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    WAF day one: FJMT take Australia’s first category prize

    Nathan Johnson

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    Francis Jones Morehen Thorp has once again proven itself on the international stage by taking out a category prize at the World Architecture Festival (WAF) Awards.

    The firm’s recently completed Waterfront Pavilion at Sydney’s Darling Harbour was the recipient of the Display category prize in 2016 and continues a recent history of success at WAF for the Sydney-based practice, starting with its 2013 World Building of the Year Award efforts for the Auckland Art Gallery project and continued in 2014 with its category prize for Liberty Place in Sydney.

    449_11596.jpgAnchored to the South wharf of Sydney’s Darling Harbour, The Australian National Maritime Museum Warships (Royal Australian Navy) Pavilion was built to mark the centenary of World War I and commemorate 100 years of service by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Photography by Brett Boardman

    Australia was well positioned overall heading into day one of the festival currently underway in Berlin, with just over 20 projects shortlisted across the awards program’s 17 completed buildings categories.  But it was the team from FJMT that went back to their hotels as the only Australians with trophy in hand.

    The coveted WAF House of the Year went to a modern white house designed by Oliver Hernaiz Architecture Lab for a hillside in Palma de Mallorca, Spain, despite strong competition from an Australian contingent that included  Australia’s most popular house for 2015, Villa Marittima by Robin Williams Architect and the 2016 architect-designed house of the year, Indigo Slam by Smart Design Studio.

    mm-house-oliver-hernaiz-architecture-lab-palma-de-mallorca-spain_dezeen_2364_ss_1-852x608.jpghouse_mm_by_oh_lab.jpg

    House MM by Oliver Hernaiz Architecture Lab, Palma de Mallorca, Spain

    House MM delighted judges with its “compelling and sophisticated form-making, which also interrogates pertinent issues of energy use and long-term sustainability”. Nestled on a tight sloping site, the judges said the modern white form of this house “transcends the beauty of the everyday, as well as being an inspiring paradigm for the art of the possible”.

    Canberra’s New Acton Nishi development by Fender Katsalidis Architects was also unlucky to miss out on an award, pipped by Malmö Live by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects in the mixed use category.

    More category prizes will be announced 17 November.

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