2018 NSW Student Architecture Awards winners announced

The NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects has announced the winners in its revamped 2018 NSW Student Architecture Awards, recognising the best student work completed in the last year from the four accredited schools of architecture in NSW.

Seven students from the universities of Newcastle, Sydney and the University of Technology Sydney received medals from a competitive field of 39 entries.

NSW Chapter President and 2018 Jury Chair, Andrew Nimmo said the awards showcased the best in emerging young architectural talent across the state.

‘The architectural awards program presented by the Australian Institute of Architects is the most rigorous and prestigious architectural awards process in Australia,’ Mr Nimmo said.

‘For any architectural practice, whether large or small, established or emerging; it is a great honour to receive an Institute award and they are highly coveted. We want the NSW Student Architecture Awards to be similarly regarded and to become the benchmark of design excellence recognition in NSW.

‘The calibre of projects entered was of the highest order and point to a pipeline of innovative talent coming through our architectural schools. We were particularly pleased to see a strong gender balance among the winning students, something the Institute it working hard to foster and strengthen in the profession moving forward.’

The NSW Graduate Medal, which is for a design project carried out in the final year of the Master of Architecture degree, was awarded to Andrew Hannah-Davies of the University of Newcastle for his project ‘Beneath the Surface: Taking the Waters in Moree’. The project proposes the redevelopment of existing facilities and the surrounding landscape of the famous healing waters of the Moree Artesian Baths and Swimming Pool. The jury recognised that this project ‘takes us on a social, physical and ethereal journey of healing. It is an imaginative, passionate, response in its use of iconography, collective memory, physicality, materiality, form and landscape’.

The NSW Undergraduate Medal, which is for a design project carried out in the final year of the undergraduate degree, was awarded to Connie He of the University of Sydney for her project ‘Between Anchors’. The project, a space for discussion, display and performances, is situated in Sydney’s Domain. The jury recognised that she has re-imagined this site as a ‘landscape for discussion, display and performance by celebrating the non-linear and favouring playful discovery’ remarking that she ‘skilfully addresses a spatially complex brief with elegance and rigour’.

The NSW Architectural Communication Award, which acknowledges excellence in architectural communication and celebrates the power of well-presented architectural design, was awarded to Brennan Clody, also of the University of Sydney. His project, ‘Jazz Garden’ was acknowledged by the jury as a ‘very complete and consistent presentation; from verbal presentation through to sketches, drawings, model and delightful black and white vignettes that captured the poetics of space’.

The NSW Architectural Technologies Award, which acknowledges excellence in innovation for the integration of technology, structure and/or construction was awarded to Melinda Barbagallo and Francesca Capicchioni of the University of Technology Sydney for their project Reh-zophora. Their project, a facility at the mouth of the Proserpine River adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef, targets the problem of eutrophication through the extraction, treatment and repurposing of algae for food and medicine was acknowledged by the jury as ‘embracing technological innovation as a means of shifting society towards more sustaining and sustainable futures […] an alluring project that skilfully synthesises conceptual and technical ambitions in an articulate and refined architectural proposition’.

The awards were presented on Friday 2 March and an exhibition of the works submitted will be held at the NSW Chapter premises, Tusculum, from 5-16 March.

Full list of winners:

NSW Graduate Medal
Beneath the Surface: Taking the Waters in Moree, Andrew Hannah-Davies | The University of Newcastle
Beneath The Surface, Taking in the Waters in Moree by Andrew Hannah-Davies takes us on a social, physical and ethereal journey of healing. It is a bold demolition of the old, cleansing away the negative karma of the past via the acknowledgement of that past, and a poetic reconstruction of the new. It is an imaginative, passionate, response in its use of iconography, collective memory, physicality, materiality, form and landscape. It creates a highly transcendent, experiential narrative through the use of drawings, models, animation and text that communicates the author’s intensity of feeling and conceptual framework. Social injustice and commentary are not the sole generator of the project but so too is a desire to demonstrate how the built environment has the potential to create new relationships, foster community and rejuvenate society spiritually as well as physically.

NSW Undergraduate Medal
Between Anchors, Connie He | The University of Sydney
Between Anchors is a project rich in complexities which are distilled into an architectural proposition of captivating beauty. It has reimagined The Domain as a landscape for discussion, display and performance by celebrating the non-linear and favouring playful discovery. Through rigorous analysis and explorations of threshold, boundary, programme and materiality, a choreographed landscape unfolds to reveal a collection of analytical and interpretive architectural encounters. Stumble upon performers and be entertained on warm concrete bleachers in the winter sun. Take to the stage at Threshold 2.6.1F and become a lunchtime comedian. Meander through the Permanent Art Space and be mesmerised by shifting skies rolling over the truncated volumes of the galleries. Careful consideration of siting in conjunction with programmatic and spatial intersections generates a taxonomy of architectural propositions which encapsulate the nuances of site and public experience. The proposal has not been overwhelmed by the openended parameters of site; instead Between Anchors introduces a built scale most suitable for the given programme. Its strength lies not in its monumentality but in its ability to entertain and entice patrons through subtlety and the unexpected. Between Anchors skilfully addresses a spatially complex brief with elegance and rigour – a well deserved NSW Undergraduate Medal winner.

NSW Undergraduate Medal – Commendation
Bodies/Ground, Miriam Osburn | The University of Sydney
The jury was greatly impressed by Osburn’s intricate approach to the design and to the site. Masterful consideration was given to both the spatial experience of the user as well as the balance between program requirements and impact to the site and broader surroundings. Her understated approach to the design of this public building enthralled the judges, while her communication and presentation of her design and its ideas were very clear and captivating. Well done.

NSW Undergraduate Medal – Commendation
Jazz Garden, Brennan Clody | The University of Sydney
The Jazz Garden demonstrates an architectural language that is sophisticated and well researched. Various influences are drawn into the research process, including; Jørn Utzon’s Kingo Houses, the structure and counterpoint of Jazz, and the performance potential, both symbolic and actual, of architecture itself. Through various forms of mapping, the research has taken a journey along an abstract narrative that has informed the final outcome and form, without losing sight of the starting point. In the final proposal we can see; the ghost of Utzon in the approach to materiality and sensitive treatment of site, the spirit of Jazz in the playful disruption of elements, and the hand of the designer in the well-mannered realization of the whole.

NSW Architectural Communication Award
Jazz Garden, Brennan Clody | The University of Sydney
A complex and layered design process was communicated in a remarkably simple and unpretentious manner that allowed the depth of thought and resolution in the design to shine through. This was a very complete and consistent presentation; from verbal presentation through to sketches, drawings, model and delightful black and white vignettes that captured the poetics of space. The drawings were textured and nuanced, with careful consideration of what to show, and what to leave out. The design process was well described and was pulled together as a narrative with minimal but relevant text. The verbal presentation in particular was professional and wellrehearsed, showing us the importance of using the ‘performance’ to capture the jury’s attention.

NSW Architectural Technologies Award
Reh-zophora, Melinda Barbagallo & Francesca Capicchioni | University of Technology Sydney
Reh-zophora by Melinda Barbagallo and Francesca Capicchioni embraces technological innovation as a means to shift society towards more sustaining and sustainable futures. Located at the mouth of the Prosperine River adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef, the project targets the problem of eutrophication through the extraction, treatment and repurposing of algae for food and medicine. Through a detailed investigation of systems for harvesting and filtering algae, and an interrogation of the aesthetic opportunities of their display, technology and architecture are combined in a performative landscape of mechanical pillars. A complex system of column typologies and variations address the various functional requirements of algae treatment, water catchment and bird habitat, while simultaneously offering diverse experiences for human habitation. The manipulation of the ground plane as a (literally) fluid terrain variously expands and contracts the territory available for occupation by different species throughout the day. The deliberate blurring of technological and natural landscapes is echoed in the overlaying of finely detailed technical drawings with washes of muted colour. This is an alluring project, that skillfully synthesises conceptual and technical ambitions in an articulate and refined architectural proposition.

NSW UNIVERSITY PRIZES:

The University of New South Wales
James Masman – Graduate of the Year (Master’s program)
William Maynard – Graduate of the Year (Bachelor’s program)
Mengying Li – History & Theory Prize
Jason Cheung – Construction & Practice Prize

The University of Technology Sydney
Eric Ye – Graduate of the Year (Master’s program)
Michael Northey – Graduate of the Year (Bachelor’s program)
Michael Bennett – History & Theory Prize
Rhiannon Brownbill – Construction & Practice Prize

The University of Newcastle
Andrew Hannah Davies – Graduate of the Year (Master’s Program)
Arhem Ashton – Graduate of the Year (Bachelor’s Program)
Eliza Maartensz – History & Theory Prize
Sabrina Wan Muhammad Kamal – Construction & Practice Prize

The University of Sydney
Kingsley May – Graduate of the Year (Master’s program)
Luke Hannaford – Graduate of the Year (Bachelor’s program)
Ben Charlton – History & Theory Prize
Emily Flanagan – Construction & Practice Prize

2018 NSW Student Architecture Awards Jury:

Andrew Nimmo (Jury Chair) – NSW Chapter President
Ceridwen Owen – University of Tasmania
Michael Wiener – Mirvac Design
Emmy Omagari – Bates Smart
Phuong Le – co-chair of the NSW Emerging Architects + Graduates Network

2018 NSW Student Architecture Awards – Program Partners

NSW Graduate Medal: Mirvac Design
NSW Undergraduate Medal: Bates Smart
NSW Architectural Communication Award: Rothelowman
NSW Architectural Technologies Award: Turner
NSW University Prizes: Crone (UTS); EJE Architecture (University of Newcastle); FJMT (UNSW); Jacobs (University of Sydney)