A celebration of life in the subtropics, the Queensland State Architecture Awards were a beautifully curated event, put together under the creative direction of Paul Hotston and the Phorm Architecture + Design team. The exhibition of shortlisted projects was presented amongst a series of timber installations inspired by the much-celebrated subtropical retreat space we Queenslanders know and love – “under the house”. A series of neatly stacked timber towers of reclaimed timber telegraph pole cross arms, were installed at the entry to the Convention Centre Ballroom, aligned at regular intervals across the room, several rows deep, upon which the 83 shortlisted entries were showcased. This simple yet beautiful gesture set a tone for the event that was deeply embedded in the Queensland building vernacular, supported by excerpts from David Malouf’s novel 12 Edmonstone Street, a nostalgic common ground and familiarity was established, to which I’m sure all of the guests from across Queensland, working at different scales of practice, could all relate.
“Down here is the underside of things: the great wedge of air on which the house floats, ever darkness; the stumps of a forest of which the house, with its many rooms, forms the branches; a place whose dimensions are measured, not in ordinary feet and inches, but in heartbeats, or the number of seconds you can endure the sticky-soft lash of cobwebs against your mouth, or the weight of your body, at kneecap and palm, on crunchy cinders.”
- David Malouf, 12 Edmonstone Street.
A wall of sheer curtains was projected with imagery of large subtropical foliage, screening the stage and dining area beyond. The formal proceedings were announced by a trio of singers from Opera Queensland, whose performance moved guests from the exhibition space through to the main stage. MC and Editorial Director of Architecture Media, Cameron Bruhn, welcomed guests and introduced speakers Jacqui Trad, Qld MP and Minister for Infrastructure and planning, Malcolm Middleton, Qld Government Architect and Chapter President, Bruce Wolfe, of Conrad Gargett, whose speeches reflected on what has been a highly eventful year in Queensland, both in the regions and in the South-East.
This year marked the inaugural presentation of the Jennifer Taylor Award for Educational Architecture, which was awarded to Charles Wright Architects for TAS Science Facility. Jennifer Taylor’s contribution to Australian architecture was significant, through her written and built works, and through her immense personal contribution to countless local architects.
Across all categories, the entrants in this year’s awards were of exceptional calibre, leading to the award and commendation of 48 projects. State Awards Jury Director, Michael Lavery, of m3architecture, reflected on the process of visiting each of the entered projects across the state (a process unique to Queensland), attesting to the strength of this years’ submissions. This year in particular, it was a real pleasure to observe a genuine diversity of work being showcased, with relatively small scale projects such as Noosa Coastal Bus Shelter by Majstorovic Architecture being awarded for their larger urban-scale and social impacts, and very large projects such as Hassell’s Centre for Children’s Health being celebrated for their beautifully executed interiors. If this past year of work is anything to go by, 2017 is looking to be another fantastic year for architecture in Queensland!
Article written by Jessica Hardwick, originally publised on AWS Australia Website on 17 July 2016 : http://www.awsaustralia.com.au/2016-queensland-state-architecture-awards