Tasmania’s best projects announced at architecture awards

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Projects that reused and reinvented existing buildings have dominated at the 2020 Tasmanian Architecture Awards. The awards are the second in a month-long series of state and territory architecture awards run by the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA).

The awards aim to recognise and celebrate architectural excellence in categories such as public architecture, residential, commercial, education, and sustainability. The awards were held digitally this year, with the winners announced through a YouTube event live-streamed on 12 June.

AIA Tasmanian Chapter Executive Director, Jennifer Nichols, said that the projects showcase what makes Tasmania special.

“We have beautiful heritage homes and buildings across the state, but they are ageing and don’t have the amenities required for modern living. Many of the winning projects show how architects can transform these buildings into practical and unique places to live, work and play,” said Miss Nichols.

“We see this in Bozen’s Cottage in Oatlands, by Taylor and Hinds Architects, which uses an existing sandstone cottage and transforms it into a cosy family home, while the Kingborough Community Hub by March Studio utilises the existing structure of the former Kingston High School gymnasium in making the site a place for all.”

“Architects in Tasmania, and across Australia, have a unique ability to problem solve, and as we come out of the COVID-19 crisis, these skills will be more important than ever.”

According to March Studio, the vision for the Kingborough Community Hub was to weave programme, architecture and landscaping together to create a rich and vibrant community asset. Central to the project is flexibility, reconfigurability, and sustainability.

“This is a building for all: a proud civic gesture constructed from utilitarian materials, a robust piece of public infrastructure to serve the people of Kingston, and a building able to be shaped in any way the local residents see fit,” they described.

Jury chair, Lucy Burke-Smith, of Purcell, added that the entries in this year’s awards demonstrate once again the calibre of architects within Tasmania.

“This creativity is evident in the strong submissions across the categories for Heritage and Residential Architecture – Alterations and Additions. These entries breathe new life into existing buildings in ways which are not only creative, but sustainable for cities such as Hobart as we consider issues of density and urban sprawl,” she said.

“The Jury recognised several projects which stand as benchmarks for those looking to adaptively reuse or insert new additions in residential contexts to support independent living for retirees and multi-generational living.”

All Tasmanian Chapter winners were selected by independent juries. All Named Award and Award winners will now progress to the National Architecture Awards.

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