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Second round of state architecture awards showcases sustainability brilliance

Tonsley by Oxigen

Last week saw another round of state architecture awards held – taking in NSW, South Australia and Western Australia – producing some significant sustainability bling.

Tonsley dominates in South Australia

In South Australia, it was the Tonsley redevelopment that was the stand-out winner, with four projects within the development sharing seven awards across education, heritage, commercial, sustainability and urban design.

The project won two awards for Sustainable Architecture. The first went to the Tonsley Main Assembly Building and Pods by Woods Bagot and Tridente Architects.

“The success of the Main Assembly Hall and Pods as an exemplar of sustainability is the result of extensive collaboration between a diverse range of partnerships, and the strong commitment and long term vision of the client,” the jury citation said.

“Key design principles of passive ventilation, water sensitive design and natural lighting seamlessly underpin and enrich the main spaces. The MAB is the epitome of a comprehensive suite of sustainable design strategies, thoroughly developed through extensive consultation with stakeholders and community, environmental research and the application of evidence-based design modelling.

“The reuse of the existing structure not only offers significant savings in embodied energy, but the  skill of adaption and repurpose by the design team allows MAB to become a social beacon, a historical anchor and urban framework. This decision cleverly preserves the industrial heritage and social story of the site.

“Although still a work in progress, the Tonsley Main Assembly Building and Pods is already internationally recognised as a model for environmentally sustainable design and building practices, and the project represents a truly inclusive exploration into the benefits of sustainable design principles, from the macro to the micro scale.”

The second Award for Sustainable Architecture went to Oxigen for its “vibrant urban spaces” at Tonsley.

“The Tonsley project is an example of the benefits of extensive community consultation, analytical context analysis and a ‘ground up’ approach to sustainable design principles and the benefits to the public realm,” the jury citation said.

“Courtyards, gardens and shared amenities are knitted by a robust design strategy and series of guidelines to the existing body of the Main Assembly Building, producing vibrant and active public spaces with sustainability at its heart.

“Adaptive reuse strategies, consideration and coordination of ‘on-site’ materials used in the design, execution in Water Sensitive Urban Design of the ‘streets’; along with the development of a water management strategy in conjunction with local Oaklands wetlands, all harmoniously meld together with the built form of the MAB, and passively add to the richness of the development.”

Schools and clubs shine in NSW

In NSW the major Sulman Medal went to the “quintessentially Australian” Kempsey Crescent Head Surf Life Saving Club by Neeson Murcutt Architects.

Kempsey Crescent Head Surf Live Saving Club. Image: Brett Boardman

Kempsey Crescent Head Surf Live Saving Club. Image: Brett Boardman

“This project is completely engaged with the environment and the culture of coastal NSW,” the jury citation said. “The execution and detailing is beautifully refined and resolved, but still tough and robust to suit the extreme, corrosive environment and the demands of a ‘club’ client.”

Sydney CBD’s Liberty Place was another big winner, gaining the City of Sydney Lord Mayor’s Prize, along with an award for urban design and commendations for commercial architecture and sustainability.

Liberty Place. Image: Andrew Chung

Liberty Place. Image: Andrew Chung

The Lord Mayor’s citation called the building a “significant addition” to the city.

“Liberty Place delivers on the highest sustainable development principles, with ANZ Tower and Legion House both achieving the highest possible 6 Star Green Star design rating,” the citation said.

“The heritage listed Legion House has been refurbished as a fully zero carbon building, an Australian first for a refurbished building, creating its own renewable electricity generation. Liberty Place responds to the site’s inherent attributes and carefully assembles the ground plane, street walls, tower element, heritage fabric and public spaces into a cohesive whole.”

It was private schools at the forefront of sustainability in the state.

The major sustainability gong – the Milo Dunphy Award – went to the Northern Beaches Christian School by WMK Architecture.

Named Award. Northern Beaches Christian School. Image: Brett Boardman

Named Award. Northern Beaches Christian School. Image: Brett Boardman

“A new 11-metre high, 3000 square metre canopy reorganises this existing school with an innovative new focus and logic,” the jury citation said.

“The prefabricated steel structure intelligently controls light, shade and ventilation to the diverse spaces below, whilst also generating energy and harvesting rainwater, reused for a canopy misting system. Sustainability initiatives are further expanded by the students who monitor resources, environmental performance and efficiencies through active learning programs. This project provides both social and environmental value through high quality architecture, promoting innovative learning with a high quality and genuinely flexible and purposeful built environment.”

The top educational architecture gong – the William E Kemp Award – went to Abbotsleigh Multi-purpose Assembly and Sports Hall and Sports Field by AJ+C, which showcased impressive sustainability features, and also took out a sustainability commendation.

Abbotsleigh Multi-purpose Assembly and Sports Hall. Image: Tyrone Branigan

Abbotsleigh Multi-purpose Assembly and Sports Hall. Image: Tyrone Branigan

“Its sustainability credentials are significant and include sensitive site positioning, the use of life cycle cost benefit considerations, the demand for natural light and ventilation, energy conservation and performance criteria, and the substantial reuse of roof captured rain water,” the jury citation said.

Kerry Hill Architects take Western Australia

Kerry Hill Architects took out the major George Temple Poole Award for the City of Perth Library and Public Plaza as well as the State Buildings. Both projects are part of the Cathedral Square development, and it is the first time two projects have been awarded the top honour.

City of Perth Library and Public Plaza. Image: Nicolas Putrasia

City of Perth Library and Public Plaza. Image: Nicolas Putrasia

“Whilst both projects are very different in their own separate ways, they are both innovative, highly rigorous and incredibly strong in their design approach,” the jury citation said. “They deliver jointly and individually an incredibly rare and high order of public realm and civic amenity, which will be enjoyed by people of all ages for a very long time.”

The City of Perth Library and Public Plaza also won the The Jeffrey Howlett Award for Public Architecture and a Commendation in the Interior Architecture category, while the State Buildings took out The Margaret Pitt Morison Award for Heritage and the Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture.

The Wallace Greenham Award for Sustainable Architecture went to Mirvac OTB Tower, COMO The Treasury and Annex, a win shared by Kerry Hill Architects (Design Architect & COMO The Treasury Project Architect), HASSELL (Mirvac OTB Tower & Annex Project Architect) and Palassis Architects (Heritage Architect).

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