Much of the acclaim given to architecture projects is doled out to developments that represent the the newest, greatest, next big thing in the industry. Often, there is more hype around a project before its even made its way off the page than there is after its completed.
However, the true nature of a building is not simply in its concept, but in how it actually performs.
The Australian Institute of Architects is pulling the industry back into line by endorsing the recognition of buildings that stand the test of time.
The Pie Residence designed by former architect Geoffrey Pie of Queensland has achieved the Enduring Architecture Award at the Queensland Architecture Awards some 25 years after it was actually completed.
What has been described as a ‘brilliant’ home on Peregian Beach is in fact a combination of two mid-sized homes that Pie brought together with eight metres of decking a quarter century ago. Together, the two spaces include three bedrooms, a kitchen, and dining, living and dormitory areas over two levels.
Key living areas overlook the ocean just as they did 25 years ago. According to Pie, the fact that the building still looks and functions as it did upon completion in 1986 shows that it exemplifies the award it has just won.
“It’s called the Enduring Architecture Award, and when a building is 25 years old and looked after well, the Institute of Australian Architects recognises that,” says Pie.
This is not the first architectural award win for the building or the architect, having previously earned the Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture back in 1986. For the latest win, jury members described the home as modest in form yet striking in impact.
“Its modesty of material and form and its reticence of expression are striking,” said the judges. “It possesses both restraint and purpose, closely tailored to its coastal setting and to the changing needs over time of an extended family.”
The AIA understands that recognising architecture that stands the test of time is the only way to truly encourage sustainable buildings. Perhaps rather than looking constantly toward the future, the architecture industry could stop and take note not only of the buildings that are major carbon emitters, falling apart and stand as a the epitome of unsustainable, but of those that truly stand the test of time.
In taking a closer look at buildings of this nature, looking to the past when undertaking new builds will not seem like such a risk.