The NSW Architecture Awards celebrates design excellence in architecture in NSW. It is also a great way for architects to receive public and peer recognition for projects and helps the Institute to promote architects and architecture within NSW, across Australia and internationally.
The Walsh Bay Arts Precinct is the successful culmination of many years of strategic planning that has consolidated a significant arts precinct in an historic part of Sydney through the provision of new and improved homes to many of our most important cultural institutions.
The project is a considered intervention within fine historic buildings. New flexible spaces and long axial circulation spaces maintain the scale and experience of the existing wharf. Historic fabric is carefully, and appropriately restored and new fabric reads as clearly new. New works are both highly sympathetic and illuminating through careful crafting of material and detail. The use of mirrors within the interior cleverly expands the perception of these spaces and their materiality.
Each organization has a distinctive setting within the context of the overall precinct whilst still being clearly part of the wholistic experience of the wharf. There is a nuanced relationship between interior and the harbour, with some performance spaces having the capacity to be directly connected to the outside while others playing up their interiority. Maintaining and enhancing the public promenade around each wharf provides both an intimate public interface and practical day to day operational support for each organization.
The juries considered Walsh Bay Arts Precinct as both a fine new public building and an exemplar of the power of adaptive reuse to retain important built fabric and create memorable new institutions within the city.
Bundanon creates a new appreciation of the Boyd Estate, it’s history and setting by purposefully inhabiting this landscape of cultural and physical significance.
Centered in the historic core of the estate, the two principal components of the project, ‘the bridge’ and the buried museum respond artfully to the primary necessities of the brief and their varied environmental and landscape demands. Boyd’s studio forms a fulcrum between these two components and the original Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Education Centre by Murcutt, Lewin and Lark. It is through this careful siting and screening that each is allowed room to breathe, sitting naturally alongside each other, each enjoying their distinctive settings in the landscape.
The museum component is carefully buried into the topography, the raked ceiling reminding us of our position within the landscape whilst carefully considered openings connecting the interior more directly to sky and trees beyond. ‘The Bridge’ provides a different, more direct, experience of the landscape, being lifted into the air and spanning an occasional watercourse. It’s plan, characterized by internal streets and clearings, masterfully frames views of the valleys and escarpments beyond, opening vistas previously not experienced from the Education centre.
Transformational of this place and our experience of it, Bundanon provides an engaging, considered, and joyful experience of landscape.
Ken Rosewall Arena exemplifies the opportunities for considered, carefully articulated adaptive reuse of existing structures. In contrast to demolishing and starting afresh, this project effectively extended the use of the project from a handful of days a year to almost weekly, bringing new life to an existing building.
The original Sulman Award winning Tennis Arena designed for the Sydney Olympics by Bligh Voller Nield (BVN) in partnership with BDP (UK) is an elegant and refined structure which has been further enhanced through the addition of a finely framed translucent PTFE fabric skin roof. Hovering above the existing concrete and steel form, the new roof and operable façade allows for improved player and spectator comfort, mix mode operation and utilisation by both tennis and netball. Resultant views of the sky and surrounding tree canopy between old and new leaves a lasting impression.
A close collaborative relationship between architects, engineers and fabricators was evidenced in the efficiency and cost effectiveness of the structure and made more impressive by the compressed construction program.
Transformative in scale and detail, Walsh Bay Arts Precinct has created a wealth of arts and cultural spaces from a much-loved piece of public infrastructure. The project masterfully integrates new structural, building code, audio and visual requirements into an old structure which was the antithesis of ‘fit for purpose’.
The influence of Viv Fraser for his groundbreaking rework of Wharf 4/5 is apparent in many aspects of this project though the architects have overlaid a richness of materials and detailing to create a different, more subtly refined aesthetic which is also more adventurous technically. The triple-glazed theatre walls afford spectacular views of the harbour bridge whilst achieving the acoustic standards for a chamber orchestra performance – just one example of the technical feats achieved.
The jury congratulates the project team and the contributing public and private bodies for this impressive addition to Sydney’s cultural life.
The Kings Langley Cricket Club & Amenities building is a considered public building in an everyday suburban context.
Eoghan Lewis Architects has masterfully maximized the opportunities embodied in a series of site constraints and used these to raise the ambition of the project. Nestled on the edge of the oval, a requirement to avoid underground services broke a longer singular building into a finer grained cluster of buildings, each with their own address to the pitch. Drawing on the surrounding context of free-standing brick buildings with pitched roofs, textured brickwork walls and screens create a robust yet sensitive materiality whilst pitched internal forms have created interiors of individuality for each room.
This is a project of civic distinction appropriate to its place delivered with a great degree of care and thought, creating a rich, warm, and highly appropriate public architecture.
A robust sports facility in a layered suburban landscape, Eric Tweedale Stadium is an elegant architectural response providing much needed community facilities. Utilising an exposed mass timber structure, the building is low carbon and low waste in construction while celebrating its form and materiality. Clear planning and circulation allow for flexibility of use by various sporting and community groups simultaneously whilst the detailing, material palette and integration into the surrounding landscape is both robust and welcoming.
The dedication of the project architect working within a complex procurement environment is highly commended.
Church of the Living God sits self-assuredly but quietly in its suburban streetscape. Its outer layer is a sculptural composition incorporating curved concrete pipe forms sliced in half to reveal their geometry, a triumphant piece of technology transfer. The pipes come to life in sunlight and create a rhythmically lit cloister shielding circulation around the building.
The cloister acclimatises the visitor to the main stage: the worship space within. Throughout the project materials and budget are skillfully deployed as for maximum impact where it matters.
Internally the project exhibits a masterful manipulation of daylight, creating a calm sense of spirituality welcoming the church community to this serene space.
The jury congratulates the architects on this peaceful and inspiring work.
The rugged beauty of this urban hillside school is borne out of the site’s existing terrain, transfigured into a sequence of terraced outdoor learning areas, playgrounds and gardens stepping down the hill. The outcome of this strategy is that every classroom is connected to and looks onto an outdoor garden, often on two sides.
The darting, jutting edges of the terraces are reminiscent of the local sandstone outcrops and similarly contain moments for eddies, ebb and flow on the periphery of the waves of movement through the site. Narrow strands of flexible learning spaces settle into the new terrain with windows on two sides providing abundant daylight and ventilation everywhere.
A strong sectional diagram is carried through with simple, robust materials and detailing. In addition, this framework provides for layered interactive indoor and outdoor spaces which can withstand the many messy layers of school-day use.
Ultimo Public School presents many distinct faces to its surroundings and addresses each with a deft combination of building height scale and grain. The design skillfully appropriates the characteristic warehouse architectural language of the area to create contemporary contextual forms. The school entry has a social presence within the local neighbourhood, welcoming the school family and inviting the wider community to share the site’s generous sporting and cultural facilities.
The jury congratulates the architects and school community on this beautiful addition to Sydney’s public schools.
The Nano Nagle Learning Centre at Domremy College demonstrates the benefits of testing, listening, and prototyping in designing for change.
The jury were impressed with the dedication to learning evidenced throughout the project as proposed settings were tested in real time in a purpose designed space which repurposed an underutilised building in the centre of the campus. The final brief and design of the new building was clearly influenced by this process, allowing the successful introduction of a new model of teaching for the school through the introduction of a series of zoned learning spaces to contrast with the traditional classrooms on the campus.
Three forms are carefully brought together in the composition of the building with robust materiality and considered scale respecting the adjacency of the heritage fabric. Immediate external spaces surrounding the building, previously underutilised now allow for both internal and external, formal and informal gatherings of students. This is exemplified in the welcoming central tiered communal space which opens directly to the new courtyard playground beyond.
The Shopfront for Youth Performance and Art project demonstrates how architects can add significant value to grass roots organisations through the strategic consideration of how they occupy their space. Working with an incredibly tight budget brought focus to the design and a level of clarity over which intervention delivered the greatest value for money to the school.
Working with a collection of buildings that had developed over time, the project left untouched spaces and fabric that were working and intervened directly where they weren’t. This strategy meant that the ad-hoc character of school was retained and the layering of interventions over time celebrated.
The new work is conceived very directly, almost without detail. The project delivers on its ambition to transform a local organisation’s home without losing what makes its character distinctive.
The jury congratulates the architects on this considered and restrained intervention.
This series of projects at International Grammar School involves a series of gritty, cosmopolitan building transformation pieces that form a part of a work in progress, gradually transforming the school campus.
Set against the backdrop of the existing harshly lit relentless corridors and classrooms, these new spaces inject lively in-between spaces and characterful specialist learning spaces. Each piece of the refurbishment has a particular purpose and unique character. The timber-lined library spaces have the flexibility to be rearranged for project-based learning. Gathering spaces and study nooks surround larger open-plan group areas that cater to many different learning modes, solo and teamwork. The new theatre space embraces all aspects of the dramatic arts, from behind the scenes and on stage to audience participation.
The IGS project leads by example, showing students a more sustainable way of thinking about how we should approach improving our built environment. That is, incrementally and thoughtfully, with efficient and skillful use of available resources.
The jury thanks the architects and the school for their lesson in regenerative school building.
The Inner Sydney High School provides an insight into what our education buildings might become as our cities become denser, more populated and rising land prices put pressure on the spatial allocation of public infrastructure. It is a direct and considered response to these challenges along with those that characterize complex urban places, how to relate to existing heritage buildings of various scales, significant public spaces as well as the acoustic impacts of major infrastructure.
The architects are commended on their clear strategy for this new school typology.
Rouse Hill Childcare Centre is a spatial celebration of landscape, material, and colour. CO-AP are commended on their careful articulation of internal and external play spaces including the utilisation of a generous unconditioned veranda space which wraps the internal playrooms and utilises the thermal mass of an abundant planted roof over and playful circular skylights placed throughout.
The simple construction methodology of tilt up concrete and steel framing is layered with a considered textural material palette of internal and external finishes, providing joy to internal spaces and contrast to the thriving landscape beyond.
Stable House is a small family home that pops with joy and colour. Sibling Architecture has created an incredibly adaptable house with an eye to the future, without losing sight of the past.
It belies its small footprint, with a series of overlapping spaces, artful voids and curated views of greenery. The house weaves within the skin of the existing stable wall creating a delightful quality of natural light and depth of texture. The folded roof form is both a sensitive design response to neighbours and a delicate canopy of light.
Central to the home is the kitchen. Designed with memories of extended family gathering around for meals – the space is perfectly proportioned to fulfil this function in a small footprint.
Jurors agreed that the house is an inspirational model for how pockets of forgotten space in densely populated areas can be transformed into calm sanctuaries for living.
Seagrass House by Welsh + Major occupies a privileged position on the Tathra headland, a rocky outcrop characterised by a rich ochre stone escarpment. This house enhances its beautiful setting by being simultaneously bold in its expression and utterly contextual in its realisation. This is a result that only the best architecture can achieve.
The articulated form of the house, with its series of large corner windows, enhances the feeling of being right on the edge of nature.
The project is a unique interpretation of the beach house genre. It has a cocooning and almost monastic quality that speaks to a very subtle and deep understanding of how the clients inhabit the space.
Curl Curl House by TRIAS Architecture is the beautiful resolution of a very clear and successful design strategy. Bookended by private quarters at either end is an elegant family space of kitchen and dining completely connected to the garden.
It is an incredibly cohesive design. A refrained palette of materials is masterfully detailed such that every element of the house seamlessly belongs. Deep reveals conceal the complexity of sliding glazing, screening and blinds, that enable spaces to respond sensitively to the climate.
The house shows us how to be both contextual and utterly unique in its expression.
The modular house, designed for scaled production, and with an eye for sustainable living is a commendable ambition. OM1, the first built project from Dimensions X OM1 / Mobile Studio by Peter Stutchbury Architecture and Oscar Martin, puts flexibility into prefabricated design.
The building sits lightly on the landscape and can be adapted to suit any block or use. The intent to mass produce brings an affordability, making the beautiful economical. The quality is uncompromising, the detailing delightful and nuanced.
The approach to the corner site of North Bondi House feels like stumbling upon a rare gem amongst suburban homogeneity. Immediately apparent is the filigree-like nature of the battened facade, all but disguising internal family life.
During the day a large shape open to the sky is visible beyond the screen, and at night the house glows like a beacon. There is a sense of generosity to the street: the building is distinguishable but not overbearing, and large openings encourage a sense of community through casual interaction with passers-by.
Gardens, though still in their early stages of growth, will likely take over various pockets of the site, and are accessible from each room of the house. The plan diagram is both logical and unusual; bedrooms and communal areas occupy the existing house footprint at the lower level, and the extended upper floor contains additional living space, and an open-air bathroom and laundry. Restrained yet inventive detailing further confirms that this project is likely to become a memorable point of reference amongst Australian architects, and a slow-burn kind of love for locals.
What lies beyond, of discovery and delight. Arrival bares witness to a revival, of Argyle Well. Entering the existing 1840s terrace, preceding years of neglect, of failed renovations and multiple tenancies erased. Order is restored as a single home for modern living. A simple palette of restored timber boards; finished through a citrus infused tung oil against white ornate hard plaster elevated through a play of ‘objects within the rooms’. In preserving the existing fabric new objects transform the spatial conditions to the present tense. Entry, kitchen and formal dining preside to the middle, with private domain occupying upper levels. To the base, a new in-situ concrete addition, transitioning from old to new through an exquisite stair, carved from the foundation sandstone this new underground link leads to the unveiling of the well. Surrounding, natural light washes from above to illuminate a series of meticulously laid stones; at the hand of the architect. Establishing roof and ground level gardens soften the base to provide a visual gaze extending the internal volumes outwards.
Indeed, a vision in a dream
Hidden Garden House is a quality example of modest inner-city living. This tiny terrace radiates a sense of calm generosity, made possible by its carefully selected material palette and its relationship with nature. A small courtyard punctures what would have been the darkest part of the plan, equipped with Japanese maple tree.
Handmade tiles, courtesy of the client, line the lower-level floor and courtyard walls, and sandstone blocks found on site during the build have been repurposed in various ways. A green roof of wild grasses is a thoughtful addition, benefiting both neighbours and inhabitants.
This is a project that goes beyond its economy of means and would be a joy to occupy.
A substantial three-storey wing breathes new life for a family of seven into a landmark Edwardian mansion with discretion and without diminishing the generosity of the gardens. The existing rooms are thoughtfully re-purposed and a variety of spaces at all scales have been created from intimate study rooms to free-flowing entertainment areas for large parties.
In spite of the vastness, the spaces do not seem overblown but, instead, are invested with an intimacy that could suit two people or two hundred people. Many fine materials have been handled with great skill and judgement, particularly the monolithic use of brick tying new to old. The result is luxurious without being ostentatious and while generous and spectacular it is very much a place that feels like home.
A setting of subliminal affect, the aptly named Escarpment House provides immense comfort and refuge from a surrounding environment capable of awe-inspiring beauty, alongside, life threatening bushfires and floods. Adjoining a restored single storey timber cottage, this exquisitely crafted, two storey hip and gabled addition balances visual coherency through a combination of architectural form, materiality and alignment. Internally, the threshold between old and new expands, opening at both ground; open plan kitchen, dining and external deck, and vertically to the second storey ‘great room’ of the house. A single run timber and steel staircase leads up a double height void providing visual connection and framed views, embracing and engaging the escarpment beyond.
There is a sense of transformation, to a child like fantasy wonderland upon stepping through the door of beaCHalet. Located within a 1970s brick, walk up apartment block, this 51sqm apartment has been scrupulously crafted adding layers of program and storage without an increase in floor area. A ‘jewellery box’ of plywood, of raised platforms, bulkheads, pull out sliding drawers, doors and shelves, of hinged doors and curtain screens, store all forms of personal belongings and a multiplicity of uses to accomodate all forms of events. beaCHalet is a demonstration of how intelligent, compact, affordable design can reinvigorate existing apartment stock and halt the irreversible damage created by the continuation of urban sprawl.
Quay Quarter Lanes is a mixed-use revitalisation of a neglected laneway precinct in inner-city Sydney, and 8 Loftus Street is one of three new residential buildings rejuvenating the new community.
Sitting politely in the heritage zone, the materiality and texture reflects and harmonises with adjacent sandstone buildings. A darker brick base below a steel grey brick above is enhanced by soft bronze folding perforated screens controlling sunlight and privacy, animating the façade. Recessive upper levels subtly bend and fold, softening the roofscape, allowing light and view corridors for the adjacent buildings.
The fine grain and permeability at ground level features resting spaces, softly sitting within the revitalised laneway and respectfully integrating urban artwork.
Exquisite façade detailing carries through to the interiors, a testament to the architect being commissioned for architecture and interiors. Clever, well considered joinery elements with quality finishes elegantly frame the city and harbour views. Balconies modulate towards the view, creating green spaces and recesses in the form.
The shared roof garden was carefully negotiated by Studio Bright, providing a greenscape which benefits the residents and provides visual amenity to surrounding buildings.
The rejuvenated Quay Quarter Lanes is a successful collective of talented architects creating the whole. Stepping down the site, 9-15 Young Street is designed with respectful alignment and materiality to the heritage Hinchcliff House adjacent, and Customs House beyond.
The open expression of the lower commercial levels provides an elegant contrast to the more enclosed upper levels of residential. The apartments are quiet and enclosing, offering secluded, delightful spaces for living. Rich hand laid bricks provide a deep modulated façade for privacy, forming an inhabited edge of intimate and spacious balconies.
A finely articulated diagonal arcade responds to site level changes, providing social amenity and visually linking to the central laneway which integrates the vibrant precinct.
The highly granular site is an exemplary development due to the unique identity of the buildings sitting comfortably together, creating a truly diverse new neighbourhood which encourages exploration and socialising in an exciting inner-city community.
The transformation of Alexandria from industrial into a liveable neighbourhood is rarely marked by high quality private developments. Clarion is an exception.
Scalloped precast façade panels express robustness. The inner spaces and balconies have a contrasting warmth with the use of timber in the sheltered parts of the building.
The apartments are spacious three-bedders, and the building is split into two simple rectangular forms, cleverly offset to allow plenty of light and ventilation into the apartments and the common areas. Concrete ceilings are a generous 3.1m despite having the parking located at street level.
The balconies are deep and courtyard like. These outdoor spaces extend the living spaces in a plan that feels unstructured but well thought out.
The trust between client and architect is evident in the delivery of house-like apartments in a rugged, unpretentious building.
Living Quarters creates a new model for independent aged living. Housing retired sisters – the Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul – the deceptively simple and elegant project of two rectangular buildings, each quartered, provides a total of eight delightful independent living spaces.
The buildings are carefully sited to retain significant trees and are connected by a series of landscape courtyards and gardens which give each room a pleasant, framed outlook. A prayer room provides a contemplative space at the heart of the development and overlooks its own protected courtyard.
Outdoor gathering spaces, oversized hallways and a generous communal living and kitchen room maximise opportunities for social interaction. Materials are economic and details traditional, but in the skillful hands of Ha Architecture are elevated to the sublime. The scheme offers a compelling and replicable model for future aged living.
This first stage of a broader master plan has been expertly executed in a highly collaborative and collegiate manner by three architects. A shared retail and commercial podium forms the base for three residential towers, integrating with the heritage buildings on the site. Careful siting and design allow a strong level of privacy between the buildings, each displaying their own character within a cohesive and coherent whole.
Clever management of a complex ground plane with significant level changes has formed a central social space which feels open yet contained, delivering a vibrant hub embraced by the community.
Materials and colours reference the history of the site and the area, where heritage buildings are incorporated into the new development whilst retaining their unique story.
This development represents design excellence in a regional context, maintaining a modest budget, and providing quality housing. The collaboration highlights the strength of the team, setting a precedent for design and amenity in Newcastle.
Located within a significant heritage precinct, the design of King and Phillip provides a finely nuanced response to its rich cultural setting. A new street wall continues the alignment of surrounding development and contains a wonderful series of vaults, mirroring the vaults of the King Street Courts building opposite.
The materiality of the street wall references the traditions of the past in finely detailed stonework and handcrafted timber cladding modelled on indigenous flora. The contemporary glazed tower above is shaped to minimise overshadowing of the adjacent Hyde Park. The apartments offer spectacular views over the park through a façade which seamlessly integrates ventilation openings, picture windows and screening.
For their part of Quay Quarter, Silvester Fuller deftly handle the form of the building to accommodate solar access to the adjoining park and maintaining view corridors. Detailing is inventive, particularly in the curved brick awnings and the granular way the shops interact with the street and lanes. The relationship with the adjacent new and heritage buildings in the precinct is respectful.
Identity is created by the graduation of openings from smaller lower down to larger higher up where views become available. Integration of artwork into the façade is similarly clever. Particularly joyful is the innovation with detailing of the interiors, such as the hand carved key station at the entry to each apartment.
On a very large non-descript site overlooked by the Sydney Olympic Stadium, BVN has designed a refined apartment building, enhanced by generous landscaped areas and a sophisticated articulated form.
Whereas the neighbouring generic housing is capped at a consistent 10 storey height, BVN have successfully argued for a variation in heights across the site to separate the large building into smaller playful elements with a varied roofscape. Materials and façade systems are carefully chosen to enhance the reading of each element within the developer’s strict budget; and, despite the scale of the building, provide each apartment with a clear identity.
Social housing in an outlying suburb rarely results in quality design. McGregor Westlake has responded to the suburban environment of free-standing brick and fibro bungalows to produce a 44 unit building that addresses residents needs without neglecting the architecture.
Lobbies are generous social spaces, affording spontaneous opportunities for casual interaction. The seat at the ground floor entry is a great touch, a pausing place overlooking the street. The balconies are detailed, with considered washing lines, privacy and wind attenuation.
While the building is obviously architect designed the materials are selected for durability and context rather than fashion, blending the design into this typical Sydney outer suburb.
Occupying a small tight site, 52 Reservoir is an 8-storey mixed-use building with restaurant and bar at street level and boutique office space above. The project builds on the site’s palimpsest with considered deference to the inner-city context that sets a new paradigm for urban infill.
The key move is the insertion of a narrow laneway that reconnects Reservoir and Foster Streets, reactivating the street-level day and night, while providing the opportunity for windows and light above that benefits not only the new occupants and the adjoining neighbours, but the broader local community. Engaging new artworks and historic imagery, that pay homage to the site’s history and interwoven through the building and laneway, add to the urban experience.
Both interior and exterior deliver. An efficient building layout, with column-free floorplates, expansive glazing, natural ventilation, and daylight from 3 sides is topped by a generous shared landscaped roof terrace with city views. In a simple but compelling gesture, the Reservoir Street facade is sheathed in a sculpted glazed blue brick streetwall that takes cues from the rich masonry character of the area, yet its scalloped profile and skyline brings a joyful and welcome addition to the gritty streetscape.
The Foundry echoes the Eveleigh Rail precinct, deriving inspiration from the heroic, practical typology of the adjacent Locomotive Workshop. The Eveleigh Locomotive Workshop was designed to be functional and robust. The form, scale and materials are a direct expression of the use, the structure and efficient layout. The Foundry takes its cues from this. Both are buildings of two characters, where a logical repetitive masonry façade belies the dramatic daylit internal volumes of the steel framed structure within.
Understated externally, the street level of the Foundry has been lined with small retail pavilions providing welcome activation. Only the expressive undulating rooftop hints at the dramatic proportions of the full height interior.
In contrast to the outside, the heroically scaled, deceptively calm interior, is the highlight of this building. The Foundry’s steel floors seem to hover in the volume, anchored by the stairs, lifts and services that sit like large scale machinery, set to be redeployed as the building evolves. The large atria, daylit by a regular rhythm of longitudinal roof-lights provide a place of orientation and focus overlooked by activity spaces over several levels further animating the building.
Though designed for a single tenant, the large open layout and structure facilitates and encourages future iterations, different uses, and layouts, demonstrating it to be, like the Locomotive Workshop, an adaptable and intrinsically resilient building with potential for a long life.
Masterful adaptive reuse and rigorous respect for existing fabric, combined with clever planning, has consolidated a significant part of the Walsh Bay Wharves Precinct into a living, creative, cultural heart of Sydney.
The Wharves precinct is unique example of a technologically advanced stevedoring facility of the early 20th Century. However, Walsh Bay has already been a cultural venue for longer than it was working wharves. The addition of Pier 2/3 brings together some of Australia’s finest Arts organisations, institutions, companies.
By separating the internal spaces from the internal facades, the legibility and logic of the original structure is retained. Roof trusses remain exposed and a continuity of space has been achieved with mirrors, which extend vistas and complete structures in an astonishing way. Where possible existing materials are exposed and treated with a minimum of fuss and new materials are selected to marry-in and complement while adding finesse and delight.
Perched proudly on the hill at the eastern end of Cobar’s main street is the former Great Cobar Mine Headquarters. Constructed c1910, the building has long played an important social and tourism role but required upgrades to meet contemporary operational and functional requirements for its continued use as the Great Cobar Museum.
Detailed research and investigations underpinned skilful conservation and adaptation works. Evidence-based reconstructions and the removal of unsympathetic accretions rediscovered the original architecture. Meanwhile, carefully considered interventions allowed visitor circulation paths to be rationalised and space for public-use to be significantly increased.
The integration of discreet passive climate control measures, accessibility upgrades and cleverly designed object displays that playfully engage with the existing architecture, all contribute to an improvement in visitor experience.
Externally, reinstated openings strengthen visual connections to setting and outdoor exhibits, while facilitating future expansion.
The revitalised landmark building celebrates the stories of Cobar and the traditional landowners.
Located in the rural landscape setting of Retford Park is ‘Ngununggula’ – a Dairy Building and an associated vet clinic that have been carefully adapted for re-use as a regional gallery.
The works demonstrate technical excellence through careful conservation and seamless integration of services to satisfy strict gallery requirements. Thoughtful design and detailing ensures that the original structure is respected and celebrated.
A contemporary entry pavilion serves to reduce the impact on the early structures by housing amenities, administration and other services.
The project respects the significance of the Retford Park estate and is a fine example of adaptive re-use.
The Wesley Edward Eagar Centre refurbishment manages a difficult dichotomy of an important 1840s church which had a major 1970s brutalist structure imposed on it, with the loss or degradation of much of its significant fabric. This project carefully manages these disparate elements. The church’s remaining original fabric, particularly the Greek Revival sandstone façade, has been conserved and the compromised internal spaces pared back to reveal the fine original church space. Whilst the 1970s work impacted the building, an appreciation of key aspects of the remaining fabric has recaptured important qualities that enhance the site’s mission to the city’s homeless.
Dawn Fraser Baths, sitting as it does on the littoral edge of the Parramatta River, is an early casualty of climate change. A nationally significant site, rising tides were regularly flooding the south pavilion rooms, significantly affecting the timber structure. This structure has been altered and repaired many times and has now been raised by a metre. This considerable change in level has been managed with care and careful judgement, at the same time meeting new performance expectations like universal access, so that these changes would only be noticeable to the most frequent of users. A rare survivor of Sydney’s harbourside baths, it is now ready for another phase in its service to Sydney’s swimmers.
Every piece of this project tells a story. The fabric of the building has been carefully conserved and revealed. The remnant roof trusses are retained and reinforced with additional beams, and cleverly devised clamps. Thick stone walls, triple-glazed windows and roof insulation mean that a simple wood stove keeps the voluminous space warm. Client and architect worked closely together to make the most of a minimal budget. Locally sourced materials and labour were used to conserve a significant landmark and create a unique home for the client.
60 Castlereagh Street displays a creative and innovative approach to the refurbishment of an existing building. The project unifies the dual entrances of Castlereagh and Elizabeth Street through a singular architectural detail applied at scale, a bold gesture which provides a distinct identity for this commercial premises.
A strategic approach of stripping back years of accumulated refurbishments to reveal the core qualities and materials of these lobbies has yielded inviting spaces of clarity and warmth, the success of which is reflected in the buildings increased tenancy rates despite the challenges posed by covid for workplaces. The project approach demonstrates how rather than discarding an ageing commercial building the lifespan can be improved and extended through minimal intervention.
The motif of the carefully detailed timber rings, accentuated through effective lighting design, provides a spatial quality that far exceeds the modest scale of the foyer areas. This approach undoubtedly involved a degree of risk but has been confidently executed through a process of research, development, and close collaboration between disciplines.
The project’s philosophy of sustainability is apparent, achieving an outcome that utilises simple materials to great effect, and re-purposing existing materials into cladding and joinery finishes. This project is a demonstration of how an innovative approach can transform comparatively humble materials and spaces into areas that enhance and engage with the public realm.
This fitout by BVN seeks to express the increasing role that workplaces have in communicating the identity and culture of the organisations that inhabit them – in this case construction company Multiplex. The result is a project that is bold and raw, in which a series of voids are cut through the concrete slab floor, providing double height spaces that serve as installation space and social forum. Surrounding spaces are likewise treated in a way that echoes the construction site – utilising hot-rolled steel, exposed services, and galvanised mesh.
Balanced against this expressed rawness is an interior of social connection and collaboration, with the warmth of carefully detailed timber elements used for training and meeting rooms adjacent to main gathering spaces, seeking to foster a culture of seeing, learning and engagement.
Recognising the difficulty of fostering a workplace culture given the society-wide shift to working from home during the pandemic, this project is a dramatic and confident expression of the values of the client, in both its technical abilities and investment in its workforce.
The renovation of the Woollahra Hotel is a tangible long-term investment in the future of the local area. Situated on a prominent corner, the realisation of this project successfully walks the fine line of appealing to a wide range of clientele, feeling comfortable and familiar yet refined and luxurious; this is a project that is contemporary, yet warmly acknowledges its roots.
Drawing strongly on tradition and context, the love and care for this neighbourhood institution is evident in the expression of materials and details throughout, from the in-situ poured terrazzo floors to cleverly integrated mechanical ventilation in the ceiling.
The internal reconfiguration, principally reorienting the main bar, also pays dividends for the periphery and beyond, creating a series of casual seating areas adjacent to the street that greatly enhance the social engagement between interior and exterior.
The jury commends the approach to the project of designing for long-term durability and recognises the value that beautifully crafted small spaces can play in our cities. The result is a public room that feels connected to its surroundings, an expression of craft and care that elevates the quality of the urban realm.
Displaying a consistency of attention to detail throughout, this project takes its cues from the architecture of the building, incorporating qualities of solidity, depth, and tactility throughout the interiors. The expression of details and construction enriches the experience within the residential and commercial spaces, with subtle variations in texture and palette conveying an intimate knowledge of the materials employed.
Foyer spaces are further distinguished through their ceiling forms, complemented by a restrained palette of granite, brick and timber. This informed and deliberate use of materials continues to the apartments, where even modest spaces are elevated through refined details, and richness of textures and tones. This gives spaces a sculptural quality, in which each aspect of the living spaces feels that they have been given careful attention, and where rituals of everyday life are accentuated through careful detailing and quality materials.
The overall impression of the spaces is one of calmness and refinement, with the solidity and weight of materials counterpoised by the expression of edges, junctions, and openings.
A singular idea beautifully resolved and executed, the interiors of King and Philip transform a constrained space into an extraordinary arrival sequence for residents. The precisely detailed curved timber ceiling panels, developed through a process of full-scale prototyping, are combined with strategic use of mirrors and lighting, to expand and elevate the space, utilising its narrow dimensions to dramatic effect. This motif continues to the exterior loggia, expressing its graceful identity to the public realm.
Consisting of a myriad of technical challenges, the Walsh Bay Arts Precinct by TZG is a restrained and respectful reimagining of a new centre for the performing arts. Largely retaining the raw industrial qualities of the wharf interiors, interventions are at times indistinguishable from the original building, whilst in other areas mirrors subtly expand the reading of spaces, and finely detailed brass elements add tactility to the experience of the building.
NAB 3 is a social and forward-looking approach to the future direction of the workplace. Utilising its central circulation stair to powerful visual effect, this element also engages with social spaces at each level, encouraging interaction throughout the building. Breakout and social spaces are situated around the perimeter of the building to engage with the street, helping reinforce the new civic identity of this rapidly evolving urban centre.
The urban regeneration of our regional cities has often fallen short of best-practice, but Newcastle is an exception. With the support of major government investment, judicious planning strategies over the past 10 years, and the collaboration of landowners, Council, and a team of highly talented designers the city is being transformed.
Newcastle East End is an exemplar of urban revitalisation. Challenging the earlier multiblock proposal that closed streets consolidating four city blocks, SJB’s Master Plan re-affirms the city’s characteristic urban form and structure. Historic buildings are retained and adapted, and the perimeter block typology referenced to reset street wall heights and active frontages. A new laneway network has been introduced and new taller buildings located to protect views and sunlight in the public spaces, ensuring that the existing fabric is respected, and the urban experience is enhanced.
Together, these key strategic moves, combined with high quality architecture and public domain design, realised in the Stage 1 block by a team including SJB as executive architect collaborating with architects DBJ, TZG and landscape architects ASPECT Studios, demonstrate how the Master Plan can deliver a precinct that is authentic in character and amenity.
Newcastle East End has successfully balanced urban design, community and market expectations creating a high-quality urban realm that is a model for other regional cities.
Situated at the Charles Street weir and ferry wharf, the new Parramatta Escarpment Boardwalk now affords a continuous foreshore accessway for pedestrians and cyclists, from the University of Western Sydney at Rydalmere to Parramatta Park.
Responding to a series of complex technical challenges, including flood levels, ferry turning circles and bicycle safety standards, the project overcomes these challenges, presenting as a coherent, robust, and elegant solution. The boardwalk’s sinuous alignment and repetitive segmented form adds to inherent spatial drama of the river foreshore, providing a memorable entry to Parramatta from the water.
The project team are to be congratulated for delivering an accomplished and transformative urban project, one that gracefully reframes the public focus and recreational ambitions of the river for the City of Parramatta.
We instinctively enjoy cities that connect us with place, where human experiences and stories can be read in the urban realm. Circular Quay, rich in these stories, has conspicuously lost these spaces over time. Quay Quarter Lanes has redressed this with a considered, layered, and beautiful restitching and reimagining of the urban fabric.
Integrating existing and new buildings, the diverse team of architects and designers have shaped a place that feels to have grown organically, enriching the established network with new laneways and vistas. Activated at street level throughout with small retail shopfronts, building entrances and small pockets of sunlit space with seating, the network of routes feels safe and secure.
Each building has its own personality, engaging positively with neighbouring buildings and streets. Diversity in material, detail, and form, amplifies the idiosyncrasies of the retained historic structures. The Lanes feel like an authentic piece of city, not one constructed in a single development.
The site’s unique and charged history is interpreted by Jonathan Jones through a series of subtle, beautifully crafted artworks embedded into walls, the ground plane and overhead, creating a story that reveals itself slowly.
Demonstrably the work of a coherent and enjoyable collaboration, the project is a gift to the people of Sydney and an important contribution that should inform how our cities can grow and evolve.
The Terrigal Boardwalk & Rockpool project dramatically transforms the Terrigal foreshore, reorientating the access from a steep roadway connection between headlands, to a new level accessible walkway hugging the water’s edge. The new connection delivers social and ecological benefits to the community, providing an accessible and amenable route to the rockpool and around the headland, with the elevated deck and viewing platform protecting the delicate sandstone and marine ecology from further pedestrian traffic. The jury were impressed by the simple and elegant resolution of the boardwalk form, as well as the resolved detailing and robust materiality of the project.
The somewhat abstract brief calls for a space that allows individuals or a multitude, without particular religious overtones, to deal with the wide range of emotions associated with the passing of a loved one. The response is both primal and instinctive. From time immemorial, man’s first action to mark a special place by laying out stones in a circle is no different here.
Columbaria are gathered to form walls of various heights around a ring of steel columns holding aloft a breathtakingly delicate roof. The walls block out the serried ranks of mausolea instead framing the bushland beyond. The accoutrements of celebration are reduced to the bare essentials: two monumental benches focussed on a marble podium.
However, one notices not all is complete and concentric. There are quirks. The roof isn’t opaque but light drifts down creating a dynamic upbeat mood, circular walls are offset from one another, the central podium is not in the middle, the grid of columns is twisted, the roof is askance.
The result is a restrained but liberating counterpoint to the severity of the cemetery’s repetitive grid. There is a humorous touch appropriate for the celebration of a life, recognising that, as life is not perfect, death isn’t either.
As is the nature of temporary art exhibitions, the design team had very little time to conceptualise and execute this understated yet intriguing project. Composed of elements that were readily available, No Show is an excellent example of a zero-waste project, being completely demountable and reusable for future exhibitions. The self-finishing materials were selected to complement the industrial nature of Carriageworks, and to act as a counter to the conventional white box scenario that dominates exhibition design. The nature and scale of the artworks was not known, so a flexible but modular system was developed to allow for multiple possibilities. A series of “cruciform thresholds” were conceived to permit visitors to glimpse different sections of the exhibition simultaneously, while generating pivot points throughout the display. Though No Show has many functional merits, it is above all a considered and elegant piece of design, made possible by an obviously close collaboration between all involved.
Mediating a bustling traffic intersection with tranquil Hyde Park, this compact project deals with several disparate functional requirements in the face of significant technical and contextual challenges with little space to manoeuvre over railway tracks. All quietly resolved by adding a discrete layer with deference to a familiar landmark.
Contrary to first impressions, the new building does not, in fact, touch the old. Instead, the heart of this intervention is a spacious void created between new and old introducing a connection from street to park through the station entrance while providing lift access to the station concourse. Separated only by a narrow roof light, the walls of this lobby are awash and glimpses of the sky and park beyond establishes an unexpectedly transparent spatial experience.
Moving into the park the narrow-glazed slot comes into its own turning into an effortlessly soaring roof of magical elegance which forms a generous, wafer-thin canopy over the café, inviting the landscape in. Throughout, the project has been realised with sophistication and exceptional attention to detail. It is testament that a great deal of benefit to the public realm can be achieved within a small space without having to resort to faddish bells and whistles.
‘See the Forest’ a simple statement of ever increasing importance. With the third instalment of Albury City’s Council’s annual architecture pavilion commission, Akimbo Architecture frames a conceptual microcosm of this offering. The long, semi circular plan form pavilion is clad in locally sourced, bushfire salvaged rough sawn timber, blackened through a natural technique of soaking steel wool and vinegar. Open to the sky, the pavilion exhibits a ‘forest’ of vertical timber slabs laid on a bed of river gravel. Temporal in nature, de-installation means new purpose for all materials. Whilst short in occupation, the ideas live on and inspire.
A new home re-born from old, Phoenix House has challenged the notion that sustainable living means we must surrender something, and instead shows how a deeper respect for planet and people can create a home that is rich in comfort, materials, details, and community.
Underpinned by right-sized systems of renewable energy and water harvesting, this home displays a considerable effort by the architect to salvage, re-use and re-interpret old materials – not only challenging the readiness with which we demolish old homes but also creating a beauty that can’t be found on the shelf.
With every new room having an old story to tell, supported by beautifully hand-crafted joinery, re-used materials, details and connection with landscape, the project is flanked by a new tiny home insertion that demonstrates how housing infill can be achieved with respect for neighbours, for planet, and for people in the community who might be otherwise be disenfranchised by the expense of traditional housing.
The result of a close and caring collaboration between architect and builder-client, this in-fill project is a living demonstration of how our homes might be adapted to a changing climate, providing living that is more sustainable, more affordable, more comfortable, and more beautiful.
The effort taken to raise the sustainability performance of an existing home and infill with a new multi-mode tiny home is commendable, allowing the family to live a flexed lifestyle throughout their modes of living and working across all seasons.
From the salvaged colonial-era sawn brick wall linings for indoor thermal mass, the glimpses of green roof to filter rainwater, and the solar sunshades, through to the cleverly located and shaped windows to frame local views and the respectful site arrangement around the significant Pepper Tree, the architect has created a thermally comfortable living environment that is also rich in nature-sensory experience.
Led by a focus on how we live and engage with nature rather than ‘home as artefact’, this project is commended for the way in which it allows purchasers to tailor the system to best engage with their site whilst retaining the integrity of low-footprint, low energy, affordable and thermally comfortable living.
Supported by the expected renewable energy, waste composting, and water harvesting systems, and built with low upfront carbon materials and low waste processes, the home provides a beautifully daylit and connected indoor environment protected by robust sun shading.
Dimensions X challenges the assumption that our homes are a fixed outcome, allowing instead for adaptations during all stages of the home’s lifespan and culminating in full recyclability and reusability of the home’s components. This project is a wonderful expression of a collaborative relationship between client and architect, with a shared focus on creating more planet-responsive architecture.
Bundanon is a setting in which the visitor is always connected with function and place. Technologies and materials have been wonderfully curated to suit their purpose, both in terms of how the space must function but also in how our senses are engaged in that space.
The earth covered, thermally stable gallery provides a low-energy environment that brings our attention to the art and stories told within.
The Bridge transitions us from earth to sky, phasing into a permeable and elevated structure that allows light and air to flow through, connecting us with the wider natural setting and the climate of the hour.
Nestled along the bridge are the beautifully detailed cabins that provide a balance of radiant heating and hand-operated window-louvres to welcome the breezes.
All achieved within a tough context of bushfire ratings and local flood risk, this project is an exemplary demonstration of getting the basics right with a strong grasp of passive design principles supported by appropriate technologies.
Adopting a long-life approach to carbon footprint, this project is designed to flex and built to last into a climate-changed future. With high thermal mass and durable materials, there are wonderful touches of breathability in the operable walls, breeze brick veils and timber framed ventilation shutters placed throughout the living areas.
This all-electric home with hydronic in-floor heating, cooling and hot water – all powered by solar panels, employs a sophisticated and appropriate blend of passive and active technologies to create a comfortable and calm living environment. The architect’s attention to creating a nature-connected lifestyle set amidst exquisite detailing is commended.
The project’s structure is comprised of re-used timber elements, some of which are in their third life and over 100 years old. The honest expression of this history is visible in the retained adze marks and bolts collected by the timbers throughout their lives.
Whilst the building works hard with the expected energy and water efficiency, solar panels and hybrid ventilation, the caring curation between architect, client, and builder has achieved an outcome that is at once low in upfront carbon, has contributed to local skills in re-using materials, provides a valuable cultural introduction to Eden, and expresses a wonderful recognition of Country through the artwork, storytelling, detailing, and materials.
The Cellar Door’s rammed earth structure is soothing in its simplicity, warmth, and honesty – requiring neither additional support nor materials. Sourced and crafted locally, the maturity of the detailing including the large-span self-supporting lintel to the gallery space provides valuable lessons for others to emulate.
Set within a context of regenerative land management, the project runs entirely off-grid with its own energy and water supply, low energy operation and low upfront carbon footprint. This elegant arrangement of natural materials allows the visitor to subtly engage with nature both inside and out and is the result of sound architect-builder collaboration.
The Foundry celebrates the use of steel, embracing both its aesthetic qualities, and structural possibilities. Firmly anchoring the project within the Eveleigh Railyards precinct, The Foundry acknowledges the steel structure of the locomotive workshop to address the functional demands of an urban-scaled next-generation workplace. The exterior is restrained. Clad in terracotta with steel framed glazing, the exterior gives a simple, modulated expression to the hall, with the spatial promise of the interior only revealed by the vaulted end bays of the COLORBOND® roof.
Internally, the scale of the 9000-tonne steel structure is on full display and spectacular. A series of prefabricated steel structural components were developed to frame up the entire volume. The repetitious, regular grids and floorplates create large open and adaptable spaces, with atria bathed in diffuse light from linear skylights that spotlight the central gathering spaces.
The floor is punctuated by clearly legible, distinct tall steel structures of services, lifts and stairs that echo the floor mounted machinery of the adjacent sheds- inherently functional but beautiful in themselves.
The Foundry is a reminder of the aesthetic and functional power of steel, honestly expressed at every scale – from engineered large span structures to smaller human scale building elements – to create architecture of enduring value and appeal.
It is fair to surmise that Ken Woolley was never satisfied with the pursuit of a ‘house style’. Each of his commissions left familiarity at the door resorting to first principles to deliver a chronology of architecture that is difficult to trace by stylistic, materialistic or tectonic lineage. Design of his own house in Mosman, completed in 1962, would be both an initiator and exemplar of what became known as the ‘Sydney School’. Ironically, it set an approach to residential architecture and lifestyle which developed into an ‘house style’ for Pettit and Sevitt which, through the application of rigour and economy from both architect and builder, became accessible to many.
The Woolley Hesketh House arrived at an exciting time. International modernism was on the up and Australians were warily stepping away from more traditional housing forms. Woolley’s design defined an Australianism lacking in its regional precedents. It elevated the pragmatics of the vernacular to the poetic and romantic by celebrating simplicity in construction detail and the building’s relationship to its ‘bush’ setting. It tested ideas for living and methods of home construction later embraced in mass produced homes and many architect-authored designs across Australia. Many of these contributions – open plan configuration, connectivity between indoor living and outdoor spaces, a preference for natural materials, exposed timber beams, high-level glazing between rafters – were picked up to become de rigueur for any informed, modern home. Many carry through to this day.
In a period pre-occupied with two-dimensional grids as a mechanism for setting out surfaces, the Woolley Hesketh House screamed of a capacity to process three-dimensionality. Sited on a steeply sloping site its design teases out relationships between floor levels and the cascading landscape within which the home is set. It connects and makes accessible nature with intimacy – perhaps at odds with the present-day mindset whose likely default would be to open a design to views at the expense of tactile relationships with plants and rock outcrops.
For all its complexity in three dimensions the resolution of envelope is remarkably simple – bricks bear on rock, posts and glass sit on brick, and beams sit on posts. No tricks here – a quick walk around makes evident how the building is put together. Its simplicity and plethora of good ideas – some borrowed, some invented – have lent themselves to adoption and emulation by many.
Having been awarded the Wilkinson Award for a house of outstanding architectural merit in 1962 and having regard to the significant ongoing influence the Woolley Hesketh House has had on both mass-produced housing and bespoke housing it is appropriate that sixty years after its birth it be recognised with the AIA Enduring Architecture Award for 2022.
This small infill building is an excellent example of how architecture and artistry adds richness to the public domain as well as extending a direct private laneway connection from Reservoir to Foster Street. By pulling the building away from the long western boundary wall and the short northern boundary, the building has continuous reflected daylight on three sides of the new office floors while affording unexpected vignettes and vistas to the everyday urban tapestry that is Surry Hills surrounding of the site.
This move of reducing the floor area to just over 300 square metres on each level, creates a linear space for pedestrians from Reservoir to Foster Streets, activated by the main entry to the building halfway along the passage. Above the passage, translucent glazed projections by Sydney artist Marisa Purcell, interacts with the daylight coming down into the narrow passage in ever changing ways.
The choice of variegated glazed blue/green brick for the scalloped Reservoir Street façade, and the metalwork gates recalls a time when architecture embodied craft. This shows project shows how small works can improved the quality of the public domain in different ways through design excellence.
Quay Quarter Lanes, Circular Quay – SJB, Studio Bright, Silvester Fuller, Carter Williamson, Lippmann Partnership in collaboration with Aspect Studios and Richards Stanisch.
Creating genuine public spaces that adds to our experience, curiosity and intrigue of Sydney goes to the heart of this award. The creation of porous public lane environment where smaller businesses can flourish so close to Circular Quay is testament to what can be achieved when through vision, design talent and the patience to see that vision through.
In this project, the renewal of a valuable city block with two heritage buildings was achieved through a true collaboration of design led practices across various disciplines, the client Amp Capital and the City of Sydney. Each architectural practice was responsible for a building and jointly for the urban design with Aspect Studios. The pedestrianised public domain is enriched by 5 public artworks by Indigenous artist Jonathan Jones. These five artworks reflect the life through the story of Sydney Aboriginal man Arabanoo. These works include: gwara (flags), betunigo (oysters), bengadee (ornament – recalling rock carvings cast in a concrete blade wall), weerong (night lights on Sydney Cove) and magora (fish). Magora used the green marble from the demolished foyer of 50 Bridge Street to manufacture over 1000 fish scales that are carefully recessed into the new bluestone pavers.
This urban renewal project, in Hunter Street Newcastle, is key to the transformation of Newcastle City. It demonstrates the success of the architects’ close collaborations with their client, with Newcastle City Council’s Urban Design Consultative Group and with DPE and GANSW through the State Design Review Panel (SDRP) process.
Originally commissioned by Urban Growth NSW and GPT, and later developed by Iris Capital, Newcastle East End Stage 1 demonstrates a successful design process from master plan to delivery. It delivers quality homes in a mixed-use setting in one of our key regional centres and combines this with accessible and well-designed public space. The project contributes diversity in architectural expression by virtue of the distinct work of the collaborating architects and the retention of the exemplary heritage fabric of the site.
The project skillfully addresses the key policy priorities of delivering well-connected communities with quality local environments and supporting the creation of strong communities by its clear connection to place and its contribution to the transformation of Newcastle, one of our most important regional centres.
The project situated in Snug Cove at Eden represents design and public engagement excellence in a regional context and is a work of outstanding merit. As a result of the architect’s close engagement with the client, community and contractors this is a building that performs a key role in welcoming sea-borne visitors to Eden, and has proven to be a valued addition to the community.
Throughout the design process the community have been involved and engaged, flowing through to the construction phase where local builders and apprentices have had the unique opportunity to deliver a building using re-used structural timber sourced from throughout NSW, much of which is over 100 years old and in its third life.
Whilst the Eden Port Welcome Centre houses maritime authorities on the upper level, the waterside promenade framed by the extended timber structure performs multiple roles, hosting weekend markets and exhibitions and guiding arriving visitors through to the visitor centre. These experiences are all framed by the re-used timber, with a wonderful integration of local indigenous art and storytelling reflective of our emerging understanding of Country.
In 2019, Cobar Shire Council engaged Dunn & Hillam Architects to work with Peter Freeman to prepare a masterplan for the site of the Great Cobar Museum.
Stage 1 involved the conservation and adaptation of the existing structure to meet contemporary operational and functional requirements for continued use as a museum and visitor centre.
A sensitive project in a remote location with a modest budget presented challenges but also professional development opportunities for Dunn & Hillam staff members of the EmAGN demographic. This included the appointed project architect – Rose Davies.
Rose’s ability to lead and closely collaborate with team members, consultants and contractors is a product of mentoring from senior staff and a team culture of knowledge sharing.
The success of the project is a testament to the development and contributions of staff members of the EmAGN demographic, which makes it a worthy recipient of the EmAGN Project Award.
Amongst a group of highly talented nominees, the jury considered that Qianyi’s impressive and rounded career portfolio that spans across private practice, education and advocacy made her the ideal candidate for this prize. Qianyi has used her reach in the profession to champion diversity and advocate for women in architecture through invited panels and talks. Further to this, her built work puts Sibling’s research into practice exploring relevant societal themes such as models of home ownership, ageing and multi-generational housing.
As a co-founder of Sibling Architecture, Qianyi established the Sydney office in 2017 and has grown the team and led the expansion of the firm’s work across project scales ranging from exhibitions, residential through to civic projects, which have been recognised through multiple publications and awards.
Qianyi’s contribution and esteemed expertise to the wider profession is through her involvement co-chairing the AIA NSW Education and Research committee, award juries and as panel member on the State Design Review Panel. Most notably, after years of teaching at various universities in Melbourne and Sydney, her appointment as Associate Professor of Practice at the University of Sydney School of Architecture, Building and Planning sees Qianyi contributing directly to the development of the masters curriculum and shaping the next generation of architects.
The jury congratulates Qianyi Lim on this well deserved recognition of her extensive contribution to the profession.