The 2014 Newcastle Architecture Awards winners have been announced, with nine projects from 21 entries recognised. A variety of both big and small projects were rewarded for their design excellence.

EJE Architecture’s multi-million dollar WesTrac facility at Tomago took out the top design nod from jurors in the Commercial Architecture category.

Acknowledging the building as ‘setting new standards’ in industrial facilities, the judges said the WesTrac facility addressed issues of workplace, training and corporate identity in an “efficient and spirited manner”.

In comparison, a modest renovation project in MacMasters Beach by architect Dianna Thomas won top honours in the largest group of architectural contenders in the Residential category for Alterations and Additions.

“Your first reaction on entering Dianna Thomas’s MacMasters Beach House is to sit down and never leave because you’ve arrived home. The house is an exercise in modesty, continuity and fun,” commented juror Ramsey Awad.

A Commendation was also awarded to Wingham Architects and Austin McFarland Architects for the renovation of a 100 year old Hamilton cottage. The jury were impressed with their “creative thinking”, and praised the team for bringing “new spacious characters” to an original inner city building.

Joint winners were awarded in the Public Architecture category, with the jury unable to choose between the Newcastle Museum by FJMT, and the new Birubi Surf Life Saving Club by EJE Architecture.

Winners from the night will now present their projects to the NSW Architecture Awards’ juries for consideration of state honours which will be revealed in June.

This year’s judges include Kemp Consulting’s Peter Kemp, Ramsey Award of the University of Newcastle, trustee of The Architecture Foundation Robert Donaldson, Alex Kibble, director at Tanner Kibble Denton, retired director of EJE Architecture Peter Johnson, and graduate Rebecca Boyle.

Full list of winners:

Public Architecture Awards

Birubi Point Surf Life Saving Club – EJE Architecture

Newcastle Museum – Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (fjmt)

Commercial Architecture Award

Westrac Newcasle Service Centre & Training Institute – EJE Architecture

Residential Architecture – Alterations & Additions Award

MacMasters Beach House – Dianna Thomas Architect

Commendation: Hamilton House – Wingham Architects and Austin McFarland Architects

Residential Architecture – New Houses Award

New Residence The Junction – EJE Architecture

Commendation: Willis House – Killen + Doran Architects

Small Project Award

Maxim Workplace – Space Design Architecture

Commendation: The University of Newcastle Library Courtyard – CKDS Architecture