FJMT and BVN win at RIBA Awards

Jul 4, 2012
  • Article by Online Editor
  • Designer

Above: Monash University student housing by BVN Architecture. Photo by John Gollings

Two Australian projects have been presented with International Awards at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Awards 2012.

Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT) took out one of the awards for the Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki, a collaborative project with New Zealand-based Archimedia completed in September last year, while Melbourne’s BVN Architecture was recognised for their Monash University Student Housing project.

The awards are presented annually by RIBA in recognition of the best architecturally-designed built works from outside the UK, completed by RIBA members.

For the Auckland Art Gallery, the award follows the project’s recent success in May when it won the prestigious New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) Architecture Medal – the highest honour the NZIA can bestow on any project. The gallery’s director Chris Saines says of its recent string of achievements: “The elegant and sensitive re-integration of the gallery’s extant heritage buildings, and the materiality, attention to detail and design quality of its new additions, beautifully conceived in relation to the city and the park, is winning plaudits from even the toughest critics”.

Auckland Art Gallery by Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp (FJMT) and Archimedia. Photo by John Gollings


Monash University’s Student Housing Project by BVN Architecture, comprising two five-storey buildings, responds to the needs for higher-end facilities for students moving away from dormitory accommodation to self-contained bedroom and study spaces. BVN Principal Ninotschka Titchkosky says that the project’s design “focused on the experience of the residents, rather than just the pragmatic fulfilment of the spatial brief,” adding that the full-height windows of the studios complete with kitchens, ensuite bathrooms and built-in furniture give the rooms a “hotel quality”.

Stephen Davey, Executive Director of Facilities and Services at Monash University says of the project: “This outstanding result represents an application of modern sustainable design principles on a significant scale, and in a relatively low-cost design and build project.” Monash Student Housing was the first University project completed under the National Rental Affordability Scheme (NRAS), which was established as part of the nation building fund formed in response to the Global Financial Crisis.

RIBA International Award winners are considered for the RIBA Lubetkin Prize, to be announced in October.

The other RIBA International Award 2012 winners were:

CIGI Campus, Balsillie School of International Affairs, Canada – Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects
Frick Chemistry Laboratory, US – Hopkins Architects
Guangzhou International Finance Centre, China – Wilkinson Eyre Architects
INNHOUSE, China – Integer Intelligent and Green
One KL, Kuala Lumpur – SCDA Architects
The Troika, Kuala Lumpur – Foster + Partners
Urban housing and crèche, Switzerland – Sergison Bates Architects with Jean-Paul Jaccaud Architects
Yotsuya Tenera, Japan – Key Operation Inc/Architects
Solaris, Singapore – CPG Consultants
Sperone Westwater, New York City – Foster + Partners

RIBA website: www.architecture.com

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