The newly redeveloped Walsh Bay Arts Precinct has won the NSW Architecture Medallion, the highest honor of the NSW Architecture Awards 2022, a prestigious celebration of architecture run by the NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects. The transformation of the cultural precinct’s historic buildings, Pier 2/3 and Wharf 4/5, was planned and executed by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects. The project also received the Public Architecture Award and the Greenway Heritage Award, as well as a Commendation for Interior Design.
“It has been a real privilege to work on the sturdy and beautiful 20th century buildings at Walsh Bay, a visionary industrial project originally created for the benefit of the public, and to see it now take on a different and even more central public role ,” said Peter Tonkin, director of Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects in a statement.
The venue officially opened to the public this year and is home to nine of the country’s leading performing arts companies: Australian Chamber Orchestra, Australian Theater for Young People, Bangarra Dance Theatre, Bell Shakespeare, Gondwana Choirs, Sydney Dance Company, Sydney Philharmonia. Choirs, Sydney Theater Company and The Song Company.
Bundanon, the former Southern Highlands estate of artist Arthur Boyd, which was recently transformed into an arts destination by Kerstin Thompson Architects, also performed well at the awards. He won the Sulman Medal for Public Architecture, as well as an award for Sustainable Architecture. The two main structures of the property – an impressive bridge, which can accommodate up to 64 people, and a partially buried museum, which hosts contemporary art exhibitions and cultural experiences – have been praised for their work in harmony with the surrounding landscape.
The new Quay Quarter Lanes retail and residential hub in the CBD was also highly awarded. His residential buildings at 8 Loftus Street, by Studio Bright, won the Aaron Bolot Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Dwellings, for the incorporation of historic elements, his shared roof garden, and details that range from the facades of the buildings to their interiors. Meanwhile, 9–15 Young Street, also in the Quay Quarter Lanes area, won the award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Dwellings. Designed by SJB, it has been praised for its elegant commercial arcades on the ground floor and apartments on the upper floors. And 18 Loftus Street, also in Quay Quarter Lanes, won a commendation for residential architecture – multiple dwellings. Silvester Fuller designed this part of the compound and has been praised for “the granular way in which the shops interact with the street and alleyways” and the “cheerful” interior details, such as the hand-carved key stations at the entrance to each apartment. And a collective of architects who worked on the entire project (SJB, Silvester Fuller, Studio Bright, Carter Williamson Architects, Lippmann Partnership and Aspect Studios) won the Urban Design Award, as well as the Mayor’s Award.
“The project is a gift to the people of Sydney and an important contribution that should inform how our cities can grow and evolve,” the judges said.
The revitalization of the historic Dawn Fraser Baths by Balmain won the Heritage – Conservation award, for being raised one meter to combat rising tides that were damaging the south pavilion rooms and wooden structure. The works were supervised by TKD Architects. And the renovation of the Woollahra Hotel, by Richards Stanisich, won the interior design award for creating a “public space that feels connected to its surroundings”.
New buildings for Kings Langley Cricket Club, the Eric Tweedle Stadium in Granville Park, the Foundry in South Eveleigh, the Ngununggula Regional Gallery in the Southern Uplands and the Parramatta Escarpment Walk also won awards.
The winners will now compete in the National Architecture Awards, which will be announced on November 3.