An eye-catching crystalline building in an industrial area of Alice Springs has just taken out the Northern Territory’s top architecture honour at the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA)’s 2019 NT Architecture Awards on Saturday night.
More than 100 guests attended the NT Architecture Awards at The Old Quarry, at the foot of the East MacDonnell Ranges, 10 kilometres from Alice Springs, in the annual celebration of NT design.
As with all of the AIA’s state and territory Architecture Awards programs, the NT Architecture Awards aim to recognise and celebrate the outstanding projects and people which have resulted in the improvement of Australia’s built environment through stand-out, responsible and sustainable design.
In a spectacular transformation of the concept of a working shed, Susan Dugdale & Associates’ MPH HQ used steel and Colorbond materials to craft a contemporary office form offering practical shading solutions for the challenging site.
In its citation for the prestigious Tracy Memorial Award, the jury commended MPH HQ for its creativity.
“We’ve all seen the big shed, front office typology that proliferates at the verges of our cities,” the jury said. “Rather than ordinary, though, MPH HQ is extraordinary.”
Susan Dugdale & Associates also won the Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture and the Peter Dermoudy Award for Commercial Architecture.
A full list of winners in the 2019 Northern Territory Architecture Awards:
The Tracy Memorial Award, The Peter Dermoudy Award for Commercial Architecture and The Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture – MPH-HQ by Susan Dugdale & Associates.
The J G Knight Award for Heritage – Hut 37 by Ajar Architects.
“The jury found that this was a particularly compelling project combining many important aspects of good architecture, culture and history which was preserved through passion and pure tenacity,” it said.
The Yali-McNamara Award for Small Project Architecture and The Indigenous Community Architecture Award – Fish River Accommodation by Design Construct, School of Art Architecture and Design, University of South Australia.
NT Jury Chair Elizabeth Watson Brown said that “this impressive small project delivers on many fronts; excellent accommodation for the rangers; a potentially viable, sustainable tropical Aboriginal housing model; a good collaborative educational model; and the framework for a great future for Fish River Station and beyond…”
The NT Chapter Award for Educational Architecture and The Thorny Devil (Moloch Horridus) Award for Sustainable Architecture– Braitling Primary School (Stage 2) by Susan Dugdale & Associates.
“This exemplary project achieves important educational and social impact and is a testament that good design here has made a difference,” the jury commented.
“Because of the design there has been a 67 per cent reduction in behaviour referrals; in a cohort where 28 per cent of kids have ongoing trauma, the outdoor relief space has reduced issues in the classroom; and attendance has risen 76 per cent to 85.9 per cent.”
NT Chapter Award recipients included Mazda Dealership by DKJ Architecture Pty Ltd for Commercial Architecture and Mother Teresa Catholic College by Rossi Architects, Bennett Design and Walter Brooke for Educational Architecture. MegaFauna Central by Tangentyere Design received a Commendation for Interior Architecture.
The Enduring Architecture Award was awarded to Cox Architecture for the Ayers Rock Resort (Yulara).
“Ayers Rock resort is a perfect example of great enduring design and how this responds to the environment by following the serpentine shape of the valley,” the jury said.
“The building is still a bright light in the desert and surprises many visitors to Uluru through its extraordinary vibrancy.”
The President’s Prize was awarded by NT President Jenny Culgan to Peter Sommerville, Department of Lands Planning and Logistics, Alice Springs.
The Student Prize was awarded to Ellen Brand from Charles Darwin University.
A Certificate of Fellowship from the Institute was presented to both Andrew Broffman from Tangentyere Design and Susan Dugdale, Susan Dugdale & Associates.