Multidisciplinary design practice, HASSELL, was one of the big winners at the Australian Architecture Awards ceremony held in Canberra last night. These awards comprise the Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture for Epping to Chatswood Rail Link in Sydney, the Emil Sodersten Award for Interior Architecture for ANZ Centre in Melbourne, and a National Commendation for Urban Design for Adelaide Zoo Entrance Precinct in Adelaide. These wins follow success at the Australian State Architecture Awards, when nine HASSELL projects, across multiple sectors, were award recipients.
Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture:
Epping to Chatswood Rail Link, Intermediate Stations
The Epping to Chatswood Rail Link is a A$2.35 billion expansion of the metropolitan network, providing world class stations at Epping, Macquarie University, Macquarie Park and North Ryde.
“Our brief was to design ‘the next generation of transportation excellence’. Beyond that mandate we sought to create safe, efficient and inviting rail stations that seamlessly fuse architecture and engineering into a suite of memorable transportation hubs to capture the spirit and excitement of travel,” said Ross de la Motte, HASSELL Director.
The awards jury noted that the Rail Link is “a project of unique competence and beauty,” adding: “Space not borne of the architect’s delight but rather from functional strategies that then provide architectural opportunities... These stations are designed to prioritise the efficient movement of people while maintaining an evocative architectural environment...a genuine evolutionary and visionary approach to station management and work environments. The entire project presents a remarkable clarity - there is restraint within the material palette, clever adjustment of both space and functional finishes as one descends from street to train line along with a genuine evolutionary and visionary approach to station management and work environments. This all contributes to a project of unique competence and beauty that derives its architecture through common sense with sensitive design decisions.”
Emil Sodersten Award for Interior Architecture:
Located in Melbourne’s Docklands, ANZ Centre’s urban campus design is the next generation in flexible and collaborative workplaces.
The inclusion of significant public space within the workplace itself demonstrates a bold new direction in design for the banking industry.
“The Centre is one of the most open, permeable and sustainable banking headquarters in the world. Rarely – if ever – has a bank invited the public into the heart of its workplace,” said Robert Backhouse, HASSELL Managing Director.
ANZ Centre is a “vibrant and dynamic workplace,” housing more than 6,000 people. As the awards jury noted: “From the beginning the architect and client worked together to understand the existing workplace culture, understand how they could function more effectively and in a flexible, connected way. At 83,000 sqm (NLA), shared spaces are organised in and around the central atrium and include meeting rooms, breakout spaces and a 250 seat theatre...The end product is as much an exercise in human relations, as it is architecture and the architects have created a flexible building for a business and for work practices that continue to change and adapt to the needs of this ANZ community at Docklands.”
National Commendation for Urban Design:
Adelaide Zoo Entrance Precinct
The Adelaide Zoo Entrance Precinct comprises a series of interlinked forecourts that unfold over 2,000 square metres. These forecourts breathe new life into a onceneglected part of the City of Adelaide and invite visitors to experience the sights and sounds of the Zoo from surrounding public areas.
This project is the result of an ambitious integration of physical, cultural and organisational strategies designed around the core drivers of conservation, environment, education and research,” said Mariano DeDuonni, HASSELL Principal, following the announcement of the award.
The awards jury stated that: “The re-imagining of Adelaide Zoo’s front door as an integrated entrance precinct employs an urban design strategy that breaks down barriers between the zoo and the city…The big, and most successful, urban design move here is to place a large arrival forecourt outside the zoo proper…In a physical sense it creates a public forecourt that is knitted into the fabric of open public spaces adjacent to the zoo and sets up new pedestrian linkages with the city centre. Metaphorically it is a significant re-positioning of the zoo as a public institution in the city.”