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The Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) has awarded the Parkhurst State School, designed by Queensland firm Arkhefield, the J. W. Wilson Building of the Year Award at the 2011 Central Queensland Architecture Awards.
The project, completed as part of the Federal Governments $16.2 billion Building the Education Revolution (BER) program initiated to modernise schools and stimulate the economy, provides a new resource centre for the primary school.
Queensland State Awards Jury Director Malcolm Middleton said the project redefin[es] the image and ethos of the school through a bold but simple use of form and colour. He added: The project successfully demonstrates the role of a confident design, engaged contractor and enthusiastic client to extract the most from the problematic BERS delivery system.
Renato DEttorre Architects won the House of the Year award for Solis, a modernist home crafted from concrete, stone and glass located on Hamilton Island. The jury described the project as a confident and thoughtful design with a slowly unfolding richness of space, place, material and detail. It has begun to weather and integrate fully into the landscape and will develop a unique patina over time.
Three further projects were presented with regional commendations. dm2architectures Heron Island Research Station a rebuild and expansion project for a building destroyed by fire which uses the original footings to create a podium that links the labs. The jury said: The project explores a new expression of lightweight materiality through the extensive use of incombustible polycarbonate to walls and covered walkways, reducing energy load and creating light working spaces inside.
Thomson Adsett + Studio 39 were recognised for their urban design project, the Yaamba Road Pedestrian Overpass, which engages confidently with the harsh setting it spans whilst enhancing the visual experience for both pedestrians within it and highway users under it.
The jury also commended Riddel Architectures work on the Rockhampton School of Arts, restoring the schools masonry structure and upgrading the interior for new administrative facilities.
All five projects will be in the running to win awards at the Queensland State Awards, held in Brisbane on 24 June.