The inaugural SA Architecture Medal has been awarded to Meals on Wheels SA Head Office by JPE Design Studio. The SA Architecture Medal provides an opportunity to focus on one outstanding program from the SA Awards program. Identifying this project from this year’s eligible entries was not an easy task with a number demonstrating excellence across all key criteria. However, after careful consideration, Meals on Wheels was presented the Award at tonight’s SA Awards Party.
An exemplar project and a testament to the fact that architecture is for everyone, Meals on Wheels is an investment in culture, community, and place both at a client and wider societal level.
Well considered and executed architecture provides value at many levels. It demonstrates the commitment of a client to the building’s occupants, supporting them to achieve their best through the provision of highly functional, healthy, and welcoming facilities. It shows respect for the people and place in which it is located, adding to the amenity and character of the locality. It respects the environment by responding to the local climactic conditions and minimising impact on the land. It demonstrates technical excellence, in both the way it is conceived and constructed. It also provides delight in what can be a relentlessly utilitarian and drab world.
The jury noted that the Meals on Wheels project does all these things. It will facilitate this important social enterprise to attract and retain great people and provide valued support to those who have great need of it. This new facility enabled Meals on Wheels to continue to provide bodily and social nourishment to many South Australians throughout all the challenges of 2020.
This project demonstrates what can be achieved when a committed client and a highly skilled architectural team come together to create a place. The result is a building that is an investment in the future, and which will provide Meals on Wheels with the opportunity to support the community through high quality delivery of their services for years to come.
Also awarded during the night was the SA Emerging Architect Prize to Dino Vrynios at Das- Studio. Despite an intensive working schedule, Dino has invested considerable efforts into co-founding and championing the Festival of Architecture & Design and establishing the Future Forums initiative and was noted as a worthy winner by the jury
Acknowledging the toll that a heavy workload takes on mental health, he saw a reassessment of priorities and a shift in career path. This led to the establishment of a new practice in 2019 with his partner. The practice ethos recognises the desire to conceive a better way to craft architecture; one that allows creativity, quality of product and work life balance all to thrive in tandem. It also allowed him to pursue an interest in modular construction.
This practice has proven to be extraordinarily successful. Rapid growth over the last 2 years has seen it become ‘home’ to an expanding group of mostly young graduates and recently registered architects.
Dino Vrynios has made the most of his 12 years since graduation and has been progressive in his approach across architecture, education and mental health awareness. Dino now leads Das-Studio with partner Sara Horstmann, mentoring many emerging architects in the process.