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    Revitalised Sydney heritage icon wins Australian Development of the Year

    Johnson Pilton Walker's 50 Martin Place project is still winning major building awards, backing up its 2015 successes at the National Architecture Awards to take out the Rider Levett Bucknall Australian Development of the Year award for 2016.

    50 Martin Place was presented with the prize at the Property Council of Australia/ Rider Levett Bucknall Innovation and Excellence Awards in Sydney last week, the Property Council of Australia’s Chief Executive, Ken Morrison then describing 50 Martin Place as a landmark example of how retrofitting can transform tired old offices into highly-connected, high-performance workplaces without compromising character, charm or contemporary standards of sustainability.

    Managing Director of RLB NSW, Matthew Harris observed that the sympathetic restoration helped deliver a building that was efficient, enhanced the wellbeing of its occupants, and was a suitable address for a dynamic, global business.

    According to Harris, as cities continue to adapt and evolve, 50 Martin Place showcases how reimagining old buildings can deliver vibrant new spaces for people today.

    JPW’s refurbishment of the 1928-built Beaux-Arts revivalist building in Sydney won the top prize for Commercial Architecture at the 2015 National Architecture Awards, beating a formidable field of projects from across the nation to take the Harry Seidler Award for Commercial Architecture.

    The project pipped HDR Rice Daubney’s GPT Group’s Wollongong Central project and the Equestrian Centre, Merricks by Seth Stein Architects in association with Watson Architecture + Design who received an Architecture Award and a commendation respectively.

    The jury highlighted the technical precision and graceful articulation of the JPW refurbishment as key to the firm’s success in creating a state-of-the-art, sustainable and historically-sensitive new headquarters for the Macquarie Bank.

    They said the project is an exemplar of how collaborative teams can push the boundaries of commercially driven architecture and inspire those who reside and work within it.

    50 Martin Place joins an exclusive list of previous recipients of the Rider Levett Bucknall Australian Development of the Year, including One Shelley Street, Darling Quarter and 8 Chifley in Sydney; ANZ Centre and Fairfax Media House in Melbourne; and Brookfield Place in Perth.

    Projects in New South Wales won 11 of the 19 awards presented at the event with 50 Martin Place also taking home the  International Award for Best Office Development and the Best Sustainable Development - Existing Buildings award.

    Lend Lease’s business transformation manager Sarah Kinsela took out the du Chateau Chun Award for Future Leader of the Year for displaying leadership in entrepreneurial projects, such as the first integrated end-to-end property sales solution on the market.

    Lend Lease was also presented with the Kone Award for Innovation for the Barangaroo Skills Exchange, a one-stop learning shop for construction workers wanting to improve their trade skills and enhance their literacy and numeracy. RLB’s Mr Harris explains that the Barangaroo Skills Exchange is a unique collaboration between Lend Lease, Tafe NSW and the Construction Property Services and Industry Skills Council to boost skills and career opportunities within the industry, and provide a blueprint for future skills development.

    Mirvac won the first-ever Moulis Legal Award for Diversity in recognition of its industry-leading commitment to gender equality. Morrison comments that Mirvac Group is one of just two ASX 200-listed companies with 50 per cent female representation on its board of directors, and its commitment to gender equity and inclusion is driven from the top.

    RLB has partnered with the Property Council of Australia to present the Innovation and Excellence Awards program since its inception in 1982.

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