Woods Bagot, James Stockwell, Yuncken and HASSELL all received praise at architecture's most prestigious awards presentation.

Commercial architecture

This year's commercial architecture winners set new benchmarks in providing exemplary 'social' spaces, adaptive re-use, regional architecture and staff accommodation where 'happiness' is acknowledged as a business asset, the jury said. The Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture was presented to ivy on Sydney's busy George Street by Woods Bagot, in collaboration with Merivale Group and Hecker Phelan & Guthrie. In a double win, the project also received a National Award for Urban Design.

National Awards for Commercial Architecture were also presented to Headquarter Sussan Sportsgirl in Melbourne's Cremorne by Sydney practice Durbach Block Architects and Bendigo Bank Headquarters in regional Victoria by BVN Architecture + Gray Puksand - with the jury noting that both achieved new benchmarks.

Heritage conservation

The prestigious Lachlan Macquarie Award for Heritage was this year awarded to the St.Paul's, Conservation of the Fabric, by Falkinger and Andronas, Architects, Heritage Consultants (pictured below).

The jury said: "Falkinger and Andronas have been responsible for the conservation of both of Melbourne’s major cathedrals, and at St Paul's have been involved for over nine years. The decay of the building has been slowed, stormwater failures have been addressed and the building surfaces cleansed, so that we can more readily appreciate the visual qualities of the cathedral as its designers intended."

Urban design

The Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design has been awarded to the Armory Wharf Precinct at Sydney Olympic Park (pictured below) by Hargreaves Associates, Lahz Nimmo Architects and Lacoste + Stevenson Architects. The jury said: "The Armory Wharf Precinct is a remarkably attractive park precinct with much-enjoyed, well-designed public facilities. It is a most agreeable place to visit, uncluttered, well resolved, and in harmony with the natural and man-modified landscape."

Enduring architecture

An iconic venue in Melbourne, The Sidney Myer Music Bowl by Yuncken, Freeman Brothers, Griffiths and Simpson (pictured below), received the National 25 Year Award for Enduring Architecture, being described by the jury as "one of the great tent-like suspension structures of the world", and "a clear indicator of the vibrant creative forces active in Australia circa 1960, that were allowed realisation to great acclaim". Conserved and upgraded in 2000 by Gregory Burgess Architects, the venue is a "much-loved icon, and part of the social fabric of Melbourne and the nation”. It "remains an architectural engineering triumph perhaps without equal in Australia".

Steel design

The Colorbond® Award for Steel Architecture was presented to young Sydney-based architect James Stockwell for the Snowy Mountains House overlooking Lake Jindabyne (pictured below). The jury said: "James Stockwell's commission to create a robust, economical house for an extended family carefully addresses issues of climatic extremes, simple maintenance, and sustainable objectives. It has its origins in simple alpine huts and basic ski lodges, but here delivered with a straightforward finesse. The house combines autonomy with reasonable construction cost, minimum maintenance, and good longevity, achieving excellent sustainable credentials."

Sustainable building

The new headquarters for a state water agency based in Adelaide - VS1/SA Water Head Office by HASSELL (pictured below) - has received the National Award for Sustainable Architecture. The jury said: "VS1/SA Water is the first building in South Australia to achieve a GBCA 6 Star Green Star design rating, delivered at competitive market rental. It sets a new benchmark in ESD, promoting best practice for a healthy office environment, with reduced energy usage, waste, and harmful emissions."

Pictured below: St Paul's Cathedral; Armory Wharf Precinct; Sidney Myer Music Bowl; Snowy Mountains House and VS1/SA Water Head Office.