Winners of the 2019 New South Wales (NSW) Architecture Awards have been announced, honouring the state’s leading architecture, with public projects dominating across multiple categories.
Across 12 categories, 51 awards were given from 97 shortlisted projects and 212 entries. The winners were announced at a dinner hosted in Sydney by the NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects on Friday 5 July.
The prestigious NSW Architecture Medallion, honouring an exemplary project across all awards categories, was given to Maitland Riverlink by CHROFI with McGregor Coxall for illustrating the power of architecture in the civic realm by improving connectivity between the Hunter River and the main street of Maitland.
Peter Poulet, Chair of Juries for this year’s NSW awards program, describes the project as an architectural centrepiece that improves connectivity and celebrates the history, value and ambition of Maitland in regional NSW.
“A strong civic gesture, this building acts as a public living room, attracting and celebrating the coming together of the community, the town and its river and proves the power of public architecture to deliver change, celebration and a legacy for the future,” says Poulet.
Another recognised project was the Green Square Library and Plaza by Studio Hollenstein in association with Stewart Architecture and HASSELL, which took four awards including the John Verge Award for Interior Architecture, two architecture awards across the Public Architecture and Urban Design categories and the 2019 NSW Premier’s Prize.
Sandra Furtado, Jury Chair for Interior Architecture and Commercial Architecture, acknowledged that the Green Square Library and Plaza reflected the integral role libraries are playing in supporting a city’s social infrastructure.
“It is immediately obvious that this library is loved by its staff and the wider community – this building is already the vibrant heart of the community,” says Furtado.
NSW Chapter President Kathlyn Loseby says the awards are a time to reflect and celebrate the role that great architecture plays across the state.
“The strength of our industry and its impact on the places we live is undeniably positive and at times revolutionary. Today we celebrate with our clients, consultants and contractors who helped make these projects come to life, and for the fortunate people who live, work and play in these environments which are designed to stand the test of time,” says Loseby.
Loseby also highlighted the invaluable connection between good procurement practices and great design outcomes, a theme which resonated throughout this year’s winning projects.
“Good design is far more than aesthetic achievement – it takes collaboration amongst willing clients, good builders and appropriate procurement methods to make it an enduring success,” says Loseby.
“The awards celebrate achievement and reward the best of 2019, it is an annual review of our professional output, our capacity, as well as our skills, potential and vision for a better built environment,” adds Poulet.
Projects that received an architecture award or a named award will now progress to compete in the National Architecture Awards program. The shortlist will be announced by the Australian Institute of Architects in the coming months.