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 MurcuttArchitects, 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.
AWARD: New Acton 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.