Crocodile Hunter Lodge by WD Architects is the recipient of the Regional Project of the Year at the 2023 Australian Institute of Architects’ Sunshine Coast Architecture Awards.
The Beerwah project is a luxury wildlife hotel and restaurant inspired by Steve Irwin’s legacy.
“Crocodile Hunter Lodge translates the well-known and loved Australia Zoo playfulness into a refined high-end dining and café experience with skilful restraint,” the jury said. “Rammed earth walls are a delightful feature throughout the internal spaces of this reimagined ‘agricultural shed’.”
Crocodile Hunter Lodge also received a Regional Commendation in the Commercial Architecture category.
Other projects commended at the Sunshine Coast 2023 Australian Institute of Architects’ Regional Architecture Awards demonstrate the strength and diversity of the region’s architecture.
Gabriel Poole Award for House of the Year
Family Tree House by Phorm architecture + design took out the top residential gong, winning the Gabriel Poole Award for House of the Year.
The jury said: “The Family Tree House is a thoughtful renovation of a much-loved beach house that reconnects it to both public (street) and private (backyard) domains”.
The project is a light-filled update of a Moffat Beach holiday home with striking timber and corrugated iron interiors. The jury noted that “modesty and patina are celebrated, with the quality and versatility of spaces taking precedence over size and quantity”.
Sunshine Coast Regional Commendations
Hogg and Lamb’s J&M House received a Regional Commendation in the Residential Architecture – Houses (New) category in the Sunshine Coast region. The “ingenious” holiday house is a deft response to a triangulated, sloping site. A central “void” unites different areas of the property.
Sparks Architects Pty Ltd took out two Regional Commendations in the Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions) category for projects respectively titled The Barn and Frangipani.
Alongside new and altered residences, civic projects were also honoured.
Sunshine Coast City Hall, a new council hub by Cottee Parker Architects and COMUNiTI, received Regional Commendations in the Commercial Architecture category and the Sustainable Architecture category. Jurors said that the building “establishes an important design benchmark for local commercial urban form, signifying the transition of this Region to compact urbanism”.
In the Urban Design Architecture category, a Regional Commendation also went to Sunshine Coast Council’s Sunshine Coast Design & Education Campaign.
Kawana Waters State College S Block by arkLAB Architecture received a Regional Commendation in the Educational Architecture category. The project also received the People’s Choice award.
2023 Australian Institute of Architects’ Sunshine Coast Architecture Awards are generously sponsored by ACE (Partner), Fielders Lysaght (Partner), Laguna Bay Blinds (Supporter), and DUCE (Supporter).
All of the region’s commended projects have now been shortlisted for the Australian Institute of Architects’ Queensland Architecture Awards. The state awards will be judged and awarded in June 2023.
Local chapter members also organised “The Architecture Crush,” a week of events and exhibitions leading up to the awards ceremony on Friday, June 2. Highlights included an “architect for a day” workshop for high school students and panels events on climate-responsive architecture.