National COLORBOND® steel award winner a breath of fresh air
Collins and Turner architects' Waterloo Youth Family and Community Centre was awarded the 2013 National COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture at last night's Australian Institute of Architects' National Architecture Awards in Sydney.
This year's Jury decided that another project also deserved a National COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture (Commendation), which went to TAG Architects and iredale pedersen hook architects (in Association) for the West Kimberley Regional Prison.
The new West Kimberley Regional Prison strives to promote Aboriginal wellness and minimise the impact of imprisonment through the careful placement of buildings.
Of winning the Commendation, TAG Architects' Jurg Hunziker said: "The numerous awards and presence in the architectural media both here in Australia and overseas affirm the belief that we had in the project and that our commitment to excellence in architectural design can transform lives."
iredale pedersen hook director Finn Pedersen added that: "The response to the project has been very encouraging. Interest has emerged from international academics in social justice and local experts in the field of indigenous law, so the fantastic response from the architecture community is a great reinforcement of the project's aims as a whole."
BlueScope Steel market manager - commercial and industrial - Manu Siitonen said the National COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture recognises steel buildings which exemplify innovation and congratulated all winners and entrants. "Particularly the winners of the COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture, including the State-based winners which made for an impressive collection of inspirational buildings.
"Only one project can be given the National COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture," continued Mr Siitonen, and the Waterloo Youth Family and Community Centre deserved recognition due to its complex, yet breathable structural layers.
"It harnesses fine steel frames to encase the original building without smothering it. Its breathability - which allows plants to grow around and through its mesh - allows it to integrate perfectly with its parklands setting, yet still make a sculptural statement."
The project had previously been awarded two prestigious New South Wales Australian Institute of Architects Awards in 2013: the Sulman Medal and the Sustainable Architecture Award.
Collins and Turner architects' Huw Turner said he was delighted to have been bestowed the highest BlueScope Steel-sponsored award.
"We are thrilled. The awards celebrate the potential for existing and unloved structures to be transformed into exciting contemporary public facilities that enrich the day-to-day lives of people through a holistic and sustainable approach to architecture, landscape and urban design."
Located in the Sydney suburb of Waterloo, the building was once an amenities block but has since been converted for community use. Mr Turner said the client, City of Sydney, wanted the original building to be re-used and a green roof incorporated. Residential developments overlook Waterloo Park and there was a desire to soften the Centre's visual impact.
The architects' vision for the project has been realised as a giant woven sculpture of plants and steel.
"The canopy was realised due to the strength of steel. It needed to be lightweight and yet strong, and steel could achieve that," said Mr Turner.
Waterloo Youth Family and Community Centre and West Kimberley Regional Prison are respectively covered in the August 2013 and November 2013 issues of Steel Profile magazine, which is available free to the architectural industry.