Jessica Hardwick of Jessica Hardwick Architecture and Queensland Event Correspondent for Architectural Window Systems reports on the 2016 Queensland State Architecture Awards held recently in Brisbane.

The Queensland State Architecture Awards event was put together under the creative direction of Paul Hotson and the Phorm Architecture + Design team. The exhibition of shortlisted projects was presented amongst timber installations designed to celebrate life in the subtropics. The entry to the Convention Centre Ballroom featured a series of neatly stacked timber towers of reclaimed timber telegraph pole cross arms, aligned at regular intervals across the room, several rows deep, upon which the 83 shortlisted entries were showcased.

A wall of sheer curtains was projected with imagery of large subtropical foliage, screening the stage and dining area beyond. The formal proceedings were announced by a trio of singers from Opera Queensland, whose performance moved guests from the exhibition space through to the main stage. MC and Editorial Director of Architecture Media, Cameron Bruhn, welcomed guests and introduced speakers Jacqui Trad, Qld MP and Minister for Infrastructure and planning, Malcolm Middleton, Qld Government Architect and Chapter President, Bruce Wolfe of Conrad Gargett, whose speeches reflected on what has been a highly eventful year in Queensland, both in the regions and in the South-East.

The inaugural Jennifer Taylor Award for Educational Architecture went to Charles Wright Architects for the TAS Science Facility. Jennifer Taylor’s contribution to Australian architecture was significant through her written and built works as well as her immense personal contribution to countless local architects.

Overall, 48 projects across all categories received awards and commendations. State Awards Jury Director, Michael Lavery of m3architecture reflected on the process of visiting each of the entered projects across the state (a process unique to Queensland), attesting to the strength of this year’s submissions. The showcased projects showed a genuine diversity of work, with relatively small scale projects such as Noosa Coastal Bus Shelter by Majstorovic Architecture being awarded for their larger urban-scale and social impacts, and very large projects such as Hassell’s Centre for Children’s Health being celebrated for their beautifully executed interiors.

If this past year of work is anything to go by, 2017 is looking to be another fantastic year for architecture in Queensland.

Image: The exhibition of shortlisted projects was presented amongst timber installations designed to celebrate life in the subtropics. Photography by: Narelle Robinson