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    Australia makes its mark at day one of the World Architecture Festival

    Nicholas Rider

    Two Australian projects – both from Sydney – have been recognised at day one of the 2017 World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards.

    East Sydney Early Learning Centre (ESELC) by Andrew Burges Architects took out the School category, beating nine other projects from around the world (including two in Australia). This adaptive re-use of a four-storey 1920s warehouse building has seen the birth of a childcare centre inspired by its urban surrounds. 

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    East Sydney Early Learning Centre by Andrew Burges Architects. Photography by Peter Bennetts

    While the building in the Sydney suburb of Darlinghurst retained its masonry façade, the experience inside has been conceived as a ‘mini-city’. Over the three floors of ESELC, circulation space is conceived as a network of streets and laneways, while gardens and playgrounds are similar to the green spaces found interspersed throughout the real urban world. A sandpit takes place of a central plaza and yellow pipes stand exposed in the centre’s ceiling. The project recently received the Daryl Jackson Award for Educational Architecture at the 2017 National Architecture Awards.

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    East Sydney Early Learning Centre by Andrew Burges Architects. Photography by Peter Bennetts

    The other project representing Australia at day one of WAF was the EY Centre by FJMT, which received a highly commended in the Office category. Located at 200 George Street in Sydney’s CBD, the 37-storey skyscraper consists of two overlapping rounded towers with a timber and glass façade. The building incorporates sustainability initiatives and achievements including a world-first closed cavity façade system, a 6-star Green Star Office As Built V3-certified rating, an Australian-first Gold WELL certification, along with 6-star Green Star Interior and As-Built ratings.

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    EY Centre by FJMT. Photography by Gareth Hayman 

    Last month, the Sydney office project won the Commercial category at the 2017 Sustainability Awards, and received the Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture at the 2017 National Architecture Awards.

    More category prizes will be announced on day two.

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