Australian Institute Of Architects 2009 National Architecture Awards Announced

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EMBARGOED MEDIA RELEASE


Thursday 29 Oct 2009


Editors Note:

Embargo: 8pm Thursday 29 Oct 2009

Winners not to be notified in advance


Australian Institute of Architects 2009 National

Architecture Awards announced


Australia’s major new arts, theatre and ‘culture palaces’

from Canberra to Melbourne to New York, and the architects

who designed them, are among major winners at this year’s

top architecture awards.


The Australian Institute of Architects’ National Architecture Awards are

the country’s most prestigious annual architecture prizes. The 2009 awards were

presented to the nation’s most inspiring recent architectural projects and

architects, at a special ceremony tonight (Thursday 29 October) in

Melbourne. A total 32 awards and commendations across 12 categories

were awarded to projects in Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania, the ACT, NSW,

Western Australia, South Australia, the United Arab Emirates and the

United States.


Presenting the awards and commenting on this year’s winners, Jury Chair and

award-winning architect Howard Tanner said: “2009 represented a strong year

for architecture, with new benchmarks set in a number of key categories – such

as commercial architecture. In public architecture, educational projects spanning

primary to tertiary facilities were also outstanding, with many Australian

universities now comprehending the need for world class facilities to attract

students.” 


Topping the list of winners, is the recipient of Australia’s top annual national

architecture award - the 2009 Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public

Architecture, awarded this year to the National Portrait Gallery in the ACT by

Sydney-based practice Johnson Pilton Walker (JPW). In a double win for the

firm, the gallery also received a National Architecture Award for Interior

Architecture. The gallery is the most recent in a long list of major arts facilities

designed by JPW, including the New Asian Galleries at the AGNSW and the

Museum of Sydney, and is their first Sir Zelman Cowen Award.


Mr Tanner said: “The monumental concrete edifices of the National Gallery and

the High Court dominate this precinct, to which the National Portrait Gallery is the

new family member.  Smaller, more precious, it seeks to resolve a public

presence and public gallery with the intimate, often domestic-scaled nature of

portraiture. He added: “The building, while a triumph in cultural terms and

popular appreciation, is clearly too small for its public role and purpose – a

reflection of contemporary governments’ aspirations and budgets. Government

probably never foresaw that this would be an attraction to rival the National

Gallery and the War Memorial.” Accordingly, the architects have designed the

building for extension to the west in a series of pavilions.


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National Awards for Public Architecture were also presented to educational

facilities in Sydney and Melbourne - the All Saints Primary School at Belmore

in NSW by Angelo Candalepas Associates and the Monash Centre for

Electron Microscopy by Architectus Melbourne. 


Melbourne’s newest and iconic centre for the performing arts – the Melbourne

Recital Centre and MTC Theatre Project by ARM – was awarded the Emil

Sodersten Award for Interior Architecture, with the jury saying “all three

performing arts venues achieve a very high standard of architecture in terms of

excellent functionality within distinctive and memorable interiors”. They said the

complex contains the most significant new performing arts venues in Melbourne,

with easy access and effective egress being givens, along with sizeable lobbies

and public areas, and a functional back of house. “The most important aspect of

the development is the performing arts spaces, their adequacy, sightlines and

acoustics.  All three are effectively boxes within boxes, isolated from the outside

world and the ground to minimise noise and vibration transfer.”


Australia’s top award for international architecture, the Jorn Utzøn Award for

International Architecture, was awarded to a small project in one of the

‘largest’, most iconic theatre locations in the world, New York’s Times Square –

being awarded to the ‘red steps’ TKTS Booth/Redevelopment of Duffy

Square, New York by young Sydney firm Choi Ropiha, with Perkins

Eastman, PKSB. (see separate media release)


The jury noted the particular strength of this year’s Commercial Architecture,

which set new benchmarks in terms of providing exemplary ‘social’ spaces,

adaptive re-use, regional architecture and staff accommodation where ‘happiness’

is acknowledged as a business asset.  The Harry Seidler Award for

Commercial Architecture was presented to ivy on Sydney’s busy George Street

by Woods Bagot, in collaboration with Merivale Group and Hecker Phelan

& Guthrie. In a double win, the project also received a National Award for

Urban Design, with the jury saying: The popular palaces of culture the

cinemas, stadia, and pubs and clubs – have, in recent years, rarely presented

themselves as high architecture. ivy is a remarkable exception.  Part Roman

baths, part smart restaurants, part urbane gathering place, it has been fused into

the city’s fabric in a presentable and ingenious way.” They added: “Ash Street

and Palings Lane (now relocated to advantage) have become vibrant pedestrian

thoroughfares, lined with shops, bars and cafes.”

 

National Awards for Commercial Architecture were also presented to

Headquarter Sussan Sportsgirl in Melbourne’s Cremorne by Sydney practice

Durbach Block Architects and Bendigo Bank Headquarters in regional

Victoria by BVN Architecture + Gray Puksand – with the jury noting that both

achieved new benchmarks. Sussan Sportsgirl set new precedents for workplaces,

being designed to provide “one place for the client’s family of businesses,  her art

collection and her love of gardens, where happiness is a business asset, gained

through a combination of light, openness, views, art and gardens”. 


For the first time in four years, Australia’s most prestigious residential award

returned to the nation’s biggest housing market – with the Robin Boyd Award

for Residential Architecture - Houses, going to an innovative house on

Sydney’s northern beaches – the Freshwater House by young Sydney husband

and wife team Tony Chenchow and Stephanie Little of Chenchow Little

Architects. In describing the project, a four-bedroom home for a young family of

five on a small 332 sq m site, the jury said: “The design provides an outstanding

solution for an elevated site, and achieves a private compound, screened from

the neighbours, yet open and expansive towards an outdoor lawn terrace, the

beach and sea.”  In a second major win for the couple, Chenchow Little


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Architects shared the National Award for Small Project Architecture for the

Ang House in Sydney’s Mosman, with young Victorian firm Bellemo & Cat for

their Polygreen House in the Melbourne suburb of Northcote. 

 

In a double scoop for fellow young Sydney-based husband and wife team Rachel

Neeson and Nick Murcutt of Neeson Murcutt Architecture, the couple received

National Awards for Residential Architecture for two strikingly unique

houses in NSW and Victoria - the Whale Beach House at Whale Beach in

Sydney and Zac’s House at Sorrento on the Mornington Peninsular. 


The Frederick Romberg Award for Residential Architecture - Multiple

Housing was presented to Melbourne-based practice Wood Marsh for the 22-

storey Balencia Apartments on St Kilda Road in Melbourne. The jury said: “St

Kilda Road, conceived as Melbourne’s grand boulevarde, was once lined by

imposing houses, now largely replaced by dull high rise buildings. Balencea

counters this trend, recognising the importance of its position on a corner site,

and the opportunity to achieve intrigue through its fluted form and slenderness,

when viewed from certain positions. The architects have demonstrated sensitivity,

skill and experience in negotiating an impressive balance between the commercial

interests of the client, the comfort and amenity of the occupants and

architecture’s responsibility to the public domain. They have created an

exemplary model for sophisticated multiple housing in an urban setting.”


The prestigious Lachlan Macquarie Award for Heritage was this year awarded

to the St.Paul’s Cathedral, Conservation of the Fabric, by Falkinger and

Andronas, Architects, Heritage Consultants. The jury said: “Gothic cathedrals

are complex structures and constructions, requiring careful management and

maintenance if they are to survive in good order and serve changing patterns of

use. Falkinger and Andronas have been responsible for the conservation of both

of Melbourne’s major cathedrals, and at St Paul’s have been involved for over

nine years. The decay of the building has been slowed, stormwater failures have

been addressed and the building surfaces cleansed, so that we can more readily

appreciate the visual qualities of the cathedral as its designers intended.”  


An iconic venue in Melbourne, The Sidney Myer Music Bowl by Yuncken,

Freeman Brothers, Griffiths and Simpson, received the National 25 Year

Award for Enduring Architecture, being described by the jury as “one of the

great tent-like suspension structures of the world”, and “a clear indicator of the

vibrant creative forces active in Australia circa 1960, that were allowed realisation

to great acclaim”. Conserved and upgraded in 2000 by Gregory Burgess

Architects, the venue is a “much-loved icon, and part of the social fabric of

Melbourne and the nation”. 


The Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design has been awarded to the

Armory Wharf Precinct at Sydney Olympic Park by Hargreaves Associates,

Lahz Nimmo Architects and Lacoste + Stevenson Architects. The Armory

Wharf Precinct is a remarkably attractive park precinct with much-enjoyed, well-

designed public facilities.  It is a most agreeable place to visit, uncluttered, well

resolved, and in harmony with the natural and man-modified landscape.”


The new headquarters for a state water agency in Adelaide - VS1/SA Water

Head Office by HASSELL has received the National Award for Sustainable

Architecture. VS1/SA Water is the first building in South Australia to achieve a

GBCA 6 Star Green Star design rating, delivered at competitive market rental.  It

sets a new benchmark in ESD, promoting best practice for a healthy office

environment, with reduced energy usage, waste, and harmful emissions.” 

 

The Colorbond® Award for Steel Architecture was presented to young

Sydney-based architect James Stockwell for the Snowy Mountains House


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overlooking Lake Jindabyne. “James Stockwell’s commission to create a robust,

economical house for an extended family carefully addresses issues of climatic

extremes, simple maintenance, and sustainable objectives.  It has its origins in

alpine huts and ski lodges, but here delivered with a straightforward finesse. The

house combines autonomy with reasonable construction cost, minimum

maintenance, and good longevity, achieving excellent sustainable credentials.”


Complete list of winners

A

record 893 projects vied for Australian Institute of Architects state and

territory Architecture Awards, with 144 rewarded. Of these, 32 projects and

practices have been awarded 2009 National Architecture Awards or

Commendations. This year’s winners are:


Public Architecture

The Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture

National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, ACT - Johnson Pilton Walker

National Award for Public Architecture

All Saints Primary School, Belmore, NSW - Candalepas Associates

National Award for Public Architecture

Monash Centre for Electron Microscopy, Monash Uni, VIC – Architectus Melbourne

National Commendation for Public Architecture

Faculty of Law, Library and Teaching Complex, University of Sydney, NSW -

Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (fjmt)


Residential Architecture - Houses

The Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture - Houses

Freshwater House, Harbord, NSW - Chenchow Little Architects

National Architecture Award for Residential Architecture – Houses

Zac’s House, Sorrento, Victoria - Neeson Murcutt Architects

National Architecture Award for Residential Architecture – Houses

Whale Beach House, Whale Beach, NSW - Neeson Murcutt Architects

National Commendation for Residential Architecture – Houses

Arm End House, Opossum Bay, Tasmania - Stuart Tanner Architects


Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing

The Frederick Romberg Award for Residential Architecture - Multiple Housing

Balencea Apartments, St Kilda Road, Melbourne, Victoria - Wood Marsh

Architecture in association with Sunland Design

National Architecture Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing

Pindari, Kensington, NSW - Candalepas Associates

National Commendation for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing

Apartments in Cottesloe, Cottesloe, Western Australia - Blane Brackenridge


Commercial Architecture

The Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture

ivy, George Street, Sydney, NSW - Woods Bagot, in collaboration with Merivale

Group and Hecker Phelan & Guthrie

National Award for Commercial Architecture

Headquarter Sussan Sportsgirl, Cremorne, Victoria - Durbach Block Architects

National Award for Commercial Architecture

Bendigo Bank Headquarters, Bendigo, Victoria - BVN Architecture + Gray Puksand

National Commendation for Commercial Architecture

HASSELL Warry Street Studio, Fortitude Valley, Queensland - HASSELL


International Architecture

The Jorn Utzøn Award for International Architecture

TKTS Booth/Redevelopment of Duffy Square, New York - Choi Ropiha, Perkins

Eastman, PKSB

Award for International Architecture

Qatar Science and Technology Park, Qatar, United Arab Emirates - Woods Bagot



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Sustainable Architecture

National Award for Sustainable Architecture

VS1/SA Water Head Office, Adelaide, South Australia - HASSELL

National Commendation for Sustainable Architecture

Bendigo Bank Headquarters, Bendigo, Victoria - BVN Architecture + Gray Puksand

National Commendation for Sustainable Architecture

Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA) Headquarters, Ultimo, NSW -

Smart Design Studio


Heritage Architecture  

The Lachlan Macquarie Award for Heritage

St Paul’s Cathedral, Conservation of the Fabric, Melbourne, VIC - Falkinger

Andronas Architects Heritage Consultants

National Award for Heritage

Wiston Gardens House, Double Bay, NSW - Luigi Rosselli


Urban Design

The Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design

Armory Wharf Precinct, Sydney Olympic Park, NSW – Hargreaves Associates,

Lahz Nimmo Architects and Lacoste + Stevenson Architects 

National Architecture Award for Urban Design

ivy, Sydney - Woods Bagot in collaboration with Merivale Group and Hecker

Phelan & Guthrie

National Commendation for Urban Design

Rundle Lantern, Adelaide, South Australia - BB Architects


Small Project Architecture 

National Award for Small Project Architecture 

Polygreen, Northcote, Victoria - Bellemo & Cat

National Award for Small Project Architecture 

Ang House, Mosman, NSW - Chenchow Little Architects


Interior Architecture

The Emil Sodersten Award for Interior Architecture

Melbourne Recital Centre and MTC Theatre Project, Southbank, Victoria - ARM

National Award for Interior Architecture

National Portrait Gallery, Canberra, ACT - Johnson Pilton Walker

National Commendation for Interior Architecture

Jane Foss Russell Building, University of Sydney, NSW - John Wardle Architects in

association with Wilson Architects and GHD


National 25 Year Award for Enduring Architecture

Sidney Myer Music Bowl, Melbourne, Victoria - Yuncken, Freeman Brothers,

Griffiths and Simpson


Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture

Snowy Mountains House, Snowy Mountains, NSW - James Stockwell Architect



For embargoed media kits, high resolution images and interviews contact:



Trish Croaker, 

National Media/PR Advisor

Mobile 0408 756 163

trish.croaker@raia.com.au

Kirsten Trengove, 

National Media/PR Assistant

Mobile 0439 555 427

kirsten.trengove@raia.com.au





The Australian Institute of Architects is the peak body for the architectural profession, representing more

than 8000 members across Australia and overseas.  The Institute actively works to improve the quality

of our built environment by promoting quality, responsible and sustainable design.






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