LEA NSW celebrate the NSW Awards
On the 28th November 2019, Learning Environments Australasia NSW Chapter hosted over 60 guests for the NSW Awards at KPMG in the International Towers at Barangaroo.
The aim of our Annual Awards is to acknowledge excellent learning spaces where innovative architectural ideas support the educational philosophy of their clients.
These awards are an opportunity to recognise, celebrate and reward outstanding Learning and Teaching projects across NSW.
Our guest speaker for the evening was Claire Madden - a leading voice on Gen Z, and an expert in interpreting social trends, demographics and the implications of generational change and the implications these have on the work of architects and educators in designing spaces.
We would like to thank our sponsors: Aquabubbler and Reitsma Construction for their ongoing support of the work that we do.
There were 21 submissions for awards across six categories.
Award winners for 2019 are:
Category 1. New Construction/New Facility-Commended-Sydney University-Life, Earth and Environmental Sciences Building, designed by HDR
Photographer: HDR – Dan Schwalm
The supporting documentation to the submission demonstrated a comprehensive consultative process in developing the planning and organisation of the facilities on a landmark campus site. Opportunities for visual connection between laboratory, collaborative, communal and social spaces have been realised. The building provides a new campus gateway address, integrates with existing structures and accommodates opportunities for future flexibility in planning. Work, research, teaching and support spaces are integrated through visual connections and collaborative organisation. As part of the City Road entry, the facilities make an effort to celebrate the teaching and learning, offering invitations to explore and engage.
Category 2. New Construction/New Facility over $8 Million-Winner-Taronga Institute of Science and Learning, designed by NBRS Architecture
Photographer: Alexander Mayes
The primary objective of the Taronga Institute is to inspire future generations to contribute to conservation science by enabling students of all ages to see and experience conservation science in action. With no equivalent in the Southern Hemisphere, it creates a platform for scientific collaboration, student learning and the protection of the natural environment.
The jury thought that the resultant project captured these ideals by providing a truly immersive experience, whilst themed around the three distinct habitats, still provided flexibility and movement to enable educators to modify the environments to suit curriculum.
The design team and Taronga Zoo are to be commended for their commitment to achieving a six star Greenstar rating for the project.
Category 3. New Construction/New Facility under $8 Million-Winner-Good Shepherd Primary School Inquiry Hub, designed by DTA Architects.
Photographer: Image One – Simon Bennison
The project demonstrates the value of client ambitions for solid teaching and learning thinking, married with the design team, to realise a strong result. Through a careful and curated process, driven by the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta Education vision, the brief was developed into a connected teaching and learning community. Spaces demonstrate adaptability with strong visual connections, clarity of identity and opportunities for change being evident. Opportunities for students and staff to create a variety of learning settings and spaces mean that the facilities can by more than “one size fits all”.
Commended-Nagle College Inquiry Hub, designed by DTA Architects.
Photographer: Image One – Simon Bennison
This project shows a thorough process of brief discovery and distillation to create a strong sense of place with the arrangement of a series of 60 high school student “hubs”. The brief process drew together the Catholic Diocese of Parramatta Education staff, students and experts through a process of unpacking other built examples, analysis and defining pedagogy and group dynamics, then translated into a purposefully designed facility. Spaces are supported by technologies and practices to provide agile facilities for multimodal teaching and learning. Intense learning spaces are balanced by the provision of social and more relaxed break out spaces, linked to the outside.
Category 4. Renovation/Modernisation Over $5 Million-Winner-Mount Sinai Learning Centre, designed by Smith + Tracey Architecture
Photographer: Aeta Studio – Alex Matovic
What started as a brief for an architect who would best interpret the essence of a Jewish school and would best interpret the Apple Distinguished School, technology-led learning, resulting in an architectural team that were both discerning and had a quest for learning about Jewish culture which was ultimately expressed in the design. The depth of understanding is both inspiring and deeply rooted in ensuring continuity of honouring tradition whilst embracing change, through a variety of learning environments and interpretive graphics and motifs. The jury was impressed by the nature and extent of community consultation that was then interpreted through the final design outcome.
Commended-Western Sydney University School of Computing, Engineering, and Mathematics, designed by BKA Architecture.
Category 5. Renovation/Modernisation Under $5 Million-Winner-Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School, designed by QOH Architects.
Photographer: Hunter Image Bank – Andy Warren
This modest project with a strict budget could have resulted in a neat but conventional solution. The design solution that the architects instigated and led with the involvement of the whole community went beyond the brief to realise the potential and through the negotiation of adjacent uses and the transformative central learning street, the heart of the design. The ‘Learning Street’ allows students the opportunity to interact and collaborate throughout the day and has revolutionised a dark and tired access way into a bright learning space where students openly engage in learning and with students from different year groups. The architectural team are to be commended for their vision and delivery of this project.
Commended-St Agnes Catholic High School, designed by DTA Architects.
Photographer: DTA Architects
Category 6. New Building or Renovation Modernisation under $2 Million-Winner-Macquarie University MUIC, designed by Gardner, Wetherill, and Associates.
Photographer: John McRae Photography – John McRae
The refurbished MUIC student precinct, designed by Gardener Wetherill Associates, will make a significant contribution to the transformation of the on-campus experience for MUIC Students at Macquarie University by delivering a world-class Student Hub and a state-of-the-art Independent Learning Centre, Staff Offices and activated Corridors.
The jurors felt that the submission provided a comprehensive narrative that illustrated a thorough stakeholder engagement process and exploration and establishment of education principles that echoed the master plan vision of the campus. The execution of the project was delightful and engaging in creating interest and focus with a variety of spaces whilst unifying the whole with a common language.
Commended-Shearwater Steiner School Kindergarten, designed by Baxter and Jacobson Architects.
Photographer: David Taylor
This page last updated: Sunday 8 December 2019