Innova21, The University of Adelaide, Photo: Dianna Snape

8 December 2011 ­– DeisgnInc has won this year’s National Award for Sustainable Architecture in the Australian Institute of Architects’ National Architecture Awards for its work on The University of Adelaide Innova21.

Innova21, which is part of the University of Adelaide’s North Terrace Campus, was South Australia’s first education building to receive a six star Green star rating. It is designed to be used as a teaching tool with high environmental sustainability and building performance monitoring equipment.

Commendations for sustainable architecture also went to Wolveridge Architects for Hill Plains House in Victoria and Morrison & Breytenbach Architects for Tarremah Hall in Tasmania.

The awards were announced in a ceremony at the Museum of Old and New Art (MONA) in Hobart on November 3. This year’s jury chair, Karl Fender, said the jury was impressed with the high standard of design of public spaces in this year’s awards and the emphasis on sustainable outcomes.

“A highlight of the awards was the extent to which the most pragmatic requirements of extremely functional briefs were so consistently translated into the highest levels of design excellence and sustainable outcomes,” Mr Fender said.

A total of 34 awards and commendations, selected from a total of 160 finalists, were awarded across 12 categories in this year’s awards. The tally across the states and territories  included Victoria (8 awards and commendations), NSW (8), Queensland (5), Tasmania (3), ACT (1), Western Australia (2), Northern Territory (1) and South Australia (2).

The top award, The Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture, this year went to the Australian War Memorial Eastern Precinct in the ACT by Sydney-based practice Johnson Pilton Walker (JPW).

JPW received the same award for its design of the National Portrait Gallery, also in the ACT, in 2009.

Mr Fender said: “The Eastern Precinct is the final phase of the development of the Australia War Memorial, with the parking area moved underground and the area opened up for its original intent – reflection and celebration. Rarely does a brief combine such prosaic outcomes with the emotional responsibility of creating a site of reflection”.

Other awards included:

Australian War Memorial Eastern Precinct Photo: Brett Boardman

National Award for Public Architecture – AAMI Park in Melbourne (Cox Architecture); with Commendations to the Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI) – Youth Mental Health Building in Sydney (BVN Architecture); Victoria University Learning Commons and Exercise Sports Science Project (John Wardle Architects) and St Mary’s Catholic Primary School New Hall and Library, Reggio Emelia Early Learning Centre and Courtyard (Troppo Architects NT).

The Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture – Houses – Castlecrag House (Neeson Murcutt Architects).

National Awards for Residential Architecture – Houses – Solis in Queensland (Renato D’Ettorre Architects) and Gallery House in Victoria (Denton Corker Marshall).  With commendations to Garden House in NSW (Durbach Block Jaggers Architects) and Marion Bay House in Tasmania (1+2 Architecture).

The Frederick Romberg Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing – Candalepas Associates for its Waterloo Street project in Surry Hills in Sydney.

A National Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing – John Street, Box Hill (Hayball) and a commendation to A’Beckett Tower (Elenberg Fraser), both from Victoria.

A National Award for Small Project Architecture – Domenic Alvaro for Small House in NSW; with two commendations going to Little Big House, Tasmania (Room11); and Law Street House, Victoria (Muir Mendes).

The Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design – one40william in Perth (HASSELL).

A National Award for Urban Design – Johnson Pilton Walker for the Australian War Memorial Eastern Precinct in the ACT, while Tonkin Zulaikha Greer was commended for its work on the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence in NSW.

The COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture – the hangar in NSW (Peter Stutchbury Architecture), with a commendation to Tridente Architects for its design of the Caritas College Junior School External Covered Area in South Australia.

The National Enduring Architecture Award – Magney House, Bingie Bingie in NSW, by Glenn Murcutt.

School of the Arts Singapore, Photo: Patrick Bingham Hall

The Jørn Utzon Award for International Architecture was awarded to the School of the Arts, Singapore, designed by WOHA.

Designed as a “machine for wind,” the School of the Arts building features a podium topped by three finger-like blocks and bridges at roof level. The podium, referred to as the “backdrop,” is a shaded, naturally ventilated public thoroughfare and houses performing arts theatres and a retail precinct.

The AIA also released the second of a 10 part series of books, called INSPIRE, at the award ceremony, The book, which showcases the 2011 Australian Institute of Architects’ award winners, is available at Architext bookstores or online at

An exhibition featuring the winning projects will be displayed to the public at the Gallery of Australian Design in Canberra from Wednesday November 9 to Saturday December 10, 2011.

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