Victorian architects have dominated the prestigious Australian Institute of Architects’ National Architecture Awards 2018 in Melbourne tonight, winning six named awards as well as numerous national awards and commendations.
This year’s winners displayed a commitment to sustainability, urban regeneration and social activation, with educational, public and residential architecture the big stand outs. There was also a regional focus, with major public and commercial projects in Bendigo and Geelong taking out key awards.
RMIT’s New Academic Street by Lyons with NMBW Architecture Studio, Harrison and White, MvS Architects and Maddison Architects, won the Daryl Jackson Award for Educational Architecture and a National Award for Urban Design. The jury said the dramatic transformation of existing buildings reconfigured the heart of the university, creating ‘a city in a city, rich in connections, technology, diversity and complexity’.
In addition, Monash University’s Learning and Teaching Building by John Wardle Architects was awarded a National Award for Educational Architecture and a National Award for Interior Architecture, illustrating a ‘renewed commitment to bringing teaching and learning spaces … into a much more contemporary mode’.
Sean Godsell Architects’ House on the Coast won the prized Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (New), which the jury described as ‘an exploration of refinement and reduction’. The holiday house, nestled into a steep sand dune bordering national park, is focused on privacy and connection with nature, created to take in the most spectacular ocean views.
The Frederick Romberg Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing, was awarded to 35 Spring Street by Bates Smart, a 44-storey luxury apartment tower on the edge of Melbourne’s CBD. Designed with the location’s history in mind, the tower’s facade reflects a layering of fabric inspired by the bygone rag trade of Flinders Lane and the masonry patterning of Spring Street’s significant political buildings.
The innovative Nightingale 1 multi-residential project by Breathe Architecture was recognised for its outstanding environmental credentials, winning the David Oppenheim Award for Sustainable Architecture. The Melbourne-based development also won a National Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing for its ambitious vision ‘to shift the status quo of apartment design in Australia’. The jury noted ‘sustainability extends beyond the building into the social and economic elements’, encouraging its inhabitants to live as a community.
Bendigo Hospital, designed by Silver Thomas Hanley with Bates Smart, won the Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture. Described as ‘permeable and inviting, with a restrained demeanour that sensitively acknowledges that the hospital can be a place of life-changing events’. The design represents a new model of the hospital that ‘embraces the holistic nature of health and the important role that the environment plays in the wellbeing of a whole community’.
Barwon Water by GHDWoodhead was awarded two prizes, the Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture and a National Award for Sustainable Architecture. The project was a site renewal, adapting an existing 80-year-old buildings in Geelong’s CBD to create an intimate, sustainable and state-of-the-art workplace. The jury said it ‘sets an excellent precedent for re-using the aged, underperforming building stock located in regional centres throughout Australia’.
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.
The full list of Victorian award winners is:
The Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture – Barwon Water by GHDWoodhead (VIC)
The Daryl Jackson Award for Educational Architecture – New Academic Street, RMIT University by Lyons with NMBW Architecture Studio, Harrison and White, MvS Architects and Maddison Architects (VIC)
National Award for Educational Architecture – Monash University Learning and Teaching Building by John Wardle Architects (VIC)
National Award for Interior Architecture – Monash University Learning and Teaching Building by John Wardle Architects (VIC)
The Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture – Bendigo Hospital by Silver Thomas Hanley with Bates Smart (VIC)
National Commendation for Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions) – King Bill by Austin Maynard Architects (VIC)
The Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (New) – House on the Coast by Sean Godsell Architects (VIC)
National Commendation for Residential Architecture – Houses (New) – Compound House by March Studio (VIC)
The Frederick Romberg Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing – 35 Spring Street by Bates Smart (VIC)
National Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing – Nightingale 1 by Breathe Architecture (VIC)
National Commendation for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing – Campbell Street by DKO Architecture and SLAB (VIC)
The David Oppenheim Award for Sustainable Architecture – Nightingale 1 by Breathe Architecture (VIC)
National Award for Sustainable Architecture – Barwon Water by GHDWoodhead (VIC)
National Award for Urban Design – New Academic Street, RMIT University by Lyons with NMBW Architecture Studio, Harrison and White, MvS Architects and Maddison Architects (VIC)
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