The winners of the New South Wales Architecture Awards were recently announced in Sydney. Of the 42 awards and commendations for outstanding design presented by the Australian Institute of Architects New South Wales Chapter, half were awarded to smart and savvy adaptive re-use projects demonstrating the current trend towards smarter, more intelligent ways of reusing the state’s massive supply of existing building stock. There were also several great examples of new sustainable constructions. From recycled to brand-new, here’s a look at some of the exceptional architectural projects from Oz.
The major award categories included: public architecture, urban design, commercial architecture, heritage architecture, interior architecture, new residential, residential additions and alterations, multi-family, and small projects. Several additional prizes were also awarded, including a special jury prize. Of note among the winning or commended projects were:
Heritage Architecture Greenway Award: Tonkin Zulaikha Greer’s CarriageWorks at Eveleigh. Dating back to the 1880’s and NSW’s hey day during the steam era, the Eveleigh Carriage Workshops are a great example of how a landmark site can be given new life without forsaking the old. The design maintains existing elements that retain their patina of age, while offering new generations flexible theatre spaces, administration offices, workshop spaces and amenities in discrete concrete boxes clearly articulated from the heritage fabric.
Public Architecture Award: Harry Seidler & Associates’ Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre. With its curving roof trusses, the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre is one of Sydney’s great public rooms. As one of Seidler’s last projects, the centre stands as a fitting memorial to one of Australia’s leading modernists.
Interior Architecture Award: Stanic Harding’s Darling Point Apartment 2. This stunning space occupies the entire 18th floor of a circular building offering 360-degree views that include the harbour, bridge and Opera House in Sydney. The original layout made a clumsy use of the available space with poor integration of services, whereas Stanic Harding’s new layout is a fluid sequence of radial spaces.
Residential Architecture (Additions+Alterations) Award: Peter StutchburyArchitecture’s Garden House. Having previously designed the studio in the rear garden, this scope of this remodel included connecting the original 1977 Michael Dysart house with all other buildings and their adjacent gardens, unifying the property around a centrally located dining pavilion. The design approach shows an ongoing interest in the blurring and articulation of internal and external spaces.
Architecture Award: Reg Lark Architect’s Balgowlah House. This is an elegant and inventive home whose front facade leans back from the street. The finely detailed, louvred, inclined plane presenting an alternative to the typical suburban facades. Within the house, space is layered horizontally and vertically. The result is a beautifully proportioned and spectacular space overlooking the harbor.
Commendation: Casey Brown Architecture’s Permanent Camping. Its small size, three metres square at the base and diminishing over its two stories, exaggerates the structure’s fragility in the vastness of its surroundings. The copper walls open outward hinged horizontally at the top and hand winched into place forming striking lean-to roofs akin to verandahs. A bush kitchen, a slow combustion stove and a loft reached by a ladder occupy the diminutive interior from where the uninhabited landscape can be contemplated.
Special Jury Prize: Paul Pholeros for his work with indigenous tribes. Paul founded Healthabitat to formulate methodologies for making the basic amenities of housing functional in remote communities. He’s now working on an eco-village in China. Check out Bustler for a full list of all the winners.