Architecture awards for Parliament’s Annexe

Architecture awards for Parliament’s Annexe


It’s the biggest event of the year for
architects. It’s a bit of a tradition that each year architects put their
projects in for peer review, and to win five awards for one building is pretty
rare. It’s very exciting. For me, very much, it’s about
acknowledgment of the effort that as a team in the parliament we’ve put into this
project. Well the big one is the Victorian Architecture Medal. That’s the
top prize for the best building of the year, and so even though the project won
awards in other categories, it’s the Architecture Medal which is the big one. Equally, there are reasons why we’re very
pleased about the awards in the other categories, and they vary from urban
design, public architecture and sustainability, and then there’s the
Melbourne Prize. For me in particular it’s the sustainability award. It was
very, very important for us that this building have the best possible
sustainable footprint that we could make. That’s why that award is particularly
pleasing for us. Look, it’s come together in an amazing
way. I think that the fact that the project had really well-founded ideas
and in an extraordinary setting. I think the idea of the building being embedded
in the garden and the landscape and the way the whole building sits in the
precinct is what people really like about it. When you come outside into the
garden, you come into this courtyard or you walk around on the roof of the
building, those are really the things that make the building stand out. It’s so
well hidden into the garden that it does not cause any disruption, on the contrary
it really adds to the whole precinct. I just love being on the roof, you get this
fantastic sense of the garden around, the city around that, and the parliament
building in the background. Internally the building is very pleasing because
it’s a very calm, quiet building and it is a refuge, it’s a private space for MPs, which they’ve never had before. Having this annexe has allowed us to take
a hundred and two MPs out of the Parliament House, the old building. So for
us the opportunity is really to be able to start addressing what that heritage
landmark of Victoria should be like and try to take back a lot of the Knight and Kerr original design features. It’s something we like to celebrate and
in particular in this case because there’s been such a strong team from
parliament as well. Everybody contributed and for me probably the most important
thing out of these awards is a recognition of that team effort.

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