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National Architecture Awards 2012: Public Buildings

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National Architecture Awards 2012: Public Buildings
Photography by: Leigh Carmichael

The winners of the National Architecture Awards Public Buildings category have been announced with Fender Katsalidis Architects, Billard Leece Partnership and Bates Smart, Silvester Fuller and BVN taking out the Awards.

The Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Tasmania designed by Fender Katsalidis Architects won the Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture.

The architects said:

"Briefed by our iconoclast client as functional receptacle, not architectural spectacle, MONA is carved into a peninsular of Hobart’s Moorilla Estate, where its waffle concrete and Corten steel container will weather inexorably into the landscape." 

Jury citation:

"MONA is the result of a unique collaboration between David Walsh, self-styled art collector and philanthropist, and Fender Katsalidis Architects. Together they have created a powerful and entertaining experience for displaying and engaging with art, and by extension, one of the best examples in the country of the benefits of cultural tourism.

The arrival and departure from the Derwent is dramatic and unforgettable.

The Roy Grounds heritage-listed house is repurposed as the museum entrance. A glass lift or spiral staircase theatrically delivers visitors to the lowest levels of a deep cutting where a rock-hewn corridor leads to a sandstone-walled space housing the museum. The raw materiality continues throughout, with the building’s sculptural envelope fully exposed internally.

Planning of gallery chambers and level interconnections is deliberately unconventional, eschewing a programmed circulation strategy for individual journeys of discovery.

The immediate and long-term impact of this museum on the city of Hobart, the state of Tasmania and indeed the nation is difficult to overstate."

 

Upper left image: Leigh Carmichael. Lower right image: Brett Boardman

 

Narbethong Community Hall by BVN Architecture has won the National Award for Public Architecture.

The architects said:
"Due to the proximity of the Bush Reserve, the new Hall is required to meet a high Bush Fire Attack level. The outside of the building is made up of floor to ceiling double glazing wrapped in a bronze mesh fire resistant screen while internally, the primary material is local timber. 
All of the professional services including architecture, engineering and surveying have been provided pro-bono and most of the building and materials were delivered at a reduced cost." 

The jury said:

"Referencing the historic ‘timber town’ and the elegance of the Black Spur landscape, the interior is defined by large floor-to-ceiling vertical timber blades that carve intimate spaces within the hall. Simple curtain interventions provide the division and privacy required by the multipurpose space.

New building regulations were hastily established in response to the 2009 catastrophe, and the architects cleverly worked within these constraints to create a building that does not feel restricted. The effective use of fire-rated mesh provides screening to the full-height, glazed facade, and provides security for the building when it is not in use. The entry to the building has been reorientated away from the main road to the south. A large full-height tilt door clad in the fire-rated mesh provides an awning to the entrance when opened. Mimicking the southern facade’s opening, the northern facade opens out, providing a direct relationship with the forested landscape beyond.

The building heralds a new beginning and nurtures those who have lost so much. At night it appears as a glimmering beacon, transparently defining the activities of the local community and drawing upon the strength of local spirit."

Photography: John Gollings

 

The Billard Leece Partnership and Bates Smart designed Royal Children's Hospital has won the National Award for Public Architecture.

The architects said:

"With evidence-based design showing the importance and value of nature in the healing process, the Hospital exploits its park location. The natural textures, forms and colours of the surrounding parkland inform the material expression. Nature speaks to the child and provides a therapeutic backdrop for visitors. The use of narrow footprints for clinical buildings enables natural light to enter all corners of the facility while the slope of the site intertwines the Hospital with its park setting, linking on three levels."

The jury said:

"The Royal Children’s Hospital, set within Melbourne’s Royal Park, is a state-of-the-art, world-class facility designed around a family-centred care model that promotes a restorative and healing environment for children and their families. With an evidence-based design showing the importance and value of nature in the healing process, the hospital exploits its park location.

The natural textures, forms and colours of the surrounding parkland inform the material expression. Nature speaks to the child and provides a therapeutic backdrop for visitors. The use of narrow footprints for clinical buildings enables natural light to enter all corners of the facility, while the slope of the site entwines the hospital with its park setting, linking on three levels.

Coloured ‘leaf’ blades along Flemington Road are fabricated in curved panels, providing protection from the sun and creating a shimmering organic structure and identity for the hospital. At the heart of the facility is the six-storey ‘Main Street’, a naturally lit public thoroughfare with views of the parkland beyond that links all the elements of the hospital.

The complex is large in scale; however, a collection of attractions is contained within – these amuse and distract, and provide a user-friendly environment that includes a two-storey aquarium, large-scale artworks and places to eat and meet with family, colleagues or friends. The jury found this to be an environment intuitive to its user groups, which include patients, their families and carers. The hospital’s bold use of art and installations, including its mini zoo of meerkats, and its sensitive provision of contemplative, respite and recreational areas, make this a holistic and therapeutic architectural project."

Photography: John Gollings

 

BVN Architecture took out the National Award for Public Architecture for the Ravenswood School for Girls.

The architects said:

"In the entry courtyard that sits in the centre of the project there is a new café that opens out to views of the adjacent oval in one direction and inwards to views of the bridges that link the administration, junior and senior libraries offering a blur of movement as staff and students move around the buildings. 
The ground level has brick walls picking up the masonry materials in the existing campus, whilst the upper levels are on a steel frame with a translucent cladding which together with the significant cantilever creates an appearance of hovering over the base." 


 

Photography: John Gollings

The jury said:

"The Mabel Fidler Building on Sydney’s North Shore is a transformational building that provides insight into the twenty-first-century school. Importantly, the new building provides Ravenswood School for Girls with a new front door and also functions as the central hub and heart of the school.

Dramatic cantilevers were created by raising the library onto the upper level, thus providing a number of covered spaces below for shelter and informal learning. In the entry courtyard that sits in the centre of the project there is a new cafe that opens out to views of the adjacent oval in one direction and inwards to views of the bridges that link the administration, junior and senior libraries, offering a blur of movement as staff and students move around the buildings.

Photography: Marcus Clinton

The ground level has brick walls that pick up on the masonry materials used in the existing campus, while the upper levels are on a steel frame with a translucent cladding. Together with the significant cantilever, this steel-clad upper level gives the appearance of hovering over the base. At the oval end of the building a large canopy roof floats over a large verandah that opens off the courtyard atrium and allows the building to be read from the Pacific Highway across the oval."

 

The Dapto Anglican Church Auditorium designed by Silvester Fuller took out a National Commendation for Public Architecture.

The architects said:

"The requirements of the individual user groups called for a delicate balance between generosity and intimacy. Some spaces open to the landscape and others are completely concealed from it. The formal expression is a direct response to the site constraints and a specific functional brief. 
Once the primary building mass was defined, circulation spaces were then carved away, informed by the flow of people in and around the two primary spaces; the auditorium and foyer."

The jury said:

"The Dapto Anglican Church Auditorium is an inspired reinterpretation of the traditional church within a contemporary social, environmental and economic context.

The architects have worked closely with the client and users to understand the needs of the community and to provide a new venue. It has quickly become an important focus of daily life.

The building is designed to accommodate a broad range of events and offers a complementary and alternative venue to the nearby St Luke’s Chapel. It acts as a community foyer, meeting space and cafe.

The bold rectangular form and forecourt is civic in scale yet offers a range of more intimate community spaces. The simple form is dramatically eroded to successfully link the building to an existing preschool, the community hall and a car park.

The clarity and boldness of the design concept; the directness of form, structure and materials; and the inventive use of textures and finishes have delivered an exceptional community building on a very restricted budget."


 

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