Wednesday, October 10, 2018

New England architecture and architects feature in this year's NSW 2018 NSW Country Architecture Awards

Armidale - Refuge/Prospect, Armidale, by Virginia Wong-See architecture@altitude. Winner of the Award for Small Project Architecture. Photo by Brett Boardman.
This year's 2018 NSW Country Architecture Awards featured architecture and architects from across the broader New England.

Byron Bay architects Dominic Finlay Jones Architects took out no less than five awards and three commendations. These honours included the award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing presented for the Habitat Live Work project, which provides a new building prototype featuring basic, good-quality, lower-cost housing with articulated home-office workspaces and is set within a sustainable development encouraging collective creativity.

The jury said: ‘This is an excellent prototype development, which is imaginatively conceived and beautifully executed, and deserving of a multiple housing award.’

Kingscliff architects Aspect Architecture’s Elanora House, a flexible beach home suitable for multi-generational living, was crowned winner of the Residential Architecture – Houses (New) category, with the jury noting the project ‘does a number of small but significant things very well’.

Armidale's Virginia Wong-See of architecture@altitude took out the Small Project Award and Termimesh Timber Award for her ‘small and perfectly formed’ Armidale – Refuge/Prospect garden pavilion.

I really loved this one. Ms Wong-See describes it in this way: "The concept for Armidale Refuge/Prospect began as a simple place of refuge from strong westerly winds, transforming an ordinary place into one that continues to delight through foggy mornings, moonlit nights, fireside conversations and enjoyment of the surrounding trees and the birds that come to rest there."

The Armidale Express story on this particular award provides more details and a broader range of photos. Have a look and you will get a feel for why I really like this is a truly imaginative work.

The award for Urban Design went to Coffs Harbour’s Jetty4Shores Revitalisation project by Fisher Design and Architecture (Bellingen) with Mackenzie Pronk Architects (Sydney) and Coffs Harbour City Council. ‘The project effectively communicates the spirit of place and the genuine community affection for this site,’ the jury noted. ‘The cultural and environmental meanings of the site have been enshrined within the design.’

The final award in the program, the People’s Choice Award, was also announced at the Awards presentation night, held at the NSW Regional Architecture Conference on Thursday 4 October. This year the honour went to a project in the newly introduced Interior category: the Byron Shire Council Foyer, Mullumbimby, by Byron Bay architects SPACEstudio.

NSW Chapter President, Andrew Nimmo, congratulated all of this year’s award winners and noted the important contribution the profession as a whole was making to deliver more sustainable, cohesive communities.

‘Architects apply design thinking to everything they do in order to do more with less and help clients realise opportunities that they did not know existed,’ said Mr Nimmo. ‘This is just part of the value we describe when we speak of the design dividend, and each year we see the bar raised when it comes to the innovative design solutions and practices architects are implementing across regional NSW.’

If you would like to see photos of all the ward winners you can find them on the Australian Institute of Architects Facebook page.

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