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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Canberra architecture recognised

The ACT has been recognised at the 2018 Australian Institute of Architects’ National Architecture Awards held on Thursday 1 November, for sustainability, interior architecture and cultivating workplace connections.

Synergy by BVN, which houses the CSIRO at Black Mountain, took out a National Award for Sustainable Architecture, for its “naturally ventilated” design.

The jury said the design strategy of Synergy allowed functional workplace and laboratory requirements to determine the interior architecture of the building and to influence its external form. Ventilation and daylight were two key sustainability focuses of the project, formed in collaboration between the client, architect and consultant team.

Jury member and past president of the Institute Richard Kirk said projects that demonstrated their value “beyond the limits of the brief and the confines of the site” warranted national recognition.

Synergy at Black Mountain, housing the CSIRO, won a National Award for Sustainable Architecture. Architects: BVN. Photo: John Gollings.

“For the jury, it was important that all the awarded projects implemented sustainability initiatives at a conceptual level, taking a holistic approach. It was impressive to see the growing sophistication and ingenuity in this domain,” he said.

The Monaro Mall at the Canberra Centre, home to the new lifestyle and beauty precinct, won a National Award for interior architecture, with the jury citing the rediscovery, celebration and enhancement of the mid-century-style shopping centre as successfully respecting the “spirit of the original” building.

The Australian Federal Police’s (AFP) data centre by Hassell also received a National Commendation for Commercial Architecture, for the “radical” approach of bringing many AFP specialist experts into one workplace, cultivating connections.

Australian Institute of Architects national president, Clare Cousins, said Australia has a developed brand of architecture that defines “who we are and where we come from”.

“These awards are the most recognised and competitive in the industry. They are peer-judged and involve an exhaustive selection process, with site visits to shortlisted projects, allowing the jury to experience the quality of the work firsthand,” she said.

“They showcase the continuing evolution and diversity of our craft and the changing needs of our society, illustrating the vital role architecture plays in the lives of all Australians.”

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