Projects old and new shine for Queensland at National Architecture Awards

An iconic brutalist court building, an information centre made from recycled wharf wood and a luxury beachfront apartment complex were among the diverse Queensland winners at the Australian Institute of Architects’ National Architecture Awards.

Five Queensland projects have been recognised as part of Australia’s premier architecture awards, which were announced in Melbourne tonight.

The winners included:

National Award for Enduring Architecture – Townsville Courts of Law – Edmund Sheppard Building by Hall, Phillips and Wilson Architects Pty Ltd
National Award for Small Project Architecture – Northshore Pavilion by Anna O’Gorman Architect (Brisbane)
National Award for Residential Architecture (Alterations and Additions) – Gibbon St by Cavill Architects (Brisbane)
National Commendation for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing – M3565 Main Beach by Virginia Kerridge Architect (Gold Coast)
National Commendation for Interior Architecture – Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre by BVN (Gold Coast).

Townsville’s Edmund Sheppard Building, part of the Townsville Courts of Law, has been awarded for its enduring design legacy.

Completed in 1975, remaining striking and relevant to this day, the jury described it as ‘a rare example of an intact brutalist building in the dry tropics’ and ‘representative of a period when regional public infrastructure was designed and constructed to the highest standards of the day.’

Brisbane’s Northshore Pavilion, located beside the Brisbane River, was built using recycled nineteenth-century ironwood wharves.

Designed as a place for Economic Development Queensland to share information on future plans for Hamilton Reach, Queensland’s largest waterfront urban renewal precinct, the jury was impressed by the architect’s research into the historical use of timber construction within the maritime context.

‘Northshore Pavilion is a mature work of architecture that contributes to the established regional movement dedicated to timber sustainability,’ the jury noted.

‘The Pavilion sits as both entry marker and landmark.’

Jury chair and Immediate Past President Richard Kirk said the National Awards provided an opportunity to reflect on how Australia’s diverse landscapes, urban environments and economic conditions influence and inform our architecture, enriching our culture.

‘Projects at this level are all accomplished but it was those that could demonstrate their value broadly, beyond the limits of the brief and the confines of the site, which were nationally recognised,’ he said.

‘Most impressive were projects that established new design benchmarks and whose influence can be of value to the broader community, leading to positive change in our built environment.

‘For the jury, it was important that all the awarded projects implemented sustainability initiatives at a conceptual level, taking a holistic approach. It was impressive to see the growing sophistication and ingenuity in this domain.’

National President Clare Cousins congratulated all award recipients and finalists for their valuable contribution to Australian architectural practice.

‘In Australia, we have developed our own brand of architecture that defines who we are and where we come from,’ she said.

‘These awards are the most recognised and competitive in the industry. They are peer-judged and involve an exhaustive selection process, with site visits to shortlisted projects, allowing the jury to experience the quality of the work firsthand.

‘They showcase the continuing evolution and diversity of our craft and the changing needs of our society, illustrating the vital role architecture plays in the lives of all Australians.’

The local winners were among 12 projects to receive named awards, 20 that received national awards and eight that received national commendations from a shortlist of 69 projects drawn from a total pool of 975 of national and international entries.

2018 National Jury

Richard Kirk (Chair) – Immediate Past President of the Australian Institute of Architects; Director, KIRK
Jill Garner – Victorian Government Architect
Katelin Butler – Editorial Director, Architecture Media
Charles Wright – Director, Charles Wright Architects
Kevin O’Brien – Principal, BVN