented by Government Architect Peter Mould, went to Epping to Chatswood Rail Link by HASSELL. In his citation, Premier Rees said: “Providing public transport is an important, expensive and difficult issue for all cities. Sydney is no exception, but the new rail link between Epping and Chatswood has delivered first-class infrastructure for the city and its commuters. The architecture of its stations presents a complex and difficult design exercise. Solving at once issues of urban presence, customer amenity, engineering complexity and interiors that have a 100-year life expectancy is no mean feat. The fact that these issues have been resolved and the result is also fine architecture is a compliment to designers and clients alike.”
Another building standing the test of time and presented with this year’s 25 Year Award was The Curry House 2 by acclaimed architect Bruce Rickard. In its citation, the jury said this was “a seminal building by a talented and unassuming architect who has had an enormous influence on most Sydney architects”. They said “the strong, confident hand of Rickard is ever present, as is the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright and the shinto shrines of Ise”. The Curry House 2 won an RAIA Merit Award in 1983 and is included on the Insitute’s list of important 20th century buildings.
All Architecture Award winners are now in contention for the National Architecture Awards, to be announced in Melbourne on Thursday 29 October.
For a full list of award winners, jury citations, high resolution images, and interviews contact: