The architecture sector in South Australia often does not receive the same attention as buildings in major cities such as Melbourne and Sydney.
However, what the South Australian industry lacks in promotion it makes up for in daring, and in articulate and detailed architectural portfolios.
The Australian Institute of Architects’ South Australian Architecture Awards certainly backed up this notion, with bold, daring and ‘strong’ architecture taking home top honours.
The night’s biggest winner, The Materials and Minerals Science Learning and Research Building and The Plasso designed by architectural firm John Wardle Architects, in association with Swanbury Penglase Architects, received the Jack McConnell Award for Public Architecture in part for its bold vision and strong attention to detail.
“The attention to design and detail in the Materials and Minerals complex is exemplary,” says the jury. “The execution overall makes this a valuable resource and demonstration of the University’s commitment to research and the broader community, made possible by impressive architecture.”
The overall uniqueness of the building enabled it to stand out among the plethora of architectural feats South Australia had to offer, with the site’s integration of functional detailings into the overall design deemed a key feature by the jury.
“The tour de force is the sculptural and asymmetrical ceiling,” the jury says. “Beautifully conceived, detailed and crafted, the folds focus on the centre of the space and integrate with the acoustic wall panelling to provide a unique venue for the facility, the University and public.”
Detailing was again brought up as a key to success when the Oxigen Halifax Studio by design studio Oxigen and architectural firm Woods Bagot was awarded both the Robert Dickson Award for Interior Architecture and the Colorbond® Award for Steel Architecture.
The project was praised by the jurors for ‘successfully incorporating artwork and local craftsmanship, careful detailing, and an experimental approach to material use, selection and recycling.’
Further winners of some of the 33 prizes and commendations include Norwood House by Dimitty Anderson Architects, which received the Chappel Award for Residential Architecture – Houses, and the Adelaide Studios by Grieve Gillett, which was awarded the Keith Neighbour Award for Commercial Architecture for its ‘studio buildings which stand alone as strong architectural forms while avoiding dominating the restored heritage buildings.’
The awards night has been deemed a huge success for the South Australian industry, which currently boasts a plethora of fantastic projects that are setting benchmarks for a truly successful built environment. With bold edginess that doesn’t forget the details, the South Australian architecture sector is becoming a force to be reckoned with.