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25 stunning photos of award-winning sustainable projects

Crayon House by Grieve Gillett Andersen. Image: Sam Noonan

All the state and territory winners of the Australian Institute of Architects’ annual awards have been announced, so we’ve rounded up our picks of the most sustainable, interesting and eye-catching projects ahead of the national awards in November.

NSW

In NSW the theme was multi-residential architecture, with both quality and quantity on display.

“Affordability and diversity of housing is an important community issue, and while we need to have bigger cities to accommodate population growth, the challenge is to make better cities with increased open space and amenity and more reliable public transport and infrastructure must balance this greater density,” NSW chapter president Andrew Nimmo said.

The Milo Dunphy Award for Sustainable Architecture went to 88 Angel St by Steele Associates Architects, which also won an award for residential architecture – multiple housing.

88 Angel Street

88 Angel St by Steele Associates Architects. Image: Oliver Steele

“88 Angel Place is a remarkable project where architect and developer have designed and built a multi-residential project on a small inner-city site, with an impressive array of sustainable design initiatives,” the jury said.

“Included in the design are best practice thermal comfort construction techniques including massive concrete walls, double glazing and an insulated green roof; an automated system for shading, ventilation and temperature control; a program of on-site renewables such as rainwater harvesting and solar panels; and the use of low maintenance materials such as the ‘shou-sugi-ban’ timber cladding.”

Native fauna in gardens and on the roof is another key features.

The major Sulman Medal for Public Architecture went to Orange Regional Museum by Crone Architects.

Orange Regional Museum by Crone Architects. Image: Tom Ferguson

“This bold, large-scale intervention re-organises a whole city block through the application of a combined landscape, architectural and urban solution,” the jury said.

“Simple, bold and confident moves have created a destination for locals and visitors, which provide a clear and active address to the larger civic precinct.”

Central Park was another big winner, with Tzannes, Cox Richardson and Foster + Partners taking out the The Lloyd Rees Award for Urban Design. The Kensington Street Precinct (part of Central Park) by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects also won an urban design award.

Central Park by Tzannes, Cox Richardson and Foster + Partners. Image: Brett Boardman

“It is impossible to overlook the ambition, scale or impact of Central Park on urban design in Sydney,” the jury said. “The transformation of the former Carlton United Brewery site today stands as an exemplar of precinct renewal.

“The high quality of architecture and public space delivered is a significant achievement for a development of this scale, and would not have been achievable without the collaboration, skill and advocacy of many authors consistently working together towards the best outcome for the precinct.”

On Kensington Street, the jury said heritage had not only been preserved and recomposed, but embraced enthusiastically.

Kensington Street Precinct by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects. Image: Brett Boardman

“An urban composition of heritage restoration and confident intervention presents an almost too perfect facade, until you become aware of what lies behind; the hustle and bustle and clanking of woks, the smell of spices and hungry locals devouring their noodles.”

Victoria

The theme for Victorian winners was places for people, including healthy, liveable spaces.

“Living and working in well-designed buildings influences the way we think and feel; it inspires and uplifts us, promotes wellbeing and health and can bring us together in new ways,” Victorian chapter president Vanessa Bird said.

Winning the Allan And Beth Coldicutt Award for Sustainable Architecture was South East Water by BVN.

South East Water by BVN. Image: John Gollings

“SE Water HQ contributes much to both its workforce’s and Frankston’s wellbeing,” the jury said. “A certified 5 Star Green Star Office Design project deftly incorporates systems and spaces to deliver a workplace community, connected over multiple floors.”

Winner of both the Victorian Medal and the William Wardell Award for Public Architecture was the Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre by sthDI+MCR (Silver Thomas Hanley, DesignInc and McBride Charles Ryan).

Victorian Comprehensive Cancer Centre by sthDI+MCR. Image: Peter Bennetts

“There is much to celebrate in this handsome addition to Victoria’s notable public buildings,” the jury said. “The VCCC is testament to the skill and imagination of the sthDI + MCR architectural consortium, and to the commitment of its builders, sponsors, financiers and government agencies that have made it possible.”

Albert Park College Environmental Arts Hub by Six Degrees Architects took out the Henry Bastow Award for Educational Architecture and the John George Knight Award for Heritage Architecture.

Albert Park College Environmental Arts Hub by Six Degrees Architects. Image: Simon James

“This place imparts a sense of warmth and community engagement from the moment of arrival, symbolised by the blazing fire in the reception space,” the jury said.

Tasmania

For Tasmania it was all about emerging architects and innovation.

Practice Room11 was a big winner, taking out the The Barry McNeill Award for Sustainable Architecture for the Brambles Brewery, which also won an award for commercial architecture.

Brambles Brewery by Room11. Image: Andrew Knott

“This modest project with high ambitions is a perfect example of ‘long life, loose fit’, with the sustainability value implied in continuity,” the jury said.

The practice’s D’Entrecasteaux House and Nelson House were also awarded for residential architecture, while director Thomas Bailey won the 2017 Emerging Architect Prize.

Core Collective Architects took home three awards for their Sunnybanks House, including the Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture and awards for new houses and sustainable architecture.

Sunnybanks House by Core Collective Architects. Image: Adam Gibson

“An example of resilience rather than invention, this project encourages debate about true sustainability,” the jury said. “While the awards system generally recognises and encourages excellence in built form, a sustainability award should not revolve around virtuosity, novelty or monuments to a particular way of living.”

ACT

The ACT saw projects of all sizes awarded, and another place where places for people was a key theme.

The Canberra Medallion went to Constitution Avenue by NCA, JILA, Hill Thalis, SMEC and AECOM, which also received the Sir John Overall Award for Urban Design.

Constitution Avenue by NCA, JILA, Hill Thalis, SMEC and AECOM. Image: Martin Ollman

The project has been a decade in the making and the jury said it realised Walter Burley Griffin’s vision of “an elegant and vibrant mixed-use grand boulevard … supported by an integrated transport system, broad tree-lined footpaths and outdoor dining and street parking”.

“The design creates an environment that prioritises pedestrians and cyclists followed by public transport then private vehicles,” the jury said.

The Derek Wrigley Award for Sustainable Architecture went to Corner House by Joanna Nelson Architect, which also won the ACT Award for Small Project Architecture.

Corner House by Joanna Nelson Architect. Image: Anthony Basheer

“Corner House represents a creative and intelligent act of sustainable architecture in the context of an inner-suburban Canberra that is undergoing rapid change,” the jury said.

“The lightly remodelled house conserves embodied energy and gestures towards suburban living on a modest scale, offering an attractive and viable alternative to the ‘complete makeover’ or ‘knockdown-rebuild’.”

The NewActon Nishi development by Fender Katsalidis Architects added to its bag of awards with the Sydney Ancher Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing and an award for commercial architecture.

NewActon Nishi development by Fender Katsalidis Architects. Image: John Gollings

“In an era where housing needs to be denser, more compact, of high quality, and closer to civic centres, Nishi NewActon provides a compelling exemplar,” the jury said.

Northern Territory

In the top end, Bullocky Point Education Precinct by MODE was the most-awarded project, taking out the top Tracy Memorial Award, along with the Northern Territory Chapter Award for Educational Architecture and an award for interior architecture.

Bullocky Point Education Precinct by MODE. Image: Gary Annett

“This building represents excellence in architecture and site planning, respect for context, the best in interpretation of heritage and an outstanding resolution of client requirements for the Darwin High School and Northern Territory School of Distance Education,” the jury said.

The Thorny Devil (Moloch Horridus) Award for Sustainable Architecture went to Casuarina Square, The Quarter by Altis Architecture Pty Ltd, which also won the Peter Dermoudy Award for Commercial Architecture.

Casuarina Square, The Quarter by Altis Architecture Pty Ltd. Image: Caroline Camilleri

“Shady and cool but with no air conditioning; finally the tropical sun and steam has been turned down,” the jury said. “This is a place to spend time and or money but without resource-hungry machines.”

Tropology for DHA by Troppo Architects took out the residential architecture – multiple housing.

Tropology for DHA by Troppo Architects. Image: DHA

“Dual occupancy is no longer a frightening concept for good tropical housing or for the DHA,” the jury said. “Tropology leads the charge for the future densification of the tropical north.”

Queensland

The Harry Marks Award for Sustainable Architecture went to Mt Alvernia College Anthony and La Verna Buildings by m3architecture, which also won the The Jennifer Taylor Award for Educational Architecture.

Mt Alvernia College Anthony and La Verna Buildings by m3architecture. Image: Frederick Jones

“This exquisitely moving poetic campus design recognises St Francis’ preoccupation [with] flora and fauna, and the importance of relationships between humankind and nature, to manifest a sustainable community with unexpected delight and holistic wellbeing,” the jury said.

The F D G Stanley Award for Public Architecture went to Sunshine Coast University Hospital by Architectus Brisbane and HDR Rice Daubney as Sunshine Coast Architects, which also won the The Karl Langer Award for Urban Design.

Sunshine Coast University Hospital by Architectus Brisbane and HDR Rice Daubney as Sunshine Coast Architects. Image: Chris Wardle

The jury called the building “an intelligent and elegant public building that strives for local use and social engagement through the clearly defined provision of green corridors, public outdoor spaces and community infrastructure”.

The Beatrice Hutton Award for Commercial Architecture went to 480 Queen Street by BVN, which also won a sustainable architecture award.

480 Queen Street by BVN. Image: Christopher Frederick Jones

“Intricately managed engineering solutions and innovative passive design initiatives combine intelligently as a memorable design solution that achieves the highest level of sustainability,” the jury said.

South Australia

There was no named award for sustainability, but Crayon House by Grieve Gillett Andersen received a sustainable architecture award along with The John S Chappel Award for New Houses.

Crayon House by Grieve Gillett Andersen. Image: Sam Noonan

“The jury awarded the Crayon House as an exemplary version of sustainability in the suburbs,” the jury said. “Integral to sustainable design is a consideration of size and the Crayon House is restrained, simple and yet a beautiful example of a house that has everything it needs without being excessive.”

Wineries were well represented, with the most successful Penfolds Magill Estate by Denton Corker Marshall taking out two named awards, the Keith Neighbour Award for Commercial Architecture and the Robert Dickson Award for Interior Architecture.

Penfolds Magill Estate by Denton Corker Marshall. Image: Peter Barnes

“Part cellar door, part café and part museum, the project is a blend that will undoubtedly achieve what it set out to accomplish – to position the facility as an internationally recognised tourist destination for South Australia,” the jury said.

The Anzac Centenary Memorial Walk by Grieve Gillett Andersen won the Gavin Walkley Award for Urban Design as well as the City of Adelaide Prize and the City of Adelaide People’s Choice Award.

Anzac Centenary Memorial Walk by Grieve Gillett Andersen. Image: Robyn Oliver

“This seemingly effortless master-stroke of urban design for the City of Adelaide expands beyond the challenging brief to tell the stories of remembrance, service and loyalty while creating a democratic and multifunctional public place for ceremony and contemplation,” the jury said.

Western Australia

An education facility took out WA’s top gong, with the George Temple Poole Award going to Willetton Senior High School by HASSELL.

Willetton Senior High School by HASSELL. Image: Douglas Mark Black

“The Willetton Senior High School project embodies architecture at the service of its community with its ability to enrich the lives of the students, teachers and staff who use the buildings,” the jury said.

Again, there was no named award for sustainability by the sustainable architecture award went to the Gen Y Demonstration Housing Project by David Barr Architect.

Gen Y Demonstration Housing Project by David Barr Architect. Image: Robert Frith

“Advocating the benefits of sustainable design is one of the key responsibilities of the Institute, and the jury was impressed with the project’s ability to reinforce that site area or cost isn’t a barrier for good design, sustainability or amenity,” an AIA statement said.

The East Pilbara Arts Centre by Officer Woods Architects won the Jeffery Howlett Award for Public Architecture, the Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture and and a commendation for sustainable architecture.

East Pilbara Arts Centre by Officer Woods Architects. Image: Robert Frith

“The centre has become a highly valued destination and public window for artists of the East Pilbara to gather, create and exhibit their work to the world.”

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