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The Australian Institute of Architects’ National Architecture Awards, Australia

Thursday 30 Oct 2008

Watercube honoured in Australian awards

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Australia’s 2008 National Architecture Awards give project Jorn Utzon Award 

The iconic Watercube National Swimming Centre Beijing has been awarded one of Australia’s highest architecture prizes, the Jorn Utzon Award for International Architecture last night. A collaboration between Australian firm PTW Architects, Chinese practices CSCEC and CCDI and international firm Arup, the design was said by the jury to be an “engaging and ethereal building that comfortably straddles the traditions of both Chinese and Western architecture”.

The Australian Institute of Architects’ National Architecture Awards are Australia’s most prestigious annual architecture prizes. Talking of the awards overall Jury Chair and widely acclaimed architect Alec Tzannes said: “2008 represented an exceptionally strong year for architecture, with new benchmarks set in a number of key categories – such as public architecture, single housing and multi-residential architecture, along with heritage. In particular, public architecture was very well represented, with many outstanding submissions from urban, suburban and regional locations. The most remarkable were projects involving private secondary school buildings.”

The Cherrell Hirst Creative Learning Centre at Brisbane Girls Grammar School by Brisbane-based architects m3architecture scored the 2008 Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture, one of the top prizes.

John Wardle Architects, however, topped the polls receiving four separate awards for a variety of works: the National Commendation for Public Architecture for the Hawke Building at the University of South Australia (joint project delivery with Hassell Ltd), a National Commendation for Interior Architecture for the Queensland Brain Institute (with Wilson Architects architects in association) at the University of Queensland, the Emil Sodersten Award for Interior Architecture for the Nigel Peck Centre for Learning and Leadership at Melbourne Grammar and a National Award for Public Architecture for what the AIA called ‘another educational facility setting new benchmarks’ - the Nigel Peck Centre for Learning and Leadership in suburban Melbourne.

Niki May Young
News Editor

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