2021 nt
Architecture
Awards Winners

Tracy Memorial Award | George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens Visitor and Event Centre | Hully Liveris Design Company | Photographer: Hully Liveris

2021 National Architecture Awards

2021 NT Architecture Awards - results

The Australian Institute of Architects Awards program offers an opportunity for public and peer recognition of the innovative work of our NT architects. The program also provides the Institute with a valuable mechanism to promote architects and architecture within the Northern Territory, across Australia and internationally.

Chapter specific Awards

Tracy Memorial Award

George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens visitor and Event Centre | Hully Liveris Design Company

The George Brown Visitor Centre embodies the notion of Genius Loci embracing its spirit of place both within the Botanic Gardens and within the broader context of Darwin. It has provided the Botanic Gardens with a new educational, community and social focus as well as a place for respite and contemplation.  

It provides an exemplary example of a work of public architecture, which explores the potential of Darwin’s tropical climate adopting the form of an elongated tropical longhouse pavilion.  A generous verandah space meanders along the length of the building connecting a series of spaces housing an interpretive visitor centre; small retail outlet; event space and support amenities. 

The centre has been carefully sited within the Gardens at the base of Frangipani Hill, which forms a natural gathering place providing high visibility and accessibility. The building form engages with the landscape creating long vistas towards the lilypond and fountain as well as framing views through the building towards a new amphitheatre created on Frangipani Hill.  

The centre has been warmly welcomed by the community hosting a wide variety of events and has provided a renaissance for the Gardens with increased visitation. 

The George Darwin Botanic Gardens Visitor and Event Centre is a legacy building providing a benchmark for future public buildings in the Northern Territory and in particular Darwin and is a most worthy recipient of the Tracy Memorial Award.  

NT Chapter Awards

Student Award | Isabella Wynveld

Isabella describes her journey into the Architecture profession as challenging yet memorable, crediting Charles Darwin University with provided a unique academic experience. Her introduction to the Institute was formed in her second year, attending events and using SONA’s resources, and she took part in a student led conference in New Zealand.

The NT Chapter congratulates Isabella Wynveld on receiving the 2021 NT Student Prize.

President's Award | Ken Suter

Ken came to Darwin in 2004 to take up the role of Chief Financial Officer at the newly formed Charles Darwin University.

Ken soon found the role of the CFO at Charles Darwin University included may functions other than Financial Management, when the Vice Chancellor asked when was he going to build the new Higher Education Building in Alice Springs. This was followed by the building of the CDU Chancellery.

The Global Financial Crisis resulted insignificant stimulus being channelled through Universities and Ken moved from being CFO to a full-time role managing a major capital works programme, including building one of Darwin’s early green star buildings.

Ken moved back to the CFO role for a period in 2016 but is now back project managing CDU projects

People's Choice Award

People's Choice Award

Casuarina Senior College Library Refurbishment | Ashford Group & Schapel Interiors

Congratulations to Ashford Group and Schapel Interiors for the Casuarina Senior College Library Refurbishment which was voted overall winner of the NT Chapter’s 2021 People’s Choice Award.

COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture

The Malabar Apartments | In4D

Multi Residential in Darwin is commonly constructed in concrete block, which whilst robust and efficient to erect is relatively thermally inefficient as the blockwork stores and re-radiates heat into the apartment environments.  The blockwork also requires ongoing maintenance to seal it from the constant and heavy wet season rains experienced in Darwin.  

Malabar Apartments addresses these issues through the use of Colorbond corrugated sheeting as a sun and rain screen to clad the perimeter blockwork shell. The use of the Colorbond cladding is strategic being restricted to external exposed blockwork walls, with the deeply recessed block walls to balconies left unclad.   

The jury found the project’s application of Colorbond to be highly commendable providing a good environmental outcome by improving the insulation and energy performance of the building skin as well as reducing life cycle costs for the development and its occupants. In addition the Colorbond sheeting provides a cost effective and meaningful way of adding expression and articulation to the built form of the development providing an important benchmark for residential apartment buildings in Darwin. 

Commercial Architecture

The Peter Dermoudy Award for Commercial Architecture

Manunda Place | Sissons

The ACT Government office building marks the regeneration of both the Dickson precinct and Northbourne Avenue corridor. The building in its clear two-part form acts as a hinge where these two places meet. Each side of the building has its own glazed and grided articulated façade that sits comfortably with each other. The siting of the building hard up to Northbourne Avenue creates a plaza to the east which forms the primary entry zone at street level. A careful shift of geometry between the two parts creates an atrium that ensures light penetrates to the heart of every floor. The atrium with its elegant spiral stair as a focus then forms the natural location for circulation both vertically and horizontally. Curved sweeping balconies wrap around its edges creating a layered effect that draws the eye to the light from above and creates places for users to rest and meet. These balcony edges are made with human scale and touch in mind to invite interaction, comfort and delight. Such integrated care in detailing which draws the composition together can be seen throughout from the façade to the canopy at reception to the design of integrated signage for workplace neighbourhoods.

Educational Architecture

Commendation for Educational Architecture

Casuarina Senior College Library Refurbishment | Ashford Group & Schapel Interiors

The Casuarina Senior College Library Refurbishment has transformed a tired underutilised Library space into a vibrant new Resource Centre designed around current teaching and learning pedagogies. The centre incorporates a variety of learning environments including collaborative; informal, and independent study spaces. The project is to be commended for delivering a significant educational benefit for a modest intervention and budget. 

public architecture

Reverend John Fynn Award for Public Architecture

George Brown Darwin Botanic Gardens Visitors and Event Centre | Hully Liveris Design Company

The George Brown Visitor and Events Centre provides an exemplary example of a work of public architecture and has provided the Botanic Gardens with a new educational, community and social focus as well as a place for respite and contemplation.  

The centre has been carefully sited within the Gardens at the base of Frangipani Hill, which forms a natural gathering place providing high visibility and accessibility. The building form engages with the landscape creating long vistas towards the lilypond and fountain as well as framing views through the building towards a new amphitheatre created on Frangipani Hill. 

Conceptually the building adopts the form of an elongated tropical longhouse pavilion, allowing it to embrace the potential of Darwin’s tropical climate.  Key to the success of the project is a generous verandah space, which meanders along the length of the building connecting a series of spaces housing an interpretive visitor centre; small retail outlet; event space and support amenities.  

The jury found this to be a carefully crafted project. The architect is commended for creating a rich sensory experience for the visitor through the play of light and shade and use of a rich palette of materials and raw finishes, including timber, copper and galvanised steel.  Further adding to this experience as well as typifying the project’s community imperatives is the use Darwin Stringy Bark provided by the Gumatj Corporation in Arnhem Land. 

Architecture Award for Public Architecture

Refurbishment of the Alice Springs Courthouse | Susan Dugdale & Associates

Manunda Place is a bold and distinctive project delicately balancing commercial imperatives with the desire to create a thoughtful and positive urban outcome and civic presence.  

A recessed façade at ground level creates a public colonnade, which is further extended by a canopy providing shelter and shade. Public amenity is further enhanced by the integration of a cafe in the foyer creating an active street edge. The architect and developer are specifically commended for their initiative to commission a dramatic scaled public artwork: Wupun, Sun Mat by Regina Pilaw for the foyer. 

A linear service core along one edge of the building reinforces a legible circulation axis allowing open and flexible light filled commercial floorplates with uninterrupted views across the city. A series of atrium spaces are cut through the floorplates to provide a sense of space and connectivity within the work environment. 

The building form and entry acknowledge their corner location through the use of a simple curved geometry. The external building expression is defined by rust red coloured sunshades and canopy, which provide a distinctive banding expression as well as sun shading, articulation and depth to the façade.   

Manunda Place is a confident restrained piece of architecture whose success lies not in grand gestures but in getting the fundamentals of good design and place making right and provides a new benchmark for future Northern Territory commercial architecture.