Australia Award for Urban Design

Congratulations to the 2015 Winners and Commendations

Click here to view the photos from the Awards Presentations (24 September 2015)


Award – Brookfield Place

Project Team – HASSELL, Fitzpatrick + Partners & Brookfield

This project involved the transformation of a city block that had been vacant and unused for 30 years into a vibrant mixed use development, integrating disparate spaces into a cohesive, welcoming and engaging public realm. Heritage elements incorporated in to the design and connecting to the previous uses of the site, tell the story of place.

Diverse uses have been incorporated into the development, creating an attractive destination at different times of the day. The site is accessible and welcoming and has been well connected to adjacent areas and sites. The use of mature plantings and other design features have created an attractive microclimate that allows people to sit outside year round. Brookfield Place is a new landmark destination in Perth, attracting thousands of people who go there to work, eat, drink and relax.

Commendation – Sydney Light Rail Inner West Extension

Project Team –HBO+EMTB Urban Landscape Design, John Holland, Transport for NSW, & Aurecon

The Inner West Light Rail Extension is a 5.6 kilometre addition to the Sydney Light Rail service from Lilyfield to Dulwich Hill which brings new life to a former freight rail line. The former Rozelle Goods Freight Line represented an opportunity to re-use a redundant public resource, provide new public transport and improve accessibility and amenity for the community. This well considered design response has been well executed and integrated with surrounding urban form.

Commendation – Dandenong Civic Centre

Project Team – rush\wright associates; Lyons Architecture & Material Thinking

The Dandenong Municipal Building and Civic Square is the new public heart of the rapidly changing center of Dandenong. The project is part of the State Government’s ‘Revitalising Dandenong’ strategy, and has been developed by the City of Greater Dandenong. This new civic space comprising community spaces, library, Council services and retail forms a public agora, a market place of community exchange and the primary address of the new city has caused a step-change in engagement, connecting to cultural groups and proving a democratic space for diverse community.


Award – Port Adelaide Renewal: Hart’s Mill Surrounds

Project Team – Aspect Studios, Mulloway Studio & Renewal SA

This project has delivered a revitalised, vibrant and attractive public domain in Port Adelaide, South Australia. Focused on the former milling buildings at Port Adelaide, it comprises three different interconnected sub-projects; the adaptation of sections of the mill complex, the development of the surrounds and adjacent wharf, and a walking and cycle path that circumnavigates the western side of the inner harbour.

This creative re-use of industrial site that celebrates heritage, is respectful of its industrial setting and incorporates a diversity of uses, re-using existing materials on site to create a variety of spaces. Its innovative approach to open space design is a catalyst for future development, creating the framework for future development as well as redefining perceptions and experience of the area.

Commendation – RMIT University A’Beckett Urban Square

Project Team – Peter Elliott Architecture + Urban Design, Arup, Taylor Cullity Lethlean & DCWC

A’Beckett Urban Square is a temporary ‘pop-up’ recreational space that has become an instant magnet for students and young urban dwellers. An underutilised and derelict space has become a publically-accessible 2,800 square metre park incorporating multi-use sports courts with spectator seating, table tennis, BBQ facilities, bike parking, Wi-Fi, pop-up plants in tubs and places to sit and relax. The judges recognised the achievements of this development as well as shortcomings of a lack of a long term future it is successful in its own right.

Commendation – The Jewell of Brunswick

Project Team – Moreland City Council, Victoria Police, Department of Justice & Melbourne Water

The Jewell of Brunswick public space is the result of the Brunswick local community, State and Local Government and traders working creatively together to substitute a grey, unsafe and under-used road space into a public space that has become a new focal point for community interaction – an area that now helps keep the community heart beating. It demonstrates the progression from pop-up to temporary to permanent shows the value of this approach to urban design and the value of community involvement.

Commendation – Sydney Water Mural Program

Project Team – Sydney Water

Sydney Water worked closely with a number of local councils and artists to install 18 murals on graffiti hotspots across its network in an attempt to manage graffiti in more sustainable way. These murals are street art paintings installed on assets to deter “taggers” and improve local amenity. The judges considered this a clever approach to a common urban problem that changed the dynamic of opponents to being partners. The murals soften the infrastructure, as well as the art often proving to be both whimsical and locally relevant. This approach is a model for other infrastructure agencies.

Policies, Programs & Concepts – Large Scale (Two awards given)

The committee felt that this category divided into two groups – concepts and policies without physicality and those related to place. Two projects were awarded.

Award – Home:LIFE Making Livable Affordable & Sustainable Housing Choices

Project Team – SJB Urban & RMIT University

Home:LIFE is a prototype web-based tool and future smartphone App that provides detailed, personalised assessments of potential housing choices. It assesses the lifestyle, financial and sustainability aspects of a dwelling and its location for a particular household, to assist the community and influence housing choices towards more liveable and affordable options, and more sustainable urban outcomes.

The judges considered this to be an exciting initiative that combines the idea of designing a service that could deliver urban design outcomes, filling a gap where there is an obvious missing component of what the built environment professions can offer to the public. It creates potential for 2-way process between professionals and public and represents a cutting edge collaboration between industry and academia with the potential to be developed into a publically available resource.

Award – Sunshine Coast Light Rail: Shaping Our Future

Project Team – Sunshine Coast Council & HASSELL

The Sunshine Coast Light Rail (SCLR) project is a proposed 23km long north-south light rail line travelling between Maroochydore, Mooloolaba, Kawana and Caloundra. The document demonstrates the ability of light rail to shape growth and catalyse urban improvement as well as creating a viable transport network, light rail can unlock wider community benefits and lifestyle opportunities for the Sunshine Coast.

A well-considered design solution that integrates what is currently a disparate set of suburban developments and in an innovative way, integrates public transport into linear coastal urban development. The project included excellent consultation incorporating all stakeholder views and excellent images communicate the vision.

Commendation – Better Apartments Policy

Project Team – NSW Department of Planning and Environment

This Apartment Design Guide is a resource to improve the planning and design of residential apartment development in NSW. It updates and replaces the Residential Flat Design Code introduced in 2002 and will help to achieve better design and planning for residential apartment development, by providing benchmarks for designing and assessing these developments. It provides a model for other states that are being reviewed and developed around the country.

Policies, Programs & Concepts – Small Scale

Award – Victoria Quay Enabling Precinct Plans

Project Team – CODA, Fremantle Ports, Allerding & Associates & Creating Communities

This Project Partnership comprising Fremantle Ports, Department of Planning, Public Transport Authority and the City of Fremantle adopts a collaborative approach to unlock the potentials for the heritage-listed Victoria Quay (VQ) in addition to the Fremantle Train Station and Pioneer Park Precincts to become a viable commercial destinations with a variety of uses and to assist the broader revitalization of Fremantle.

The outcome recognises the historical context of the site and proposes development of the public realm in a contemporary manner involving good site analysis and a considered design response that successfully overcomes barriers to waterfront. The process utilised was collaborative, with consultation and engagement with a large number of stakeholders. It redefines underutilised spaces, incorporates art and heritage into a revitalised station hub and enables public access to waterfront as well as opening up the railway station so it becomes a fundamental part of the landscape.

Commendation – A Performative Landscape

Project Team – Schored Projects

‘A Performative Landscape’ is an unbuilt urban design proposal for a Melbourne Airport Rail Link. Current models of transport infrastructure cut through our urban fabric in an unforgiving manner dividing communities and their suburbs through engineered solutions. This project suggests that alternative models exist which integrate infrastructure with its contextual, cultural and social territory. It is a well thought-through and presented proposal that captures the significance of achieving this important link and incorporates urban design outcomes other than simply getting people to and from the airport.

About the Award

The Australia Award for Urban Design is the premier award for excellence and innovation in all elements of urban design in Australia. This an opportunity to highlight leading examples of urban design in Australia.

The winning project, partners and stakeholders are held in high esteem within the industry, among peers and are widely recognised in the media.

The Award intent and scope is broad and invites entries for design initiatives, projects, built developments, and publications that will make a significant difference to the places, spaces, buildings and infrastructure of our cities

The Australia Award for Urban Design is hosted by the Planning Institute of Australia with support from the Australian Institute of Architects, Engineers Australia, Green Building Council of Australia, Consult Australia, The Australian Urban Design Forum, ASBEC and the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects.

For information on previous Award winners:

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