The uncompromising efforts of Australia’s best architects, builders and designers to improve Australia’s built environment was the real cause for celebration at the 2016 Sustainability Awards, held in Sydney on 13 October.
While it was the immensely sustainable 88 Angel Street multi-residential project in Sydney that took the program’s top gong, the Best of the Best Award, the biggest achievement was the amount of people who turned out to celebrate and support what was once a fringe issue in Australia’s building industry – sustainability.
2016 was the 10th anniversary of the Sustainability Awards and by taking the Best of the Best Award 88 Angel Street by Steele Associates Architects continued a trend for the program set three years ago by being the third multi-residential project in as many years to win the top prize.
In 2014 it was Breathe Architecture’s now well-known The Commons apartments that took the trophy, in 2015 it was an Indigenous Australians elders centre in Western Australia by Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects which shocked the community by winning the coveted honour. But, according to the Awards Jury, the message from 88 Angel Street has the potential to be as significant, if not more significant, as the two Best of Best projects that precede it.
“Never before has sustainable housing been more important to our cities as it is today,” said the jury.
“We’re urbanising on an unprecedented scale and we need comfortable, playful, socially enriching and environmentally friendly housing options if we want to accommodate our population in a humane and sustainable manner.”
“88 Angel Street, in all of its meticulous commitment to best practice sustainable building and material procurement, is certainly one of those options, and we hope that this award will encourage many more inner city developments just like it.” (See below for full Judges comments)
‘Comfortable’, ‘playful’, ‘socially enriching’ and ‘environmentally friendly’ were common themes than ran throughout all of the projects and products that won category prizes on the night. From the near 10-star Mildura Eco Living Centre in rural Victoria by EME Design (Small Commercial winner), to McGlashan Everist’s Building 56 Redevelopment at Monash University (Large Commercial), sustainability as the central and holistic concern in development was present throughout all the winners.
To mark the 10 year anniversary of the Sustainability Awards, a Best Newcomer and Lifetime Achievement award were also handed out. The Best Newcomer went to Alexander Symes of Alexander Symes Architect who was recognized for his recent design work for Dresden Optic as well as his recent launch of Big World Homes, a modular, flat-packed, off-grid tiny home design that will be used to create off-grid homeowner communities on unused land, like brownfields and open spaces, throughout Australia.(See below for Judges comments)
Professor Ken Maher, Hassell fellow and current President of the Australian Institute of Architects, was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, receiving a standing ovation from the audience for his undying and frankly excitable commitment to improving the built environment in Australia over the course of his career. (See below for Judges comments)
A total of 14 awards were handed out on the evening in what was the program’s biggest year in terms of entries, categories, sponsors, judging panel and attendees at the gala event.
Architecture & Design is proud to reveal the 2016 Sustainability Awards winners:
GREEN BUILDING PRODUCT
Junglefy Breathing Wall by Junglefy
INNOVATION OF THE YEAR
Green Building Online College by Green Building Institute
Sydney Park Water Re-Use Project by Turf Design Studio and Environmental Partnership
Building 56 Redevelopment, Monash University by McGlashan Everist
88 Angel Street by Steele Associates Architects
OFFICE AND RETAIL FITOUT
St.George Barangaroo by RFA Architects
Saltwater Community Centre by Croxon Ramsay Architects
Alexandria Residence by CplusC Architectural Workshop
SINGLE DWELLING (ALTERATIONS & ADDITIONS)
Yarraville Garden House by Guild Architects
Beyond House by Ben Callery Architects
Mildura Eco Living Centre by EME Design
Alexander Symes Architect
“After several formative years practicing architecture, Alexander Symes felt unsatisfied with his architectural approach to sustainability. Motivated to change this, Alex joined multi-disciplinary technical services firm Arup and in 2010 begun a process of up-skilling himself as a building physicist and facade engineer.
Over the 5 years at Arup, Alex learnt the fundamentals of environmental quantification, sustainability governance frameworks and developed his capability to detail striking facades that were also responsible. Alex established Alexander Symes in earnest in March 2014 and has since delivered a number of award winning projects including the National Environment & Energy efficiency Residential Building Award at the Master Builders Australia awards for Butterfly house.
In 2015 Alex completed Dresden Mobile, a 2016 Sustainability Awards finalist in strong contention for the Small Commercial Category Prize but arguably his most important work to date is his most recent.
In October this year, Alex launched Big World Homes, a modular, flat-packed, off-grid tiny home design that will be used to create off-grid homeowner communities on unused land, like brownfields and open spaces, throughout Australia.
It’s been called Ikea on steroids because its affordable, fun and flat packed, but it’s the environmental and social benefits of the concept that has the architecture community abuzz.
Alex is a very deserving winner of the 2016 Sustainability Awards Best Newcomer Award.”
“Ken Maher graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture with First Class Honours from UNSW in 1970. Following a period of teaching, practice and research he graduated with a Master of Architecture also from UNSW in 1974, and later with a Graduate Diploma in Landscape Architecture as well as a Graduate Diploma in Environmental Studies from Macquarie University. He is a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, a Fellow of the Green Building Council of Australia and an Honorary Member of the American Institute of Architects.
Ken is a Fellow of HASSELL, Australia’s largest multi-disciplinary design practice following 20 years as a Principal including 9 years as Chairman. He is also Professor of Practice at UNSW Built Environment, and currently President of the Australian Institute of Architects and President of Australian Sustainable Built Environment Council. He is chair of the City of Sydney’s Design Advisory Panel, a member of Sydney Opera House Eminent Architects Panel and board member of Urban Growth NSW and the Co-operative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living, and was a founding board member of the Green Building Council.
Ken’s engagement with UNSW has been extensive over the years, teaching design studios, chairing the Built Environment Advisory Council and the Campus Design Advisory Panel, and serving on the Foundation Board.
His recognition as a designer is reflected in the numerous awards received for projects he has led including many that have won Sustainability Awards. Ken also advises governments and speaks on design, sustainability and the future of cities throughout Australia and internationally.
In 2009, Ken was awarded the Australian Institute of Architect’s highest accolade, the Gold Medal and 2010 he received the Australian Award in Landscape Architecture from the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.
Ken was an honorary guest and keynote speaker at the 2015 Sustainability Awards, in 2016 he is the obvious and deserving choice for our first Lifetime Achievement Award. Congratulations Ken.”
BEST OF THE BEST
88 Angel Street by Steele Associates Architects
“88 Angel Street continues a trend for the Sustainability Awards program by being the third multi-residential project in as many years to take out the Best of the Best award. In 2014 we had The Commons by Breathe Architecture, a triple-bottom line development which has since become the benchmark for the Nightingale community apartment movement sweeping Victoria.
In 2015 it was an elder’s centre in Western Australia by Iredale Pedersen Hook Architects which took our top honour, demonstrating in the process that true sustainable developments must now consider culture and social responsibility at their core. The message from 88 Angel Street has the potential to be as significant, if not more significant, as the two best of best projects that precede it.
Never before has sustainable housing been more important to our cities as it is today.We’re urbanising on an unprecedented scale and we need comfortable, playful, socially enriching and environmentally friendly housing options if we want to accommodate our population in a humane and sustainable manner. 88 Angel Street, in all of its meticulous commitment to best practice sustainable building and material procurement, is certainly one of those options, and we hope that this award will encourage many more inner city developments just like it.”
The awards were proudly supported by USG Boral, Covet International, CSR Gyprock, Hewlett Packard, Quattro, Premium Floors Australia, Open Shutters, Vertilux, Knauf Insulation, Viridian New World Glass, Schiavello Group, SALT and Zego.