Crystalbrook Riley has received dual accolades Australian Institute of Architects’ Far North Queensland Regional Architecture Awards 2023.
The Cairns hotel, designed by CA Architects and ThomsonAdsett, has been honoured with the top gong ¾ the Eddie Oribin Award for Building of the Year. It also received a regional commendation for Commercial Architecture.
The project consists of fully refurbished accommodation wings housing 256 rooms with ancillary functions below, an expansive lagoon pool with varying sculptural decks at differing levels, and a new accommodation tower housing an additional 55 rooms.
The judges were impressed with the ground floor interplay between inside and out, public and private.
The new glazed, sculpted tower was described as “cleverly disparate from the renovated building behind” and was capped with a rooftop bar and restaurant.
“By challenging local town planning concepts and positioning this ambitious tower on the corner of the site, the negative space between the buildings has taken on a new life, and the tower acts as a significant marker along the Cairns foreshore landscape,” the jury said.
Newman Catholic College, designed by TPG Architects was awarded Far North Queensland Regional Project of the Year, and also a regional commendation in Educational Architecture.
The project is the first Catholic school in Australia co-located on a university campus.
The jury applauded the Smithfield college as exemplar of tropical architecture in the education sector, and one which masterfully responds to its varied contexts while successfully operating in its hot climate.
“From the highway ‘public face’, the building boasts a scale of strength and grandeur that allows the school to be identified from a distance and at speed,” the jury said.
“From the playing fields… the building continues to create its own identity above, giving the bystander small glimpses of the activity taking place inside, while proportionally still working at a larger scale.”
The judges cited “a contradiction of scale” that makes this building successful.
“Every element appears to have a dual function. The jury is excited to see the growth of the school as these thoughtful new stages are revealed,” they said.
St. Mary’s Catholic College—Hugh O’Brien Centre, designed by Clarke and Prince, was named The People’s Choice Award winner. The Woree college also received a regional commendation in Educational Architecture.
The region’s commended projects have now been shortlisted for the Australian Institute of Architects’ Queensland Architecture Awards. The state awards will be awarded on June 22, 2023.