Candalepas Associates have won the most competitive category at the 2016 National Architecture Awards.

The NSW-born architecture firm received the Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture ahead of eight other shortlisted projects for its AHL Headquarters in Sydney.

The project, located at 478 George Street, narrowly beat the nearby “Money Box” building by JPW & TKD architects which received a National Award from the Awards jury.

Candelapas was handed the prize at the 2016 National Architecture Awards, held recently in Sydney. 

View the full list of winning projects from the 2016 National Architecture Awards here.

Read the full jury citation for AHL Headquarters – 478 George Street (NSW) by Candalepas Associates and see the other awarded projects in the Commercial Architecture category below:

The Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture - AHL Headquarters - 478 George Street (NSW) by Candalepas Associates 

AHL-Headquarters-478-George-Street-NSW-by-Candalepas-Associates-Photo-Brett-Boardman.jpgPhotography by Brett Boardman

Jury Citation: This project is an inventive infill on a long, narrow and restricted inner-city site that resolves complex site constraints and functional requirements with a simple, restrained solution. Adjacent Johnson Pilton Walker’s refurbished Hilton Hotel and directly opposite the grandeur of Sydney’s Queen Victoria Building, the AHL Headquarters gives an elegant yet playful nod to its eminent surrounds.

The facade is carefully articulated to respond to the height, setback and materiality of surrounding buildings and creates a delightful play of shadows and light. Combining gently rounded sandstone blade columns with the honesty and imperfection of off-form concrete, the building’s street frontage provides a finely grained order to the streetscape.

The building maximises amenity and floor space by cantilevering a large picture window over the neighbouring State Theatre, which opens the office spaces to northern sunlight and views of the city and provides a striking intervention in its solid boundary wall. The entry sequence on ground level transforms the long distance to the lift core into a range of spaces that are intimate and compressed, then voluminous and light-filled. A refreshing counterpoint to the prevalence of the large-curtain-walled office towers, this refined building demonstrates a different way to approach commercial space in our cities.  


  • Award for Commercial Architecture - 5 Martin Place (NSW) by JPW & TKD architects in collaboration 
    5-Martin-Place-NSW-by-JPW-TKD-architects-in-collaboration-Photo-Brett-Boardman.jpgPhotography by Brett Boardman
  • Commendation for Commercial Architecture - Alex Hotel (WA) by Spaceagency architects
    Alex-Hotel-WA-by-spaceagency-architects-Photo-Anson-Smart.jpgPhotography by Anson Smart
  • Commendation for Commercial Architecture - Cape York Partnership Offices (QLD) by Kevin O'Brien Architects
    Cape-York-Partnership-Offices-QLD-by-Kevin-O-Brien-Architects-Photo-Toby-Scot.jpgPhotography by Toby Scot
  • Commendation for Commercial Architecture - Devil's Corner (TAS) by Cumulus Studio National Commendation
    Devil-s-Corner-TAS-by-Cumulus-Studio-Photo-Tanja-Milbourne.jpgPhotography by Tanja Milbourne 
  • Commendation for Commercial Architecture: Ormuz Specialist Eye Clinic (QLD) by Loucas Zahos Architects
    Ormuz-Specialist-Eye-Clinic-QLD-by-Loucas-Zahos-Architects-Photo-Christopher-Frederick-Jones.jpgPhotography by Christopher Frederick Jones