Architecture that adds value beyond the aesthetic dominates 40th awards anniversary

The 40th anniversary of Australia’s most prestigious, peer-reviewed architecture awards has highlighted the immense value architects add to their communities through truly exceptional design.

The awards provided an opportunity to celebrate what the jury noted was the “increasingly rare” public architecture of great standing. Notable among these projects was the Monash Woodside Building for Technology and Design by Grimshaw in collaboration with Monash University.

Currently the largest Passive House-certified project in the southern hemisphere that sets Monash on a path to net-zero by 2030, this building was one of the most awarded receiving both The Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture and The David Oppenheim Award for Sustainable Architecture.

The jury singled out this project saying, “The universality provided to this building through structure, daylight and amenity, through order in the plan and poetry in the whole, brings to light the architectural discipline like no other building noted by the jury this year.”

Another educational facility, the Barker College Rosewood Centre by Neeson Murcutt + Neille, won The Daryl Jackson Award for Educational Architecture for their success meeting the ‘oft-ignored’ challenge for large sports buildings of “humanising the space”.

The Bendigo Former Mining Exchange comprehensively reinvigorated by Williams Boag Architects won The Lachlan Macquarie Award for Heritage. The jury applauded the work undertaken saying it “displays both an enormous affection for the building, its meaning and story, and an intense desire to envision its ability to be useful for the future while enabling a deep and caring interpretation of the past.”

Similarly, lahznimmo architects and Aspect Studios work on Sub Base Platypus gave new life through adaptive re-use to the HMAS Platypus precinct in Sydney in what the jury lauded as “a profound and exemplary urban design transformation” winning The Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design.

The enduring value of public swimming pools as “public spaces at the cultural and community heart of Australian post-war society” was also recognised with not one but two separate projects recognised in this year’s awards.

Kevin Borland, John and Phyllis Murphy and Peter McIntyre, with engineer Bill Irwin’s work on the Olympic Swimming Pool stadium from the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne won a National Award for Enduring Architecture.

In a modern-day version, the Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre by Andrew Burges Architects and Grimshaw with TCL in collaboration with the City of Sydney received a National Award for Public Architecture for what the jury described as “playful work that inspires a consideration of how the enjoyment of water-based environments has developed the psyche of an entire culture.”

Architects’ capacity to add value also extends to projects in the private realm as abundantly demonstrated by this year’s winner of The Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (New). Peter Stutchbury Architecture won this prestigious award for Night Sky, a project that the jury initially thought was “naive and even under-considered”. However, a deeper exploration led to a far greater appreciation for the depth of skill and talent. In the words of the jury: “The potentially deeply problematic choices, deftly orchestrated, develop into a priority that is singular; a priority that is about the subject of the work, the desires of a disabled person to connect to the universe and galaxy.”

Also celebrating the extraordinary results from a powerful synergy between architect and client, Beaconsfield House by Simon Pendal Architect won this year’s Eleanor Cullis-Hill Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions). The jury notes the “The outcome of this modest intervention – a two-room extension and internal repurposing of existing spaces in a 1940s worker’s cottage – is exquisite.”

Kennedy Nolan’s work on The Lothian, “an exquisitely crafted and innovative townhouse proposition worthy of celebration” won The Frederick Romberg Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing.

Looking to the International Chapter, Kerry Hill Architects’ design of the One & Only Desaru Coast resort in Malaysia won The Jørn Utzon Award for International Architecture, exemplifying “its designer’s unique and highly acclaimed contribution to the development of a contemporary architectural language for the Asia Pacific region.”

The poised steel architecture BVN has created for the Australian Defence Force at the Lavarack Barracks as part of the Land 121 Facilities Project received this year’s COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture as well as a National Award for Commercial Architecture.  

While they say doctors make the worst patients, the same certainly cannot be said of architects practicing their profession on their own premises. Undoubtedly the most-awarded project of the year was Smart Design Studio’s work on their own new home for the practice of their architecture. Smart Design Studio in Sydney’s industrial periphery of Alexandria adapts existing warehouse structures in a feat of design excellence that saw it win The Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture, The Emil Sodersten Award for Interior Architecture and a National Award for Sustainable Architecture.

Jury Chair and Immediate Past National President Alice Hampson congratulated all winners and thanked all entrants.

“These awards attest to our profession’s inventiveness, imagination, pulchritude and multiplicity,” Ms Hampson said.

“Collectively, this year’s awarded works exhibit the richness, intelligence, viscerality, complexity, individuality and delight of which Australian architecture is capable.”

The 2021 National Architecture Award Winners were announced via a special livestream event for the second year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. They were selected from a shortlist of 57 finalists drawn from an original field of 807 entries.

Alice Hampson LFRAIA was joined on the jury by Angelo Candalepas LFRAIA, Robert Nation LFRAIA, Ingrid Richards RAIA and Cameron Bruhn Hon. FRAIA.

For media enquiries contact:

Fiona Scott | on behalf of the Australian Institute of Architects | +61 (0) 407 294 620 | fiona@fjpartners.com.au

FULL WINNERS LIST

COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture

 

COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture

QLD

Land 121 Facilities Project, Lavarack Barracks

BVN

 

Commercial Architecture

 

The Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture

 

NSW

Smart Design Studio

Smart Design Studio

National Award for Commercial Architecture

 

QLD

Land 121 Facilities Project, Lavarack Barracks

BVN

National Award for Commercial Architecture

 

VIC

Wangaratta Street

MAArchitects

 

Educational Architecture

 

The Daryl Jackson  Award for Educational  Architecture

NSW

Barker College Rosewood Centre

Neeson Murcutt + Neille

National Award for Educational Architecture

VIC

Penleigh Essendon Grammar School Music House

McBride Charles Ryan

National Commendation for Educational Architecture

VIC

Geelong College Junior School

John Wardle Architects

 

Enduring Architecture

 

National Award for Enduring Architecture

VIC

Olympic Swimming Pool

Kevin Borland, John and Phyllis Murphy and Peter McIntyre, with engineer Bill Irwin

 

Heritage

 

The Lachlan Macquarie Award for Heritage

VIC

Bendigo Former Mining Exchange

Williams Boag Architects

National Award for Heritage

NSW

Australian Museum Project Discover

Cox Architecture with Neeson Murcutt + Neille

 

Interior Architecture

 

The Emil Sodersten Award for Interior Architecture

NSW

Smart Design Studio

Smart Design Studio

National Commendation for Interior Architecture

VIC

Divided House

Jackson Clements Burrows Architects

 

International Architecture

 

The Jørn Utzon Award for International Architecture

International

One & Only Desaru Coast, Malaysia

Kerry Hill Architects

 

Public Architecture

 

The Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture

VIC

Monash Woodside Building for Technology and Design

Grimshaw in collaboration with Monash University

National Award for Public Architecture

NSW

Australian Museum Project Discover

Cox Architecture with Neeson Murcutt + Neille

National Award for Public Architecture

NSW

Gunyama Park Aquatic and Recreation Centre

Andrew Burges Architects and Grimshaw with TCL in collaboration with the City of Sydney

 

Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions)

 

The Eleanor Cullis-Hill Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions)

WA

Beaconsfield House

Simon Pendal Architect

National Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions)

QLD

Beck Street

LineburgWang

National Commendation for Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions)

NSW

The Hat Factory

Welsh + Major Architects

 

Residential Architecture – Houses (New)

 

The Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (New)

NSW

Night Sky

Peter Stutchbury Architecture

National Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (New)

NSW

Bunkeren

James Stockwell Architect

National Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (New)

NSW

Pearl Beach House

Polly Harbison Design

 

Residential Architecture Multiple Housing

 

The Frederick Romberg Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing

VIC

The Lothian

Kennedy Nolan

 

Small Project Architecture

 

National Commendation for Small Project Architecture

TAS

Floating Sauna Derby

Licht Architecture

National Commendation for Small Project Architecture

VIC

Jackalope Pavilion

March Studio

National Commendation for Small Project Architecture

NSW

Plastic Palace

Raffaello Rosselli Architects

 

Sustainable Architecture

 

The David Oppenheim Award for Sustainable Architecture

VIC

Monash Woodside Building for Technology and Design

Grimshaw in collaboration with Monash University

National Award for Sustainable Architecture

NSW

Smart Design Studio

Smart Design Studio

 

Urban Design

 

The Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design

NSW

Sub Base Platypus

lahznimmo architects and Aspect Studios

National Commendation for Urban Design

QLD

QUT Campus to Country

BVN