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2017 National Architecture Awards: Public Architecture Commendation

Act for Kids Child and Family Centre of Excellence by M3 Architecture Public Architecture: National Awards Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

The issue of child neglect is handled with sensitivity and insight in this responsive building located in the backblocks of James Cook University. Consciously understated from the street, the building employs a series of strategies that respect heartbreak and family disintegration. All trees on this forested site were retained and used as a template for the geometry of the central healing facility, which takes the form of negative space defined by the tree drip line. The central space offers a magical serrated oculus open to the sky. This fine empathetic project demonstrates the influence that intelligent architecture and landscape can have on wellbeing.

Act for Kids Child and Family Centre of Excellence was reviewed by Michael Keniger in Architecture Australia Jan/Feb 2015.


Qld, Australia
Arborist Northern Tree Specialists
Builder Hutchinson Builders
Certifier Building Certifiers Australia
Hydraulic and civil engineer Mark Traucnieks Consulting Engineers
Landscape architect Lat27
Local architect Stephen de Jersey Architect
Local engineer Arup
Mechanical and electrical engineer Hawkins Jenkins Ross
Quantity surveyor Steele Wrobel
Structural engineer Bligh Tanner
Surveyor Rowlands Surveys
Site details
Location Townsville,  Qld,  Australia
Category Commercial / public buildings
Type Public / civic
Project Details
Status Built



Published online: 2 Nov 2017
Words: 2017 National Architecture Awards Jury
Images: Peter Bennetts


Architecture Australia, November 2017

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