DesignInc in partnership with John Wardle Architects has won the prestigious RAIA Sir Zelman Cowan for Public Buildings, at the 2002 National Architecture Awards held in Sydney last night.

The $32 million RMIT Biosciences Building, at Bundoora campus in Melbourne, beat 93 entries including the National Museum in Canberra and the Sydney Conservatorium of Music to take the award.

John Williams, Project Director and Principal of DesignInc commented that, “We are totally elated at receiving public and industry recognition for a building that we believe sets a new benchmark for tertiary education research buildings.

“The close cooperation between our design team and the client has resulted in the highest built environment, and we are honoured to receive the Zelman award.”

The new building provides for the complete relocation of the RMIT Biomedical Facility from the City campus to the Bundoora campus. It encompasses teaching and research into biomedicine and health sciences.

The jury consisted of John Denton of Denton Corker Marshall, architect Wendy Lewin, Peter Dungey of Planning SA in Adelaide, critic Joe Rollo and was chaired by architect Ed Haysom.

The citation from the jury stated, “The building is made powerful by a complexity of texture and detail, the clever manipulation of light and internal circulation spaces, and a masterly understanding of how to assemble a restricted palette of materials to create memorable architecture.”