2018 National Architecture Awards: National Award for Sustainable Architecture

Synergy by BVN Sustainable Architecture: National Award Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

The Synergy project consolidates the CSIRO’s team from a collection of leased buildings across Canberra to the organization’s Black Mountain campus. Architecturally, the building derives its expression from the surrounding Australian landscape and the tectonic quality of the devices and technology used to create a naturally ventilated “mixed mode” workplace for the scientific community. The design strategy allowed the functional requirements of the workplace and laboratories to determine the interior architecture of the building and to influence the external form of the building. Sustainable initiatives were key to this concept.

The jury was impressed by the collaboration between the client, the architect and the consultant team, which led to two primary sustainability focuses – ventilation and daylight. Daylight is mediated through the external louvred sunscreen, while ventilation is controlled by an integrated system that draws air into the building via operable sashes on the facade and expels it through the atrium via two thermal chimneys.


Project Team
ulian Ashton (project principal), James Grose (design principal), Brian Clohessy (project director), Gero Heimann, Joseph O’Meara (project architects), Ian Goodbury (lab lead), Amir Gholami, Camila Beltran, Caren Mok, Gary Cai, Ian James, Jamie Don, , Johannes Grissmann, Katherine Wiedersehn, Kirby Rees, Monique Franklin, Peter Clarke, Rebecca Wood, Samuel Sweeney, William Blake
Accessibility consultant Eric Martin and Associates
BCA and fire engineering consultant AED Group
Builder Laing O’Rourke
Civil, traffic, electrical, communication, security and acoustic consultant Aurecon
Ergonomic consultant Mark Dohrmann and Partners
FF and E consultant RCG Health
Hydraulic consultant THCS
Landscape architect ASPECT Studios
Mechanical and ESD consultant Steensen Varming
Project manager RPS (formerly PPM)
Structure and facade consultant Taylor Thomson and Whitting
Whole life analysis consultant Wilde and Woollard
Site Details
Project Details
Status Built
Category Public / commercial
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