The 2014 Sydney Design Award winners have been announced, with residential and community developer Sekisui House securing the Design Champion Award.
Over 120 design projects were selected as finalists with 2014 attracting a record number of nominations.
The awards aim to celebrate “courage in design from both commissioners and creators” across a multitude of design disciplines. The awards featured 16 categories and a series of "best of" awards in architecture, landscape and interior and urban design categories.
The awards are part of the global design100 awards program which was founded in Melbourne and now has a presence in New York and London, with further plans to expand to Chicago, San Francisco and Asia.
The winners were announced this week by design100 and Sydney Design Awards Founder & CEO Mark Bergin at the new Brand X Event Space L3 Central at One Central Park, Sydney – a project that also secured the program's Landscape Design award.
“This year Sydney has truly embraced the awards with the result being a remarkable collection of courageous projects,” said Bergin.
“To stay relevant in a global market we need to accelerate transformation, the economic race is being dictated by other markets that are growing much faster than ours. Design is the most effective and efficient means to accelerate transformation, our goal is to recognise those who have had the courage to commission new design projects. The more we recognise those who have take proactive steps to accelerate our market, the faster we’ll see others taking up the same challenge.”
The renowned 8 Chifley Square project by Mirvac Projects, Lippen Partnership and Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners secured the win for the Architecture – Commercial – Constructed category. The project's contemporary office style and green credentials earned it the nod.
It was made primarily of prefabricated materials, and the building has been celebrated for its vertical village concept. This was achieved through design elements that include "interstitial mezzanines and internal atria" which drench the internal spaces with natural light while offering a fluid format to encourage "social connectivity in a democratic workplace environment."
"Internally, 3 level stacked volumes or 'commercial villages' are unique," the awards program's website states. "The hollowing out of the tower also allows floor space to be redistributed higher up in the air where better views and higher rents are achieved."
The building's first office floor plate is elevated six levels above the ground level plaza, providing public access to 70 per cent of the site. The space is also seasonally versatile, creating a great shaded area for summer and a space bathed in sunshine during winter.
The office has achieved a 6 Star Green Star – Office Design v2 certified rating, which represents ‘World Leadership’ in environmental sustainability practices with the carbon emissions predicted to be 75 per cent less than that of a typical office building of its size. The project is also targeting a 5 Star plus NABERS Energy rating.
The East Village at Victoria Park by PAYCE took home honours in the Architecture – Mixed Use Constructed category.
PAYCE also secured the Urban Design category for its Washinghton Park project and was recognised for a collaboration with Sekisui House for two projects under the Best Design Champion award.
Located just three kilometres outside of the CBD, East Village is a mixed-use precinct featuring 206 low-rise apartments along with retail and dining spaces.
One of the key elements of the project is the urban “Sky Park”, a 6,500 square metre public space which is designed to help residents feel like they are “living above a park.” The Sky Park sits 18 metres above ground level and will feature shade booths, BBQ areas and a communal vegetable garden.
The interiors were designed to reflect the natural landscape outdoors.
The Roal North Shore Hospital by Acute Serices Building, Thiess Australia and Anne Gordon Design Pty Ltd won in the Wayfinding category.
For this project, the architects worked to replicate the colours that clad the building's exterior within its walls to identify lift cores for the fluid spaces.
“The innovation was truly the use of colour as a wayfinding tool to correspond with vertical circulation rather than the usual solution which would have been to colour code levels within a multi-storey building,” the awards program website reads. "Having a coherent visual strategy is essential to avoid confusing vulnerable and easily disoriented patients."
One Central Park's landscape design by Frasers Property, ASPECT and OCULUS was also honoured, with the jurors calling it the most "ambitious 'living architecture' project in Australia."
One Central Park is a high-rise residential developed which features the world's tallest vertical garden according to its designer, French botanist Patrick Blanc.
The awards recognised its sustainability, including the "urban greening element," with One Central Park "successfully establishing the planting on the facades in the face of difficult and varied environmental challenges including exposure to sun and wind, water and nutrient requirements, plant support/stability and maintenance."
A full list of the 2014 Sydney Design Award winners across all disciplinaries is available at http://sydneydesignawards.com.au/syd14/winners_list.asp.