Ten projects worth looking at – 2013 edition

vic juries 2013

It’s that time of year again with the 2013 Presentations to Juries for the RAIA Victorian Architecture Awards taking place on the 23rd and 24th March and has been the case I will take the opportunity to compile a list of the projects I believe are worthing having a look at on these days. Again this year the presentations will be held at Monash University’s Faculty of Art and Design Building G.

Unfortunately I won’t be attending this year as I will be spending the weekend in Canberra. The Public category is definitely the place to be this year with four standout projects in the form of PEGS Senior School by McBride Charles Ryan, the RMIT Design Hub by Sean Godsell, Swanston Academic Building by Lyons and the Hamer Hall refurbishment by ARM vying for what is always one of the most coveted awards. Apart from those four projects I have struggled to find six others to take a look at mainly because I have been out of the Melbourne architecture for the last twelve months, so if you have any other suggestions they would be most welcome.

Please note that these selections are in no particular order.

1. Fairhaven House – John Wardle Architects

In recent times John Wardle Architects have turned their attention to buildings of a much larger scale but last year with their Shearers Quarters it showed that they could still hold their own in the residential category in which they first made their name. At first glance Fairhave House with its luscious timber interiors appears to have maintained that return to form.

(Category: Residential New – Sun 11:00am)

2. Hamer Hall – ARM Architecture

This is one of ARM’s more restrained efforts in recent times much in the mould of their work at the Shrine of Remembrance. As alluded to in my introduction this is sure to go close when the jurors get around choosing some of the big name awards.

(Category: Public Alterations & Additions – Sat 11:45am)

3. PEGS Senior School – McBride Charles Ryan

It was somewhat surprising that McBride Charles Ryan didn’t pick up more than than a commendation for the PEGS Junior School in last year’s awards but they could go one better with their Senior School. With the genesis of its form being inspired by the infinity loop this appears to be a much more refined effort.

(Category: Public New – Sun 11:30am)

4. RMIT Design Hub – Sean Godsell + Peddle Thorp

The RMIT Design Hub has garnered plenty of interest both within and outside the architectural community as Sean Godsell makes one of his rare forays into the public sphere. Whilst this correspondent was initially sceptical of the outcome during construction, the finished product has most definitely delivered and is a great example of Godsell’s uncompromising attitude.

(Category: Public New – Sun 12:30pm)

5. Swanston Academic Building – Lyons

Just down the road from the Design Hub and in complete contrast is Lyons’ striking Swanston Academic Building. It is a riot of colour and form making that dazzle the eye. It may be not be everyone’s cup of tea but in many ways it is just as in comprising as Sean Godsell’s building further up Swanston Street.

(Category: Public New – Sun 1:45pm)

6. Maze Apartments – CHT Architects

For a number of years now CHT Architects (formerly CH Architects) have been producing well resolved apartment/multi-residential projects. This offering is no exception and should be a strong contender in this somewhat underrated category. Having worked on a number of this typology of building of late their efforts are of great interest.

(Category: Residential – Multiple – Sun 11:45am)

7. Crofthouse – James Stockwell

When I was browsing through the RAIA Victorian Chapter Field of Entrants Gallery this was a project that immediately jumped out at me. To be brutally honest I don’t know much about James Stockwell and his Crofthouse but it looks like an interesting project and well worth a look.

(Category: Residential New – Sun 10:30am)

8. Profile House – Black Line One X Architecture

As someone who constantly contemplates doing renovations to his own house there is nothing like a really simple and clever idea to give one inspiration and the Profile House by Black Line One X Architecture does it brilliantly.

(Category: Residential Alterations & Additions – Sun 11:45am)

9. South Morang Rail Extension – Cox Architecture

I guess you could call this project the sequel to Cox Architecture’s excellent North Melbourne station redevelopment and would be interesting to see what lessons they learnt from that earlier project. Here’s hoping they at least made the escalators wider!

(Category: Public New – Sat 1:45pm)

10. STREAT Melbourne Central – Six Degrees Architects

This is the only project on this list that I have had the opportunity to appreciate and experience as I sampled some of Mad Mex’s tasty treats. Dare I say it has given the tired food court model a much needed kick up the arse and has more than likely set it off in a new direction.

(Category: Small Project – Sat 3:00pm)

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