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War Memorial honoured at architecture awards

The Australian War Memorial redevelopment (pictured) in Canberra took home five major awards at the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2011 ACT Architecture Awards this week.

ACT jury chair Shelley Penn awarded architects Johnson Pilton Walker, the Romaldo Giurgola Award for Public Architecture, the John Overall Award for Urban Design, the W Hayward Morris Award for Interior Architecture, an Inlite Light in Architecture Prize and the Canberra Medallion, the most prestigious architecture prize in the ACT.

“The Australian War Memorial Eastern Precinct is an outstanding recipient of the Canberra Medallion. It demonstrates architectural mastery and excellence at every level, and represents the culmination of the precinct master plan and many years of attentive work by Johnson Pilton Walker,” said Penn.

She acknowledged the memorial as an important historic and symbolic place and remarked that the design “is an enduring contribution to a precinct which embodies our respect for the spirit and attitude of the servicemen and women who made the supreme sacrifice”.

Other major award winners also included:

  • The Slater White House by Philip Leeson Architects: the Named Award for Residential Architecture and Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture.
  • The Lagos House by Collins Caddaye Architects: Residential Architecture Award.
  • NewActon South Tower Art Program by Fender Katsalidis Architects: the Art in Architecture Award.
  • Humanities and Science Campus Place by Lahznimmo Architects and Spackman Mossop Michaels Landscape Architects: Urban Design Award.
  • National Circuit House by Collins Caddaye Architects: Canberra Times + Archicentre People’s Choice Award.

A record number of 51 entrants entered this year’s awards, an increase of more than 50% on 2010. This prompted the jury to abandon previous years’ practice of visiting all the sites nominated for the first time.

Nevertheless, Penn said the jurors “came away from the presentations impressed by the consistent strength of architectural design and its execution”.

She added: “All of our decisions were made by consensus, which is not to say there wasn’t lengthy and intense debate, and I remain happy to say it was a complete pleasure to work together. On behalf of the jury, I thank all of the entrants and sincerely congratulate all of the Award winners.”

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