The winners of Australia’s richest design awards, the Think Brick Awards, have been announced – showcasing bold and brave designs in the use of clay bricks, concrete masonry and roof tiles in contemporary Australian architecture.
This year nearly 300 nominations were received across all five award categories. The winners were selected by a jury of six industry experts including Elizabeth McIntyre (Think Brick Australia), Rachel Nolan (Kennedy Nolan), Patrick Kennedy (Kennedy Nolan), Melissa Bright (MAKE architecture), Billy Kavellaris (KUD) and Andrew Hagemann (Fringe Architects).
CEO of Think Brick Australia, Elizabeth McIntyre, said the 2019 winners displayed some of the boldest and bravest designs ever submitted to the awards.
“The architects’ use of brick, masonry and roof tiles in their designs highlights how these materials are front of mind in contemporary Australian design,” she said.
The Horbury Hunt Commercial (HHC) Award celebrates innovation and craftsmanship in commercial brickwork – the prestigious category is the pinnacle of showcasing brick design for the industry.
Two joint winners were announced for this award – both buildings, surprisingly, located in Surry Hills.
Arc by Koichi Takada Architects was celebrated for its architectural statement that combines craftsmanship and texture to create a contemporary tower that respects the rich historical context of its surrounding urban fabric.
Positioned in a key heritage precinct in Sydney’s CBD, the building is designed to reactivate its surroundings and extend to the broader urban context, ultimately reshaping and softening the city’s skyline.
According to the architects, the design is inspired by the masonry character of significant heritage buildings and their characteristic arches.
Informed by the curvilinear nature of Australia and the brickwork in neighbouring buildings, the materials and details of Arc by Crown Group have a level of intricacy and authenticity that enrich and invite a heritage appearance.
The Jury said the design was ‘a sign of maturity of the use of brick in Australia’ and ‘a very special contribution to the city of Sydney.’
The Rail Operations Centre (ROC) for Sydney Trains was the other HHC winner. It was designed by Jacobs in association with Smart Design Studio.
The new ROC is intended to modernise Sydney Trains operations to ensure trains are punctual and improve customer experience.
The brief called for a vast top-lit, solid-walled control room atop several floors of open commercial workspace. This presented an opportunity to create a unique building that positively contributes to the urban fabric of the Green Square town centre and expresses its function as a piece of railway infrastructure.
The entire form has been enclosed within a massive masonry wall for structural support and security. To moderate the building’s mass and to create connections with the surrounding streets, large arched openings in the north and east façades span 40 metres and 45 metres respectively. These work as substantial beams that support the heavy brick walls above and allow glazed openings at the base.
“Bold, brave and harkens back to the glory days of public infrastructure. The brickwork is incredibly sculptural, and the project has a lovely human scale,” the Jury commented.
Mrs McIntyre said the two designs are of extremely high calibre and significance.
“The Arc by Koichi Takada Architects and ROC by Smart Design Studio are exceptional examples of how brick can be used to draw awe and inspire,” she said.
Moreover, GB House by Renato D’Ettorre Architects secured the Horbury Hunt Residential Award for to its ‘unexpected use of brick’.
“The perforated design of the terracotta bricks allow light to flow in and open up the property, creating a stunning house which sits perfectly in its locality,” said Mrs McIntyre.
The other major awards were given to designs that understood nuance, conveyed great skill, had beautiful composition, and were also bold and brave.
“The winners of our major awards in landscape, masonry, tile, and our new entrant award all display exemplary conception of design, choice in material, craftsmanship, and execution,” concluded Mrs McIntyre.
The full list of the 2019 Think Brick Award category winners are:
Arc by Koichi Takada Architects – Joint Winner of the Horbury Hunt Commercial Award
ROC by Smart Design Studio – Joint Winner of the Horbury Hunt Commercial Award
GB House by Renato D’Ettorre Architects – Winner of the Horbury Hunt Residential Award
Doubleground by MUIR Architecture + OPENWORK – Winner of the Bruce Mackenzie Landscape Award
House at Otago Bay by Topology Studio – Winner of the Kevin Borland Masonry Award
Subiaco House by Vokes and Peters – Winner of the Robin Dods Roof Tile Excellence Award
1 + 2 House by Curious Practice – Winner of the New Entrant Award