Pub: Sydney Morning Herald
Section: News And Features
And the award goes to … anyone who can explain the architectural awards process
Awards, to paraphrase Peter Carey, only matter to those who get them.
Quite right, and arguably they shouldn’t even matter that much, in view of the evident capriciousness of the exercise.
In architecture especially, perhaps, everything turns on the dynamics and predilections of the jurors: their tastes, values, backgrounds, even politics.
It is an exercise made only more confusing by the intricate array of categories. What, for instance, defines a public building? Why is the Sydney Conservatorium a Public and Commercial building when Woollahra Council building at least as public in terms of funding and access, and on no more historic a site sits, and wins, in the lesser pools of both Conservation and Environment?
One effect of this curious arrangement is that perfectly modest B-list architecture gets forwarded to the next-round National Awards circus, while major works like the Con, granted no more than a commendation at state level, drop in the ditch.
This year’s public basket held two major buildings: the NIDA building, by Hassell architects, and the Con, by Daryl Jackson Robyn Dyke architects.
Both were handsome, intelligent, memorable, and spatially imaginative, despite the Con’s vastly greater degree of difficulty. But somehow, for reasons not explained by its declared search for social ease and lifting of the spirit, the jury deemed NIDA’s intelligent resolve Sulman-worthy, and dismissed the Con as one of Sydney’s finest entry rooms. Faint praise indeed.
But the Con should feel consoled by its shortlisting in the UK-based World Architecture Awards, along with Norman Foster’s British Museum additions and Rem Koolhaas’ Las Vegas Guggenheim. Not bad for an entry room.
PUBLIC & COMMERCIAL BUILDINGS SULMAN AWARD
NIDA: Hassell; Peter Armstrong Architecture
Sydney Conservatorium of Music & Conservatorium High School: Daryl Jackson Robin Dyke Pty Ltd & NSW Government Architect. Heritage Architect: Tanner & Associates
Shear Outback Australian Shearers Hall of Fame: Paul Berkemeier Architect Pty Ltd
Pier 8/9 Walsh Bay: Bates Smart
RESIDENTIAL: SINGLE &MULTIPLE HOUSING
House for Art Collectors: Marsh Cashman Architects
The Water House: Dale Jones-Evans Architects Pty Ltd
Kangaloon: Allen Jack & Cottier Architects Pty Ltd
Overcliffe: Clinton Murray Architects Pty Ltd
Box House: Nicholas Murcutt Architect
Palm Beach House Craigee Lee: Dawson Brown Architecture
Redleaf, Woollahra Council Chambers: Allen Jack & Cottier
Dawes Point Park: Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (SHFA) with Government Architects Office; Department of Public Works & Services
Woodford Academy: Design 5 Architects
LLOYD REES AWARD
Dawes Point Park: SHFA, Government Architects Office; Department of Public Works & Services
Campus MLC, North Sydney: Bligh Voller Nield Pty Ltd
Schaeffer Fine Arts Library: Allen Jack & Cottier Architects Pty Ltd
Interactive Learning Centre, Charles Sturt University, Dubbo Campus: Office of Design (Charles Sturt Univ); CN Walton & Associates
Redleaf Woollahra Council Chambers: Allen Jack & Cottier Architects Pty Ltd
Wilcannia Health Service: Government Architect’s Office
Merrima Aboriginal Design Unit
COLORBOND STEEL AWARD
Australian Shearers Hall of Fame
Paul Berkemeier Architect Pty Ltd
SPECIAL JURY AWARD: Tom Uren
PRESIDENT’S AWARD:Che Wall
PREMIER’S AWARD: Newington Apartments, Homebush:Marion Mahony GRIFFIN AWARD