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Architectures night of nights

There’s nothing we love or appreciate more than quality design and architecture – which is why we spent Friday night celebrating WA’s leading architects at The Australian Institute of Architects’ 2019 WA Architecture Awards.

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The annual awards have become a firm fixture in the calendars of the architecture, design and construction communities – and this year, the very best in the industry descended on 2018’s most highly awarded project, Optus Stadium for a night of celebration and recognition amongst peers.

The big winner on the night was the Perth Children’s Hospital, designed in a joint venture between JCY Architects and Urban Designers, Cox Architecture and Billard Leece Partnership with HKS the project was awarded the most esteemed accolade on the night, the George Temple Poole Award.

Heralded as a ‘truly inspired creation’ by the jury, the hospital was recognised for its exceptional design that successfully engages all users of this complex new medical facility.

‘From children and parents, through to specialist consultants and medical staff, the design team have created a high quality, people-first environment that changes our perception of what a hospital can be,’ the jury said.

In addition to the prestigious George Temple Poole Award, Perth Children’s Hospital was also recognised with The Jeffrey Howlett Award for Public Architecture, The Wallace Greenham Award for Sustainable Architecture as well as The Julius Elischer Award for Interior Architecture.

With over 100 entries ranging from inner-city meeting places and boutique hotels, to significant regional heritage restorations and a wide selection of housing projects, the calibre of projects in the 2019 Awards demonstrate the integral role architecture plays in our everyday lives.

Recently inaugurated Australian Institute of Architects WA Chapter President Peter Hobbs says this year, the entries shone a light on projects of both local and state significance.

“Whether it was a well-known public project in the heart of the CBD, an upgrade to an iconic zoo exhibit or a heritage transformation in the South West, all of the entries this year worked to connect people with their surrounds in a meaningful way,” Mr Hobbs said.

In amongst this year’s winning projects was one of Perth’s newest hotels, The Westin Hotel by HASSELL and the recipient of The Ross Chisholm and Gil Nicol Award for Commercial Architecture, the project commended for having successfully revitalised and repurposed a city block.

The jury were impressed with the architects’ delivery of not only a high-quality hotel but also the establishment of a hospitality and retail precinct that acknowledges the inherent heritage of the site and provides connections and benefits for both patron and public enjoyment.

When it came to the residential categories, it was a series of forward-thinking designs that took out the top accolades. Cloister House by MORQ, a home for a couple that was conceived as a solid enclosure ordered around a central void was recognised with The Marshall Clifton Award for Residential Architecture, the architect commended for delivering an unconventional response to increased suburban density.  

However, it was Philip Stejskal’s Forrest Street Alterations & Additions project that took home the Peter Overman Award for Residential Architecture, the team behind the project celebrated for exploring an innovative and ingenious solution to a range of site conditions, resulting in a unique design that worked to highlight the irreplaceable role architects play in our community.

Impressed with the cross-section of winners recognised in the 2019 Awards, WA Chapter President Peter Hobbs echoed the sentiments of the jury and attested to the vital role architecture plays in our everyday lives.

‘This year’s winning projects demonstrate the importance of quality architecture when it comes to creating and sustaining successful, vibrant communities not just today, but well into the future,’ said Mr Hobbs.

All Western Australian Named and Architecture Award winners will progress to the Australian Institute of Architects National Awards to be judged against the very best architectural works in the country.

You can view the full list of winning WA entries HERE.

Word: Hayley Sarre

Imagery: The Australian Institute of Architects - WA Chapter