As such, it gives us great pleasure to announce that the winners of the Civic Buildings Unbuilt category are Hariri Pontarini Architects’ Baha'i Temple for South America and Samoo’s New York Korea Center in NYC, whilst the award for the best Completed Civic Building goes to Robert Simeoni Pty Ltd Architects for Seaford Life Saving Club in Melbourne. Many congratulations to all!
Common themes were thrown up by both jury panels during their animated debates, where the relationship between architectural design and building function was matched in importance by the integration of the structure into the urban realm – as Kate Goodwin explains in the video clip below – a feature that is clearly encapsulated by our three of winners. Effectiveness was also mentioned on numerous occasions, with the majority of shortlisted projects noted as having a positive emotive or passive effect on both the user and the passer-by.
The sheer variety of our entries always comes under scrutiny from jurors and this year, Aedas Director Sarah Williams was the first to remark that the “variety of projects submitted for the Civic Building Awards highlighted the different cultural approaches from around the world and the impact this can have on the local architecture. The winning schemes whilst very different both exhibited sensitivity to their site and clearly expressed their intent.” This feeling was echoed by Completed juror Keith Williams, who disclosed that “some buildings were very well known to the judges...others unknown and a complete surprise. The diversity of scales and budgets made the Civic Buildings Award judging such a pleasure.”
Whilst debate raged between the Unbuilt jurors as to which of the shortlisted entries should be cast out of the running, for their Completed counterparts there was one clear winner. Project Director at EllisWilliams and UIA representative, Lester Korzilius explained “the Seaford Life Saving Club was the project that collectively scored the highest among all the aspects that the jury considered. The programme/brief is well resolved and clearly expressed in an uplifting manner through a series of internal and external spaces that are intimately tied to the site.” In a world where economic problems are still at the forefront of everyone’s minds, it is refreshing that a project on a modest budget topped tens of lavish and grander schemes, demonstrating that "buildings with the largest budgets and the most ambitious programmes do not necessarily win out."