AIA North Queensland Awards

March 4, 2011

Bligh Voller’s Lavarack Barracks wins at AIA North Queensland awards, kicking off the Institute’s 2011 regional architecture awards program.

Bligh Voller’s Lavarack Barracks in Townsville, a project encompassing more than 80 new and refitted buildings for the Australian army, has been presented with the 2011 William Hodgen Award for Building of the Year at the AIA’s 2011 North Queensland Architecture Awards.

Bligh Voller’s Lavarack Barracks provide accommodation for over 600 soldiers, including offices, sports facilities, computer support and heavy vehicle maintenance areas.

Queensland State Awards Director, Malcolm Middleton, said: “This large scale project… is a consistently well-researched and environmentally and visually flexible suite of solutions to the individual building requirements. The strict palette of materials builds on earlier stages and provides a comfortable and skilful delivery of many building types within the highly controlled financial, functional and bureaucratic constraints of the armed services culture.”

Four regional commendations were also presented to projects by Architects North, Guymer Bailey, ARM and Architectus.

Architectus’ JCU Discovery Rise, a scheme to revitalise the James Cook University (JCU) campus, promotes greater density and cluster development across the existing campus. The jury said of the project: “This initiative is both complex and highly charged in urban, environmental and city structure terms”.

Tranquility Base, a contemporary Queenslander home located on Magnetic Island designed by ARM, was designed with flexibility in mind – adjusting to weather conditions from all angles. The jury praised the project’s site-responsive design, saying: “A simple palette of materials both indoor and outdoor are heightened by the provision of a generous central gathering volume flanked by both the rocks of the site and the rock-like pods of the sleeping quarters that adjoin the house.”

Architects North’s Unit 1201 Aquarius on the Beach, an adaptive reuse project that converted a former hotel room into a 33sqm living space was praised for its “well detailed and high quality small scale accommodation space”.

The fourth commendation was presented to Guymer Bailey for Opposite Lock, a commercial fitout that delivered strong visual identity to a four-wheel drive retail space and showroom. The jury said: “The solution provides initial visual interest and lifestyle appeal whilst embedding a night time backlit panorama of outdoor experiences to allow the building to attract interest outside opening hours.”

All five projects will be in the running to win awards at the Queensland State Awards, held in Brisbane on 24 June.

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