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    National Architecture Awards 2012: Interiors

    The National Architecture Awards has awarded PTW Architects, Paul Johnston Architects and Bates Smarts Interior Awards.


    The Emil Sodersten Award For Interior Architecture has been taken out by PTW Architects for its work on The John Kaldor Family Gallery, Art Gallery of New South Wales.

    The jury said:

    "The public spaces of the Art Gallery of New South Wales have been significantly expanded by the skilful conversion of former basement storage into a suite of inspiring and flexible gallery spaces seamlessly integrated into existing public circulation routes.

    The project provides spaces suitable for contemporary art, a photography gallery and a works-on-paper study room with maximum flexibility in lighting and digital technology and an increased ceiling height.

    Continuity of materials (travertine, exposed concrete and white plasterboard walls) provides harmony with the existing building while new materials and technology demonstrate a sympathetic evolution of the architecture since the building’s construction in 1968.

    This complex project involving rock excavation, underpinning and services diversions was designed to be constructed in a limited timeframe with minimal disruption to a very busy gallery program.

    The outcome is an exemplar of creative collaboration between a well-informed client, an architect who has been involved with the site for the past forty-four years and a generous patron. All are to be congratulated.

    The extraordinary gift of the John Kaldor Family Collection, together with funds generously donated by the Belgiorno-Nettis family, has enabled this inspired and significant addition to the Gallery."

    Photography by Brian Steele


    A National Award For Interior Architecture has been awarded to Paul Johnston Architects for Garagistes.

    The jury said:

    "Occupying a warehouse space, Garagistes celebrates the notion of communal eating. With a name taken from a movement started by Bordeaux winemakers, Garagistes supports this philosophy right down to the crockery the food is served on.

    Snugly indented into the facade, the rusted steel entrance opens generously into the expansive space. A sense of bustling activity is generated by an open kitchen that folds back into the irregular rectangular form of the warehouse. The acknowledgment that kitchen and dining become one further intensifies the experience.

    A simple, industrial palette of materials has been sensitively handled. The glowing jamon cool room draws the eye to the rear of the space, adding restrained drama. Clad in steel plate, the small tower provides an end point to the restaurant and contains a concealed open administration office above. The existing sawtooth glazing has been softened by clear polycarbonate sheets, which sit in contrast to the charcoal felt acoustic panels express-fixed to the ceiling structure. Existing timber beams are stripped back while the existing steel structure is highlighted in red paint.

    Elongated tables of varying length and height line the room at an angle. This encourages interaction and discussion between strangers as various plates of food are revealed. Crockery has been locally handcrafted from regionally sourced clay, providing a relationship between food, individuality and an acknowledgment of the importance of things ‘made by hand’."


    Photography by Luke Burgess



    Bates Smarts design of Inner House has won them a National Award for Interior Architecture.

    The jury said:

    "The Inner House is a single dwelling constructed within the 1926 First Church of Christ Scientist in East Sydney. The House is erected on a platform built over the raking floor with a pair of two-storey cubes flanking the volume. These spaces contain sleeping accommodation and ancillary facilities while the central space provides living and dining areas. The concept is derived from the formal geometry of the volume, its austerity and the temporary nature of the new structure. The desire to leave the existing fabric untouched also drove the design.

    The new structure is freestanding, lightweight, raw and designed for off-site fabrication and disassembly. It allows the authoritative austerity of the church volume to be experienced while still expressing the light and playful qualities of the interventions. Three rows of pews have been retained to permit occasional public performances on the renowned church organ.

    The walls of the new building emit a soft glow at night. The floor of the space is heated and an ethanol fire provides glowing warmth and avoids the need for penetrations through the roof. The project was designed to be fabricated off-site and built in fourteen weeks, while restoration work to the original fabric continues.

    This is a contemporary installation designed around the formality and symmetry of the original space."

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