Landscape Architects Shine at the Australia Award for Urban Design

Innovative urban projects and policies from across Australia have been recognised for their significant contributions to the nation’s built environment in the 2014 Australia Award for Urban Design last night.

Landscape Architects featured prominently across most award categories, with AILA members Oculus and Sue Barnsley Design taking out the major honour, the Award for Delivered Outcome – Large Scale for their respective projects, NewActon Precinct (ACT) and Prince Alfred Park and Pool (NSW).

The Australia Award for Urban Design was hosted by the Planning Institute of Australia (PIA) at a gala dinner at the National Portrait Gallery last night, Monday 14 July. The awards program acknowledges the critical role good urban design plays in the social, economic and environmental development of our cities and towns.

AILA’s National President Mark Frisby said the awards program reiterates the importance of excellent urban design to solve and prevent some of the challenges emerging among urban environments across Australia.

“It is not surprising to see so many Australian Landscape Architects involved in such high profile urban design projects. The awarded projects have been recognised for their diversity and innovation; motivations which defines good Landscape Architecture,” Mark Frisby said.

Landscape Architects recognised at the Australia Award for Urban Design

Oculus
DELIVERED OUTCOME – Large scale
Award: NewActon Precinct, Molongo Group/ Fender Katsalidis/ Oculus (ACT)
The Precinct project was praised by the Awards judges as “a precinct of surprise and delight that is a rich place of outstanding quality and design.”

Sue Barnsley Design
DELIVERED OUTCOME – Large scale
Award: Prince Alfred Park and Pool, Neeson Murcutt Architects, Sue Barnsley Design, City of Sydney (NSW)
The judges said the project successfully reinvigorated the 7.5 hectare park and upgrade the tired public pool by creatively integrating the park’s new built form and the landscape. The new park, the judges said, boasted “a new spatial and ecological sensibility that is contemporary without erasing its Victorian roots.”

Convic
DELIVERED OUTCOME – Small scale
Award: Fremantle Esplanade Youth Plaza, Convic, City of Fremantle (WA)
Judges described the project as “a great example of a central, accessible public open space that provides a range of active, passive and social pursuits for all ages which is adaptable over time to meet evolving healthy and safe activities for a diversity of users with differing interests and abilities.”

ASPECT Studios
POLICIES, PROGRAMS AND CONCEPTS – Small scale
Award: The Goods Line, ASPECT Studios with CHROFI for the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (NSW)
This project converted a once historic but later disused and overlooked rail line into an elegant and active linear public space with dynamic connections to surrounding uses.

Bruce Echberg, Urban Initiatives
SUSTAINED CONTRIBUTION TO URBAN DESIGN (new award)
Award: Urban Voices – celebrating urban design in Australia, Bruce Echberg, Bill Chandler, John Byrne
Bruce Echberg, Bill Chandler, John Byrne were given the new honour for their work Urban Voices: Celebrating urban design in Australia. The book is a collection of new writings from 53 different authors that reflect on urban design in Australia over the past twenty five years.

About the Australia Award for Urban Design (AAUD)

The AAUD is Australia’s premier award for excellence in urban design and is hosted each year by PIA and supported by the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, the Australian Institute of Architects, Consult Australia, Green Building Council of Australia, Property Council of Australia and the Urban Design Forum. This year the Award patron was former Sydney Lord Mayor Lucy Turnbull AO. The Award was supported by Gold Sponsor Think Brick. The Australia Award for Urban Design was first presented in 1996 after being proposed by the Urban Design Task Force under former Prime Minister Paul Keating.

Full list of winners

DELIVERED OUTCOME – Large scale (two awards given)
Award: NewActon Precinct, Molongo Group/ Fender Katsalidis/ Oculus (ACT)
Award: Prince Alfred Park and Pool, Neeson Murcutt Architects, Sue Barnsley Design, City of Sydney (NSW)

DELIVERED OUTCOME – Small scale
Award: Fremantle Esplanade Youth Plaza, Convic, City of Fremantle (WA)

POLICIES, PROGRAMS AND CONCEPTS – Large Scale (no award winner)
Commendation: Pilbara Vernacular Handbook, CODA Studio, Landcorp (WA)
Commendation: Darwin City Centre Master Plan, City of Darwin, Northern Territory Government, Design Urban Pty Ltd (NT)

POLICIES, PROGRAMS AND CONCEPTS – Small scale
Award: The Goods Line, ASPECT Studios with CHROFI for the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority (NSW)
Commendation: Thinking outside ‘the box’: Key design elements for apartments in Ku-ring-gai, Ku-ring-gai Council Strategy and Environment Department (NSW)
Commendation: King’s Square Urban Design Strategy, CODA Studio, City of Fremantle, Creating Communities Australia (WA)

SUSTAINED CONTRIBUTION TO URBAN DESIGN (new award)
Award: Urban Voices – celebrating urban design in Australia, Bruce Echberg, Bill Chandler, John Byrne

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