NSW Student Architecture Awards 2020 winners announced

The NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects announced the winners of the 2020 NSW Student Architecture Awards, recognising the best student work completed last year at the four accredited schools of architecture in NSW.

NSW Chapter President Kathlyn Loseby said: ‘The awards program from the Institute is one of the most rigorous and prestigious in the industry. Simply being shortlisted in the NSW Student Architecture Awards provides graduates and undergraduates with the recognition for design excellence that can be a stepping stone to an outstanding career.

‘Following the recent bushfires and floods the jury were inspired by the students’ approach to environment, regeneration and rejuvenation,’ said Ms Loseby.

The NSW Graduate Medal for a design project carried out in the final year of the Master of Architecture degree was awarded to Jincheng Jiang of The University of New South Wales for the project A Place To Share Our Hands.

‘This thoughtful project resonated in its approach to the problem of connecting people from diverse backgrounds living in high density cities, where language barriers can exist, exacerbating the feeling of isolation,’ said jury chair Michael Wiener, Mirvac Design. ‘The jury was impressed by the well refined architectural expression of the buildings and urban spaces that enhanced human connection and belonging in our cities beyond language alone.’

The NSW Undergraduate Medal, which is for a design project carried out in the final year of the undergraduate degree, was awarded to Patrick Green of The University of Newcastle for the project Shucks: Oyster Remediation Plant.

Ms Loseby said: ‘Shucks presents an ambitious vision as ‘the world’s first Oyster remediation plant’, to transform Newcastle from a languishing coal port to a future Port of Service. Thoughtful planning of a sequence of natural processes in the spawning, nurturing and harvesting of oysters underpin the ecological services, demonstrating accountability with respect to the environmental footprint of the proposition.’

The Architectural Communication Award, which acknowledges excellence in architectural communication and celebrates the power of well-presented architectural design, was awarded to Stitches by Grace McLean of The University of Newcastle. Responding to the challenge of inefficiencies in waste and stormwater treatment, the video presentation provided a compelling narrative of ecological systems, using evocative imagery and strategic sequences, and using design as advocacy to draw attention to the utilisation and remediation of water in domestic living.

The Architectural Technologies Award, which acknowledges excellence in innovation for the integration of technology, structure and/or construction was awarded Dana Marjan of University of Technology Sydney for the project Or, Any, If, May: A Text of Two Cities. The work challenges the expectation that technologies must always be considered and presented as drawings of systems and physical matter, such as models, and instead uses video to reconsider the agency of legislation and policy in shaping our cities.

In addition, commendations were awarded to gradates Tom Byard of The University of Newcastle with Kulaluk and Janani Premchand of The University of Newcastle with Beneath, Beyond, and to undergraduates Jenny K Lin of The University of New South Wales for Re-Framing Sofala and Qing Yan of The University of Newcastle for Next Goal.

Antoine Portier and David Cadena from the University of Sydney were announced as the inaugural winners of the Brian Patrick Keirnan Prize for their project Immersion. The project explored the reimagining, reinventing and reinterpreting of the Overseas Passenger Terminal. Located opposite from the terminal, the high platform and grand stairs of the Sydney Opera House were designed with influence from Mayan pyramids, aiming to “free and raise buildings and people above everyday life”. This project extends this narrative, with an inverted monumental gesture – a playful counterpoint to a site seeming to call for an iconic object.

Christopher Zietsch from the University of Newcastle received a Brian Patrick Keirnan commendation for Carrington Living With Water. The project presents a future in which we not only learn to adapt to these realities, but in which we learn to thrive.

The Institute also announced the winners of the Rafik Azam Travel Bursary. Annie Murphy from the University of Newcastle and Samuel Jones of the University of New South Wales will travel to Bangladesh to study under architect Rafik Azam and his team and visit local projects by renowned architects such as Louis Kahn, Paul Rudolf and Mazharul Islam.

Also announced were the winners of the Universities NSW school of architecture nominated prizes.

NSW Graduate Medal

A Place To Share Our Hands | Jincheng Jiang | The University of New South Wales

This thoughtful project resonated in its approach to the problem of connecting disparate people living in high density cities, often from diverse social and cultural backgrounds, where language barriers exist and preclude interaction, exacerbating the feeling of isolation The project looks beyond how we connect through language alone, exploring how communication and social interaction can be established through the process of sharing and observing the movements and activities of hands. 

With careful placement of buildings and their openings, windows and framed views, the resolution of the intimate to progressively public spaces enables passive or introverted observation through to more socially extroverted and interactive performance spaces. Importantly, the placement of these urban rooms is connected to the surrounding context, responding to existing active edges, view corridors and movements across the site while also creating places of sanctuary from the ‘busyness’ of the city.

The jury was impressed by the narrative created with thoughtful diagrams, study models and drawings that were evocative of the concept and demonstrated a deep connection to the project, depth of rationale and research. This journey was fully realised in the well refined architectural expression of the buildings and urban spaces that provide a competent solution to the question of human connection and belonging in our cities.

NSW Graduate – Commendations

Kulaluk | Tom Byard | The University of Newcastle

Kulaluk is an ambitious project which presents the many benefits that meaningful engagement of the local Aboriginal community can have in understanding their histories and shaping their environments. Impressively, this project involved extended student engagement with Tibby Quall of the Dangallaba Clan, Arnhem Land Elders including Dulcie and Daughter Rhonda, conservationist Graham Kirby and anthropologist Bill Day. Kulaluk demonstrates that latent site narratives can be revealed through these important conversations with the local community and that architectural design processes have the potential to incorporate First Australians’ voices. 

Beneath, Beyond | Janani Premchand | The University of Newcastle

Beneath, Beyond is a rich and evocative graduate project which demonstrates the value of thorough research and analysis, not only of a site but of the broader cultural, social, political and historical environment within which the proposed development is to occur. The project, located at Booderee National Park near Jervis Bay, has brought together the natural, the Indigenous and the nuclear history of the site successfully and seamlessly as a thought provoking journey through interlocking spaces evoking consideration of what was and contemplation of what could be.

NSW Undergraduate Medal

Shucks: Oyster Remediation Plant | Patrick Green | The University of Newcastle

Shucks presents an ambitious vision as ‘the world’s first Oyster remediation plant’, to transform Newcastle from a languishing coal port to a future Port of Service. This vision is delivered through interventions of both spatial and environmental systems design, harnessed to work symbiotically with seasonally adjusted architectural form. Carapace shells from landfill transplant the foundations of an artificial reef, which in turn instigates the seasonal cycle of the plant.

Thoughtful planning of a sequence of natural processes in the spawning, nurturing and harvesting of oysters underpin the ecological services these activities provide, as oysters filter the water, cleanse the harbor of pollution, and once shucked the shells provide construction materials for anticipated development of the area.

The project demonstrates a mature approach to the brief, and a high standard of accountability with respect to the environmental footprint of the proposition. The video communication of the scheme provided a compelling narrative sequence of process, grounded in significant contextual analysis and leveraging ecological processes attuned to seasonal circumstances.

NSW Undergraduate – Commendations

Re-Framing Sofala | Jenny K Lin | The University of New South Wales

The project seeks to rejuvenate the historic town of Sofala with a new cultural facility. Composed of two main pavilions, the buildings form both a gateway to facilitate a gentle transitional experience for visitors and space for a town square for community gatherings and public events. It does this by understanding the village fabric, landscape and topography, weaving these elements into a highly resolved outcome. The art gallery addresses the main street forming a built edge. Glazed walls front the natural realm engaging with the environment and opening to the landscape to bring nature into the facility. The tectonics, relationship to the natural environment as well as the character of the spaces are given life through the quality of the renderings and drawings.

Next Goal | Qing Yan | The University of Newcastle

This imaginative project seeks to re-engage the local community with an underutilised sports and recreational facility, while strengthening the physical connections across the city. Set within the National Park Sportsground in Newcastle, the project proposes a hybrid typology of elevated pathways and programmed spaces, set above the floodplain and carefully arranged around the existing sports fields and pedestrian and bicycle paths that traverse the site.

Through the use of physical models, hand sketches and engaging cutaway sections, the proposal demonstrates a thoughtful exploration of ideas, integrating water management infrastructure, sports and recreational activities, and public spaces to create an engaging multilayered community facility.

NSW Architectural Communication Award

Stitches | Grace McLean | The University of Newcastle

Stitches proposes a new urban green metabolism in which waste and stormwater treatment are decentralised and integrated with their surrounding context. The outcome reconfigures the relationship between waste and society from an outdated linear throughput model to a more transparent, circular and coexistent model. Given the challenge this proposition presents to accepted suburban centralised and ‘invisible’ waste water treatment systems, the communication of the proposition is vital to overcome public scepticism and potential resistance.

Responding to this challenge, the video presentation provided a compelling narrative of the ecological systems, using evocative imagery and strategic sequences, which demonstrate a mature approach utilising design as advocacy to raise awareness of the use and remediation of water in domestic living.

The decentralised system treats and disposes near the source while integrating public program. As such it highlights and reframes a public utility system process previously relegated ‘out of sight’, as a holistic ecological process to be witnessed and integrated within the daily life environment. The insertion of public program provides the catalyst for engaging greater public awareness and daily interaction with sequences within waste water processing – ultimately highlighting the need for greater awareness and action to ensure sustainable water management.

NSW ArchitecturaL Technologies Award

Or, Any, If, May: A Text of Two Cities | Dana Marjan | University of Technology Sydney

The jury was unanimously impressed with this challenging and powerful provocation to reframe words as technology. The strength of Or, Any, If, May: A Text of Two Cities lies in its advocacy that we acknowledge and address the extent to which the words contained within legislation are powerful delineators of boundary, deployed as technology.

The work analysed legislation, drew out specific potent recurrent terms and then presented a screenplay as a technical section of the city, to highlight and expose the manner in which words within policy and legislation are applied in technical ways that underpin and constrain the deployment of spatial boundaries and the places of occupation they delineate. This work challenges the expectation that technologies must always be considered and presented as drawings of systems and physical matter.

The highly innovative proposition illuminates that the structure and construction of text act alongside the technical resolution and detailing of legislation as powerful spatial forces imposing both opportunity and limitation, dependent upon their application. The provocation challenges us all to reconsider the agency of legislation and policy in shaping our cities.

Brian Patrick Keirnan Prize

Immersion | Antoine Portier and David Cadena | University of Sydney

This project reimagines, reinvents and reinterprets one of Sydney’s most iconic public spaces – Circular Quay – in a challenging, dynamic and thought-provoking way. Located on the western side of the Quay at the site of the Overseas Passenger Terminal, the proposal’s conceptual underpinning and the resolution that flowed from it were particularly impressive. Located opposite from the terminal, the high platform and grand stairs of the Sydney Opera House were designed with influence from Mayan pyramids, aiming to “free and raise buildings and people above everyday life”. Extending this narrative, ‘Immersion’ proposes an inverted monumental gesture – a playful counterpoint to a site seeming to call for an iconic object.

‘Immersion’ displays a progressive approach to the way people in this reimagined public domain would interact with and experience the natural environment, which they are unable to do so at present. It encourages a return of a largely privatised waterfront to the community by addressing the existing impediments to public access to the foreshore and harbour. ‘Immersion’ reflects the aims and purpose of the prize in expressing on a grand scale – with imagination and lyricism – the possibility of a reimagined space and the opportunities that flow from that. 

BRIAN PATRICK KEIRNAN PRIZE Commendation

Carrington Living With Water | Christopher Zietsch | The University of Newcastle

Although we must strive to limit the impacts of climate change, there are some realities that may no longer be reversible. Carrington Living With Water presents a future in which we not only learn to adapt to these realities, but in which we learn to thrive. The proposal takes the industrial suburb of Carrington and transforms its streets into a network of biodiverse waterways, and its warehouses into new housing typologies, storage for shared cars, or compelling artefacts within a verdant landscape.

NSW UNIVERSITY PRIZES

The University of New South Wales

Natalie Ho – Graduate of the Year (Bachelor’s program)

Jincheng Jiang – Graduate of the Year (Master’s program)

Nailah Masagos Zulkifli – History & Theory Prize

Natalie  Ho – Construction & Practice Prize

The University of Newcastle    

Jye Whyte – Graduate of the Year (Bachelor’s program)

Thomas Byard – Graduate of the Year (Master’s program)

Emilie Winter – History & Theory Prize

Annie Murphy – Construction & Practice Prize

The University of Sydney

Rachel Liang – Graduate of the Year (Bachelor’s program)

Xiaoxi Tan – Graduate of the Year (Master’s program)

Alvin Hui – History & Theory Prize

Jake Boydell – Construction & Practice Prize

The University of Technology Sydney

Ho Kyeong Kim – Graduate of the Year (Bachelor’s program)

Grace Louise Dwyer – Graduate of the Year (Master’s program)

Sarah Choo – History & Theory Prize

Farah Rehman – Construction & Practice Prize

2020 NSW Student Architecture Awards Jury:

Michael Wiener (Jury Chair), Mirvac Design

Dr Angelique Edmonds, University of South Australia

Jonathon Claridge, Bates Smart

Kathlyn Loseby FRAIA, NSW Chapter President

Laura Cockburn, Conrad Gargett

Tiffany Liew, Co-chair of the NSW Emerging Architects + Graduates Network

2020 NSW Student Architecture Awards – Program Partners

NSW Graduate Medal: Mirvac Design

NSW Undergraduate Medal: Bates Smart

NSW University Prizes: Crone (UTS), FJMT (UNSW) and Jacobs (University of Sydney)