One hundred and seventy four concepts have been submitted for the architectural competition to redesign Ryde Council’s Civic Hub in Sydney.

Of the submissions, 42 entries have come from Australian companies while the rest have come from firms practicing in over 49 countries across the globe.

The entries for the Ryde Council’s ‘Design Our Ryde’ architectural competition are currently on display and up for public voting at exhibition sites Macquarie Shopping Centre and Top Ryde City, and online at Design our Ryde.  

The most popular design will be shortlisted with three others, to be chosen by the independent jury comprising Peter Poulet - Jury Chair, NSW Government Architect; Maria Atkinson, AM - founding director of Maria Atkinson Consultancy; and Shaun Carter, Australian Institute of Architects, NSW Chapter President.

The competition has been broken into two stages and developed in accordance to the Australian Institute of Architects ‘Guidelines for Architectural Competitions’ and the NSW Government’s ‘Design Excellence Guidelines’. Those invited to participate in Stage 2 will receive $AU50,000 to support their more detailed submission while the winning entrant will be awarded an additional prize of $AU150,000.

The public exhibition for community polling will close on Thursday 5 May and successful Stage 2 participants will be announced Friday 13 May. Stage 2 will also have a public exhibition for community polling which will begin Monday 11 July and close Monday 1 August. The winner will be announced Monday 8 August.

Voting is anonymous and open to all. Here are five that the team at Architecture & Design liked:



The existing Civic Centre has been adapted into a new 15-storey apartment building providing affordable housing for key workers. A second civic space filled with a dense canopy of trees and gardens will be the location of the new civic and admin building for the City of Ryde, while the third civic space will include a massive fountain.



This entry takes shape through a series of different box-like structures tumbled onto the site. The architecture consists of two tall ‘boxes’ stacked on top of three large flat boxes sitting on the foung alongside with four smaller ones. The taller boxes accommodate administrative and residential uses while the flat boxes feature the public programs.



The expansive yet minimalist roof form, provides an unobtrusive yet monumental canopy under which both council and public utility are collocated.  The similarly minimal, slender stick-like colonnade, effects both delineation of space, which seemingly giving the canopy the appearance of floating.  The use of timber, so familiar in both indigenous and vernacular building, bring warmth and scale to the open public space. Public space is masterfully woven between and into the civic office space zone, providing unprecedented visible connectivity and transparency between the public and their public servants.



The architects behind RYDE211 says that their proposal would be built to the highest standards in sustainable design practice. The Offices would be naturally cooled by a basement concrete labyrinth which would pass cool air through subfloor ducts.  As the air warms it would be taken out of the building through ceiling ducts which would expel the air via planting terranes located along the perimeter of the building.



Instead of massive high-rise structures, the project proposes two green hills forming a symbolic gateway around an open public space that combines a mineral, vegetal and water landscape. The whole complex represents a transition between the very large scale Top Ryde Shopping Center and the smaller low-rise dwellings, which is achieved through a cascade of green architectural volumes oriented towards the sun.