The Maitland Riverlink by CHROFI Architects with McGregor Coxall has emerged as the preeminent project in this year’s Newcastle Architecture Awards, collecting a swathe of honours including the prestigious Jury Prize.
This public building provides a gateway uniting two key aspects of Maitland’s key identity for the first time – its architecturally rich High Street and the environmental amenity of the Hunter River. It supports revitalisation of the central business precinct and creates a ‘public living room’ for locals and tourists to enjoy.
Impressed with its elegant simplicity, which feels like it is just ‘meant to be’, the jury also recognised the project’s achievements with the Award for Public Architecture and the Award for Urban Design. ‘The architecture has a strong civic presence in a street full of historic buildings and is a landmark when viewed from the river…It will no doubt be the catalyst for further revitalisation of this dynamic regional community.’
Two other civic projects – both by EJE Architecture – took out the Award for Heritage Architecture: The Newcastle Signal Box and The Station. SHAC also had a double-win with their St Pius X High School Library, which received both the Award for Educational Architecture and the COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture.
Five outstanding residential projects earned awards and commendations. Austin Maynard Architects’ expertly crafted and playful Greenacres won the Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (New), while CKDS Architecture’s flexible and contextually responsive project The Edge earned the Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing. The Award for Sustainable Architecture went to True North Architects for the Graham Whiteing Residence.
The jury also recognised readiness to work across design disciplines and in close association with building trades to deliver strong outcomes in the case of the winner of the Award for Interior Architecture, Derive Architecture & Design’s Ginger Megs X project, which cleverly transforms a late 20th century theatre into a bar and restaurant.
Jury chair, Georgina Wilson of Georgina Wilson Architect said this year’s entries are ‘a testament to the local architects and community… It was wonderful to witness the energy, commitment and ambition of the community towards achieving great imaginative outcomes for the built environment of this area.’
NSW Chapter President Kathlyn Loseby concurred with Ms Wilson that the region is emerging as an inspiring example of a continuously rejuvenating and dynamically evolving built environment. ‘Greater Newcastle will continue to be an exciting place to watch into the future.’
In total the jury bestowed 14 awards and commendations. The Institute congratulates all the practices that participated in the 2019 Newcastle Architecture Awards program and thanks this year’s jurors, who contributed their time and expertise with great generosity.