NSW architecture awards recognise the small and the large, the public and the private

SJB was the project architect co-ordinating three architecture firms at Quay Quarter Lanes, bound by Loftus and Young streets, near to Circular Quay. It also designed one of the award-winning buildings, 9-15 Young Street.

But the apartment block at 8 Loftus Street by Studio Bright won the highest honor for multiresidential architecture, the Aaron Bolot Award.

Architect Qianyi Lim (right) with her partner, Ross Paxman, daughter Linya, mother Kooiying Mah and sister, Xinyi Lim, in the home she designed at the back of a block in Forest Lodge.

Architect Qianyi Lim (right) with her partner, Ross Paxman, daughter Linya, mother Kooiying Mah and sister, Xinyi Lim, in the home she designed at the back of a block in Forest Lodge.Credit:Janie Barrett

The jury said the Quay Quarter Lanes project contributed to a generational reshaping of this gateway neighborhood to Sydney Harbour.

The project took six years, Haddow said. “The buildings become part of you,” he said.

“It is quite an intimate process of designing a building and taking it to the finish. You get quite emotional. When you leave them, you feel as if you are sending your child off to boarding school.”

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The buildings are all made of brick, but with very different designs.

They are connected by criss-crossing pedestrian lanes – one tracking the path of a colonial sewer – to create a village where people live, work and eat, and where the public feels free to enter.

A bubble tea cafe attracts local office workers to what was once a dingy road.

“They’re diverse, they’re intriguing, and it’s like they talk together. So it’s almost like a conversation is happening,” Haddow said of the way the buildings connected.

SJB was also one of three architecture firms, with Durbach Block Jaggers and Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, which were awarded the prestigious Premier’s Prize for their work pumping life back into Newcastle’s dead east end.

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The award for best new home, the Wilkinson Award, was won by Sibling Architecture for Stable House on a found piece of land in densely populated Forest Lodge in Sydney’s inner south-west.

To add life and colour, architect Qianyi Lim – also recognized with this year’s Emerging Architect Prize – used tiled walls to add life and color to the home she designed to grow and adapt as her family changed.

One wall is covered in ultramarine tile. Another wall is papaya. Others are teal and rose.

Other awards presented

  • The William E Kemp Award for education went to DesignInc Sydney, Lacoste+Stevenson and bmc2, architects in association, for Ultimo Public School.
  • The Milo Dunphy Award for Sustainable Architecture was won by Harley Graham for Phoenix House.
  • The Hugh and Eva Buhrich Award for alterations and additions to a home was taken home by Anthony Gill Architects for North Bondi House.
  • The John Verge Award for interior design was given to 60 Castlereagh Street by Aeta Studio.
  • The Robert Woodward Award for small projects was won by Welsh + Major.
  • The Blacket Prize for regional architecture was won by Cox Architecture for Eden Port Welcome Centre.

The author was a lay juror on the panel deciding the Australian Institute of Architects’ NSW Award for new housing.

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