2014 Winners & Commendations

Congratulations to the 2014 Winners and Commendations

DELIVERED OUTCOME - Large Scale (Two awards given)

AWARD: NewAction Precinct
Project Team: Molonglo Group/ Fender Katsalidis/ Oculus

Citiation: Canberra has had a mixed urban design reputation. Driven by the original 20th century vision of Walter Burley Griffin, it developed slowly from a fledgling town to what has now a dynamic mid-size City. This exciting project by MolongloGroup, Fender Katsalidis and Oculus adds a significant new dimension to Canberra.

At its core, it is a creative approach to a privately financed collection of buildings housing a variety of uses. But this basic underpinning has achieved a precinct of surprise and delight that is a rich place of outstanding quality and design. Daily office workers come to mix with full time residents, young and older visitors at leisure, and those staying in the precinct's hotels.

The thread of ideas has provided an integration between the building uses and the spaces between those buildings, attractive places to meet and connect, enriched by public art and cultural programs, and respect for the heritage of the area. The whole development has embodied environmental consciousness and, with a key goal being 'not to be ordinary', the project is an exemplar for Canberra as it moves into the 21st century.


AWARD: Prince Alfred Park and Pool
Project Team: Neeson Murcutt Architects, Sue Barnsley Design, City of Sydney

Citiation: The importance of green space in densely developed inner urban areas is well accepted, but its design must be carefully related to the needs of its users. The ambition of this project by Neeson Murcutt Architects, Sue Barnsley Design, and the City of Sydney was to reinvigorate the 7.5 hectare park and upgrade the tired public pool by creatively integrating the built form and the landscape.

Based on established powerful geometries, three defined zones provide an urban framework within which the project is understood. Originally laid out for large exhibitions in an English style landscape, the park now provides many different elements, from fitness and leisure equipment to children’s play areas, with a new spatial and ecological sensibility that is contemporary without erasing its Victorian roots.

To maintain the park feeling amidst the structures, the design has used a folded landscape with a green roof of native meadow grasses that conceals the presence of busy traffic on Chalmers Street, and there is provision for a tri-generation plant to achieve energy sustainability. Prince Alfred Park has become a popular year round destination for a diverse community and a benchmark in social sustainability.

Pool Precinct


AWARD: Fremantle Esplanade Youth Plaza
Project Team: Convic, City of Fremantle

Citiation: It is well recognised that a progressive approach to social sustainability is important for providing young people with other than structured sport and education. The Fremantle Esplanade Youth Plaza by Convic and the City of Fremantle is a great example of a central, accessible public open space that provides a range of active, passive and social pursuits for all ages which is adaptable over time to meet evolving healthy and safe activities for a diversity of users with differing interests and abilities.

The design of the structures builds on Fremantle’s past and present themes of beach, brickworks, rail and maritime into forms, shapes, elements and materials and a diverse, engaging and aesthetically pleasing plaza space. The location close to the waterfront and a high water table, king tides, storm surges and sea level rise set the baseline for the design.

Active wheeled sports and other active pursuits in an outdoor setting need robust and hard wearing design, and this project responds to environmental issues, seasonal weather, social and specific user activity with an adaptable variety of sports activity and events, competition and community gathering.

Fremantle Esplande Youth Plaza

POLICIES, PROGRAMS AND CONCEPTS - Large Scale (no award given)

COMMENDATION: Pilbara Vernacular Handbook
Project Team: CODA Studio, Landcorp

​Citiation: The Pilbara presents many design challenges that are different from those in Australia’s main cities, with special needs related to design for climate and liveability and community development. This handbook, prepared by by Coda Studio and Landcorp, addresses values and principles, and analyses the specific circumstances of the area through a series of case studies. It addresses the complementary roles of private and public sector interests, and the challenges of affordability and diversity of housing stock.

The handbook is proactive in providing stimulation and design guidance for a wide audience, raising the consciousness of urban design, and raising the bar for design possibilities and expectations, with the intent of achieving high quality buildings and the public realm and the interface between the two, evoking a sense of place that reflects the local landscape, environment, climate and culture.


COMMENDATION: Darwin City Centre Master Plan
Project Team: City of Darwin, Northern Territory Government, Design Urban Pty Ltd

Citiation: The smallest of Australia’s capital cities, Darwin, has unique character and lifestyle and an evolving population. In this project, DesignUrban, the City of Darwin, the Northern Territory Government, Space Syntax, Urbacity, Michels Warren Munday and Clouston combined their skills to analyse the city, and used spatial mapping and extensive engagement to understand how the place works and to showcase and build on its strengths.

With an emphasis on unlocking the potential of the city and focussing on implementation, the evidence-based analysis included a comprehensive survey of built form, land uses, and other aspects normally included in urban design assessments. However, it went further and included the development of an Urban Value Model to assess relative land values and infrastructure contributions in an atypical government structure.

Darwin City council


AWARD: The Goods Line
Project Team: ASPECT Studios with CHROFI for the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority

Citiation: This former historic rail line is bound by a concentration of Sydney’s key cultural, educational, and media institutions that mostly turn their back on the area. Aspect Studios, CHROFI, and the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority have taken a creative and bold approach to designing an elegant and active linear public space with dynamic connections to surrounding uses.

A primary movement spine is linked into a comprehensive pedestrian network, with a series of spaces to encourage events, activities and engagement. The aim is to create a new kind of civic space which blurs the boundaries of land ownership along its length and facilitates strong urban, stakeholder and community connections beyond its site boundary, with links to Central Station, Darling Harbour and the Exhibition Centre.

Bringing government authorities and institutions cooperatively together has created the potential for turning a blighted area into a valuable community asset. With an emphasis on participatory design, the project is focussed on providing for a diversity of users to interact in a series of the landscaped spaces transforming historic industrial infrastructure into contemporary social infrastructure.


COMMENDATION: Thinking outside 'the box': Key design elements for apartments in Ku-ring-gai
Project Team: Ku-ring-gai Council Strategy and Environment Department

Citation: Ku-ring-gai is known for its unique natural and urban environments, and its demographics are changing. In the context of a metropolitan strategy which requires increased residential densities, this project recognises the challenges of achieving a change in suburban areas where patterns of suburban change are often controversial. The Ku-ring-gai Strategy and Environment Department has used case studies of positive and successful projects to demonstrate how best practice can integrate change in established areas.

The approach is form based rather than regulatory, and encourages informed community involvement. In the light of concerns frequently expressed by local resident action groups, the research included discussions with residents of well-designed developments within the municipality who had a positive experience of how their new higher density buildings integrated with the popularly recognised landscape character of the area.


COMMENDATION: King’s Square Urban Design Strategy
Project Team: CODA Studio, City of Fremantle, Creating Communities Australia

Citiation: Fremantle’s city centre has sometimes difficult and controversial architectural, planning and urban design issues to be addressed in relating its intricate and nuanced character while allowing for the aspirational and optimistic development of the future. This innovative and creative project by Coda Studios, the City of Fremantle and Creating Communities Australia addresses a local issue and focuses on community involvement and crafted solutions to better understand and realize its opportunities.

Working with businesses and other stakeholders, the solution redefined the balance between pedestrian and vehicular movement, with a focus on creating a place for people. The thoughtful and well-reasoned explanations of the benefits of the proposed changes to key stakeholders and the community resulted in a much better understanding of the complexity of urban design, and received strong community support and unanimous support by Fremantle Council.

Kings Square


AWARD: Urban Voices – celebrating urban design in Australia
Project Team: Bruce Echberg, Bill Chandler, John Byrne

Citation: This year, out of the entries to the existing four categories, the judges were delighted to confer a special award for the first time.

The Sustained Contribution to Australian Urban Design Award is given to the book ‘Urban Voices; Celebrating urban design in Australia’, a collection of new writings from fifty three different authors that reflect on urban design in Australia over the past twenty five years as we address the challenges of the next twenty five years. It is a compendium of contributions, from a wide range of people interested in how our cities and towns function and the quality of life they deliver, carefully collated and edited by John Byrne, Bill Chandler and Bruce Echberg who have demonstrated true collaboration amongst peers.

‘Urban Voices’ recognises twenty five years of the Urban Design Forum and marks the history of urban design in Australia, and is the recipient of the first Sustained Contribution to Australian Urban Design Award.

Urban Voices

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