Jury awards special prize to best Newcastle building at 2013 Awards

The jury of the 2013 Newcastle Architecture Awards has awarded a special prize to an exceptional Newcastle building at tonight’s ceremony held at the Newcastle Museum.

The Hunter Medical Research Institute (HMRI) by SKM-S2F and Denton Corker Marshall (architects in association) was honoured with the 2013 Newcastle Jury Prize for Best Overall Contribution to Newcastle Architecture along with the Architecture Award for Public Architecture.

Led by Chair Debra McKendry, the jury implemented the award to recognise the significant architectural merit and excellence of the project which deserved special mention for the wonderful public and cultural benefits it bestows to Newcastle.

SKMS2F and Denton Corker Marshall Architects in Association Hunter Medical Research Institute Image by John Gollings
Hunter Medical Research Institute by SKM-S2F and Denton Corker Marshall (architects in association). Image by John Gollings.

‘HMRI is a world class medical research institute with both the external architecture and the internal planning reflecting the importance of the work being carried out within. It is an outstanding example of Public Architecture and a clear winner in this category,’ the jury noted.

In addition to the Jury Prize, five Architecture Awards and five Commendations were presented across public, commercial, residential – multiple housing, residential – single housing and small project architecture categories.

The Charlestown Medical Centre by Schreiber Hamilton Architecture took out the commercial architecture category winning the Architecture Award for its ‘strong and engaging contribution to the streetscape’, whileSuters Architects’ Brisans Motorcycle Showroom and Kingston HQ both received a Commendation.

St James’ Primary School Muswellbrook by Webber Architects was awarded a Commendation in the Public Architecture category which was won by HMRI.

The Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing category Architecture Award went to Grand Central Apartments by EJE Architecture, ‘a fine example of the integration of two disparate heritage buildings resulting in a modern multi-residential building’.

‘A refined and robust architectural expression’ was awarded the top prize in the Residential Architecture – Single Housing category. Helen Street House by Jodie Dixon Architect took home the Architecture Award. Commendations were presented to David Boyle Architects for their King Residence project and to True North Architects for Keir Residence.

The final award of the night was presented to Space Design Architecture for their ‘meticulously crafted’Laman Street Residence in the Small Project Architecture category.

Winners from the night will now present their projects to the NSW Architecture Awards’ juries for consideration of state honours which will be revealed on 27 June.

The Newcastle Architecture Awards are proudly sponsored by Architectural Window Systems Pty Ltd, Austral Bricks and Marline Newcastle Consulting Engineers and supported by Terras Landscape Architects.

For more information visit www.architecture.com.au/newcastle.

Jury Citations

COMMERCIAL ARCHITECTURE

ARCHITECTURE AWARD
The Charlestown Medical Centre – Schreiber Hamilton Architecture

The Charlestown Medical Centre achieves a high standard of design and form which sets a pleasing benchmark for future developments in the Charlestown Master Plan.

The scale and bulk of the building has been skilfully articulated to respond to the site context. The use of many and varied sun control measures provides an interesting fenestration treatment which belies the mass of the building.

The building presents a strong and engaging contribution to the streetscape of both Ridley & Smith Streets.

COMMENDATIONS
Brisans Motorcycle Showroom – Suters Architects
Kingston HQ – Suters Architects

PUBLIC ARCHITECTURE

ARCHITECTURE AWARD
Hunter Medical Research Institute – SKM-S2F and Denton Corker Marshall (Architects in association)

HMRI is a world class medical research institute and the jury thought that both the external architecture and the internal planning reflected the importance of the work being carried out within.

The two asymmetrical four storey wings, connected by a central two storey pod, align with the ridge of the hill and the broken forms facilitate a breaking down of the scale of the building. Although this is a large building it sits well in its context.

The planning of the laboratory wings encourages a free flow of ideas for occupants. The extensive use of internal glazing allows natural light penetration into the laboratories and views across the floor plate as well as distant views to the tree tops and beyond.

The jury considers this building to be an outstanding example of Public Architecture and a clear winner in this category.

COMMENDATION
St James’ Primary School Muswellbrook – Webber Architects

RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTURE – MULTIPLE HOUSING

ARCHITECTURE AWARD
Grand Central Apartments – EJE Architecture

The Grand Central Apartments by EJE Architecture is a fine example of the integration of two disparate heritage buildings resulting in a modern multi-residential building. The new building by EJE Architecture integrates the two original contrasting heritage facades as it steps away from the streetscape. The new work also reflects and complements the nature of the original buildings and the result is a sympathetic crown above the original buildings. The overall project also sits comfortably with its neighbours and complements the form and the scale of its urban location. The final result is both discrete and sympathetic.

Internally the building has been planned to deflect ambient noise from Scott Street and the adjacent Newcastle Railway Station. The apartments have an intimate and human character and enjoy a wonderful outlook across Newcastle Harbour to Stockton Bight and to Port Stephens in the distance. Their northern orientation allows deep penetration of winter sun along with planned shade and north-easterly breezes in summer. The apartments are of a high standard and the complex adds significantly to the residential re-birth of Newcastle East and the wider cityscape.

RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTURE – SINGLE HOUSING

ARCHITECTURE AWARD
Helen Street House – Jodie Dixon Architect

Architect Jodie Dixon has been designing and developing exquisite residential buildings in Newcastle since 1995. The architectural expression of Jodie’s Helen Street is both refined and robust – it is this year’s winner of the residential architecture – single housing award.

The house has a restrained street presence, discreetly retaining the neighbourhood’s single storey scale. It meshes quietly within the streetscape, but behind its masonry fence, the darkened weather-clad form cantilevers boldly over a raw concrete wall and the full scale of the house is then revealed.

There is a great deal to be said for unexpected pleasure. Immediately inside the entrance door your imagination is captured, the entry space links sleeping and living domains and features an indoor pond and garden vista. A window slices through the base of a rusty wall to allow glimpses to the pool outside and guide you into the living space.

A spine of storage in warm timber forms workspace nooks and widens into a cushioned kids play zone on the north end of the corridor. The kitchen looks onto a courtyard connecting the house to the open garage and guest room wing. The pool does not dominate the site, but is discreetly bound and formed by windows on three sides.

The broken plan ensures each space is ideally orientated, with ample daylight and access to breezes. Concrete living room floors absorb ambient heat in summer, are passively heated by the sun in winter, and overhangs formed by the building’s shape provide sun-shading and weather protection. Ocean breezes are captured from the south, flowing through the living room.

The jury felt the design reflected the personality of the architect – sophisticated, modest, intelligent, beautiful and understated.

COMMENDATIONS
King Residence – David Boyle Architects
Keir Residence – True North Architects

SMALL PROJECT ARCHITECTURE

ARCHITECTURE AWARD
Laman Street Residence – Space Design Architecture

Laman Street Residence is a meticulously crafted 80sqm house in the Cooks Hill locale. The building sits amongst a series of single and double storey cottages circa 1940 in a Heritage Conservation Area.

The building from the street remains unchanged – a freshly painted front entry remains the only indication of any modification. Compact ground level spaces have been reconfigured with the insertion of a courtyard and light well at the rear.

This indoor/outdoor space is protected from the elements and offers both an extension of the kitchen area, as well as allowing natural light and breezes throughout the lower level. An original staircase leads to an upper floor bedroom and bathroom space, opening onto a private garden roof terrace set behind the existing roof form.

This project challenges the general conception of how much space we really need to live in. While being functional on a day to day level, its skilful use of techniques – continuous floor finishes, landscaped elements, glazed walls and roofs – has also created the illusion of a much larger space.

Laman Street House is a successful example of clever planning within a constrained budget resulting in a practical, generous and light filled place that is a joy to live in.

2013 Newcastle Jury was led by Jury Chair and Practice Principle at McKendry-Hunt Architects, Debra McKendry, and included; Ramsey Awad, Senior Lecturer at the School of Architecture and Built Environment at the University of Newcastle; Robert Donaldson, Trustee of The Architecture Foundation; Emili Fox, Director of Fox Johnston in Sydney; and Peter Johnson, former Director of EJE Architecture (retired).

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Kate Griffith
Australian Institute of Architects Country Division
P. + 61 (2) 4960 4200
kate.griffith@architecture.com.au 

Alexandra Cato
National Media and Communications Officer
Australian Institute of Architects
P. + 61 (3) 8620 3813 | M. +61 (0) 416 022 818
alexandra.cato@architecture.com.au

The Australian Institute of Architects is the peak body for the architectural profession, representing 11,500 members across Australia and overseas. The Institute actively works to improve the quality of our built environment by promoting quality, responsible and sustainable design. Learn more about the Institute, log on to www.architecture.com.au.