ANU Building takes out top honour in ACT architecture awards

The Australian National University Birch Building Refurbishment by Hassell has been awarded the Canberra Medallion – the pre-eminent award for architecture – at this year’s ACT Architecture Awards. 

Hassell’s thoughtful reinterpretation of the 1968 heritage-listed building celebrates its past and transforms it into a best-practice building that supports contemporary education and research. 

Along with the Canberra Medallion, the building was also awarded the J S Murdoch Award for Heritage, Enrico Taglietti Award for Educational Architecture and the W Hayward Morris Award for Interior Architecture. 

Manning Clark House by Robin Boyd received the Sir Roy Grounds Award for Enduring Architecture. Sixty-nine years after its completion Manning Clark House has many design features which were innovative for their time and are now accepted as sound design and sustainable features for modern houses. 

There was keen competition in the Residential Architecture – Houses (New) category with 12 projects vying for awards. Jingston House by Rob Henry Architects was awarded the Malcolm Moir and Heather Sutherland Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (New), the top award in this category. The Jury noted, “Situated in in a cul-de-sac adjacent to a suburban nature reserve, the project’s restrained exterior presents a contextual politeness that counters the strength of the interior.” Hugh Gordon Architect received a Commendation for McPhee Place House and Thursday Architecture received a Commendation for SALO. 

Rob Henry Architects also won the Robert Foster Award for Light in Architecture for Blue Sky House. The Jury noted that Blue Sky House’s resourceful inversion of a standard roof truss has revealed an array of design opportunities that capture and deliver northern light, enhancing a key design move of connecting the dwelling with the south facing rear garden.  

Secret Garden House by CCJ Architects took out the Gene Willsford Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions) and the Pamille Berg Award for Art in Architecture. A modest monocrete house that has been transformed into a delightful and comfortable home charged with a new lease on life, the Secret Garden House is characterised by the concept for a vertical garden screening the length of the house that generates from one of the clients’ own paintings. De Rome Architects received an Award in the Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions) for Ziwa House and Cox Architecture received a Commendation for Smitton House. 

The Award’s Jury Chair, Erin Hinton, said the ACT Architecture Awards were an opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the significant and enduring contribution that architects and architectural projects make to our region and our communities. 

“Several project themes emerged across the categories such as architecture as a catalyst for bold civic and public engagement, architecture as a mediator between past and future, and architecture as foundational to the values of family, safety and retreat,” she said. 

The House with Old Roots, by The Mill: Architecture & Design was awarded the Derek Wrigley Award for Sustainable Architecture. This highly liveable and functional family home achieves high levels of energy efficiency through passive solar design. 

Bates Smart was awarded the Sir John Overall Award for Urban Design for Constitution Place, the John Andrews Award for Commercial Architecture, and an Award for Interior Architecture. The Jury noted, “Constitution Place is a masterly contribution to the centre of the Griffins’ city beautiful vision for Canberra.” 

COX Architecture received the Sydney Ancher Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing for well-known buildings Alexander and Albemarle. Their work has delivered a valuable contribution to Canberra’s apartment landscape and a lesson in adaptive reuse, sustainability, and high-quality outcomes.  

Finn Street House by Ben Walker Architects won the COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture. 

Ms Hinton said it was encouraging to see the breadth and depth of ways in which architecture was conceived and delivered across the 46 projects entered. She also paid tribute to the projects from emerging architects who represent the future leaders of the profession.  

The EmAGN (Emerging Architects and Graduate Network) Project Award went to Owen David Architecture for Scissor House. The successful architectural outcome of Scissor House by a sole practitioner in the EmAGN demographic is built evidence of leadership and substantial professional development gained by Owen Abbott.  

The Australian Institute of Architects Awards program offers an opportunity for public and peer recognition of the innovative work of architects. The program also provides the Institute with a valuable mechanism to promote architects and architecture across Australia and internationally.  

The ACT winners will now progress to compete in the National Architecture Awards program, recognised as the most prestigious and rigorous of its kind.

2022 ACT Architecture Award Winners

*Please note that the named award in bold is the highest award in each category.

Canberra Medallion

  • ANU Birch Building Refurbishment | Hassell | Canberra Medallion

Hassell is awarded the Canberra Medallion for the ANU Birch Building Refurbishment – a project of an exemplary standard.  The work by Hassell on this significant and very large ANU building is restoration, celebration and interpretation of a significant heritage place demonstrating a detailed and thorough understanding of the importance of the building.

Art in Architecture

  • Secret Garden House | CCJ Architects | The Pamille Berg Award for Art in Architecture

Commercial Architecture

  • Constitution Place | Bates Smart | The John Andrews Award for Commercial Architecture

COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture

  • Finn Street House | Ben Walker Architects | Award

Educational Architecture

  • ANU Birch Building Refurbishment | Hassell | The Enrico Taglietti Award for Educational Architecture
  • Morison Centre | Stewart Architecture | Award

Enduring Architecture

  • Manning Clark House | Robin Boyd | The Sir Roy Grounds Award for Enduring Architecture

Heritage Architecture

  • ANU Birch Building Refurbishment | Hassell | The J S Murdoch Award for Heritage

Interior Architecture

  • ANU Birch Building Refurbishment | Hassell | The W Hayward Morris Award for Interior Architecture
  • Constitution Place | Bates Smart | Award
  • Flow Yoga | Craig Tan Architects | Award
  • BLOC Office | Mathieson Architects | Commendation
  • 15 Moore Street – Refurbishment | Thorne Architecture | Commendation

Light in Architecture

  • Blue Sky House | Rob Henry Architects | The Robert Foster Award for Light in Architecture

Public Architecture

  • National Jewish Memorial Centre | Philip Leeson Architects | Commendation

Residential Architecture - Houses (Alterations and Additions)

  • Secret Garden House | CCJ Architects | The Gene Willsford Award for Residential Architecture
  • Ziwa House | de Rome Architects | Award
  • Smitton House | COX Architecture | Commendation

Residential Architecture - Houses (New)

  • Jingston House | Rob Henry Architects | The Malcolm Moir and Heather Sutherland Award for Residential Architecture
  • McPhee Place House | Hugh Gordon Architects | Commendation
  • SALO | Thursday Architecture | Commendation

Residential Architecture - Multiple Housing

  • Alexander & Albemarle | COX Architecture | The Sydney Ancher Award for Residential Architecture
  • MICA | Stewart Architecture | Award
  • Estate | Collins Pennington Architects | Award
  • The Bradfield, Downer | AMC Architecture | Commendation

Sustainable Architecture

  • The House with Old Roots | The Mill: Architecture + Design | The Derek Wrigley Award for Sustainable Architecture

Urban Design

  • Constitution Place | Bates Smart | The Sir John Overall Award for Urban Design

For media enquiries contact:

Rosanne Barrett on behalf of the Australian Institute of Architects
M. +61 0425 420 024 | hello@barrettcomms.com.au