Australians are making a splash at this year’s World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards, and the same can be said for their counterparts MPH Architects and CRAB Studio at sister program, INSIDE – World Festival of Interiors.

MPH Architects took home the Creative Re-Use category for their Adelaide project, Sustainable Industries Education Centre (SIEC) – Tonsley Tafe, an initiative by the South Australian government which saw five aging campuses consolidated into a single building.

Ninety per cent of the existing steel structure was retained for the new facility, with exposed services and minimal internal applied finishes supporting the building’s role as a demonstrator learning tool for the students and wider community.

An effective use of glazed partitioning both internally as well as on the façade showcases Tafe’s activities to the public, providing visual and physical connections to the existing steel structure, and ensuring daylighting opportunities are realised in all settings.

The internal layout offers a variety of spaces for student learning, with two intersecting streets that separate public areas and the teaching and learning spaces.

CRAB Studio’s Abedian School of architecture, Bond University in the Gold Coast was also successful at the awards, topping the Education and Health category.

The building is a long, airy loft on two to three levels articulated by a series of ‘scoops’ – defining structure-enclosures that can be used for casual meetings and ‘crit’ sessions. These line the central street, which gently rises up the hilltop site.

In response to the hot and humid climate, the structure folds over upon itself in a series of fan-like roofs and slits. The east-west axis is taken advantage of to clarify a climate-controlled development of the building envelope that includes sunshade ‘eyebrows’ on the sundrenched north side.

“Our long experience as teachers of architecture and regular working knowledge of several schools of architecture including the Bartlett, AA, Harvard, SCI-ARC, Columbia, Frankfurt and UCLA enabled us to incorporate a response to many anecdotal criteria as well as constructional and climatic objectives,” the architects said.

“As with our other work, the sociology and sense of ‘theatre’, of small, intimate groups within institutions, the importance of the non-curricula moments all run through the project which is taken right through to their design of its colourful and highly flexible furniture.”

The World Interior of the Year Award went to MOTT32 by JOYCE WANG STUDIO. Originally a storage facility for family heirlooms forgotten by wealthy Chinese immigrants, this Hong Kong restaurant blends industrial New York design with classical Chinese décor, finished with an inspired collection of forgotten heirlooms, colonial-style furnishings and antique Chinese propaganda.

Located underground, with no natural light, the restaurant’s design embraces the constraints of the venue, using them to create a theatrical and exclusive experience as guests are guided downstairs through a long, snaking corridor.

Within the restaurant, bricks twist and turn, forming shapes inspired by wind patterns. Light fittings are housed in metal mesh cages while former vaults become exclusive booths.

“A wonderful series of rooms with a rich texture and narrative, creating a movie-like and theatrical environment for the diners,” praised judge Pernilla Ohrstedt, designer behind the Coca-Cola Beathbox, the interactive pavilion on the London Olympic Park.

“From small details to the complete design, everything has been thoughtfully considered and was a stand-out candidate for this important award.”

Full list of winners:

World Interior of the Year 2014:
Bars & Restaurants

Civic, Culture and Transport
CINE TIMES by One Plus Partnership Limited (Hong Kong)

Creative Re-use
Sustainable Industries Education Centre - Tonsley Tafe by MPH Architects (Adelaide, Australia)

IDC Space: research and display space for the International Design Centre by Singapore University of Technology and Design (Singapore)

Education and Health
Abedian School of Architecture, Bond University by CRAB studio (Gold Coast, Australia)

Tama Hotel Phnom Penh Tower by FHAMS Ltd. (Phnom Penh, Cambodia)

The Barbarian Group by Clive Wilkinson Architects (New York, USA)


Cultura Bookstore by studio mk27 (Sao Paulo, Brazil)

Images: supplied