The BVN-designed Australian Embassy in Bangkok has picked up the Jørn Utzon Award for International Architecture in the recent Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) National Awards.

The Awards jury noted that the new embassy design refers to the Ken Woolley building it replaced saying “Like its predecessor, the new building successfully combines the identity and elements of two cultures.”

“The ground floor is impacted inside and out by lush landscapes and pools…this relationship between building and water reflects Bangkok’s waterways and exotic gardens, while also suggesting an island continent.”

According to the jury, “The embassy is a tranquil working and living environment, a strong contemporary presence for Australia and a successful symbol of the strength of cultural diplomatic ties.”

Described as “a building from another time” by Professor Tom Heneghan, the embassy was developed with great care in construction, detailing and selection of materials.

“As is typical in traditional Thai architecture, both exterior and interior spaces are animated by water, with evaporation mitigating high air temperatures and sunlight reflecting off pools to brighten ceilings and the undersides of canopies,” says Heneghan.