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2012 North Queensland architecture awards announced

The redevelopment of the Royal Flying Doctors Service’s Mount Isa base by Architectural Practice Academy has received the top award in the North Queensland Architecture Awards – the Walter and Oliver Turnbridge Award for Building of the Year.

The Royal Flying Doctors Service’s Mount Isa base is planned around a courtyard and is designed to reduce energy use through careful orientation, and access to natural light and ventilation. The courtyard provides cooling and allows security between office and clinical areas, and easy after-hours access to meeting rooms and amenities.

The Queensland State Awards jury director, Michael Raynor, commented, “In a relatively austere environment, the architects have created a strong sense of place and of purpose, generating a wonderful user, patient and visitor experience.”

Raynor presented the awards consisting of three commendations including the Mount Isa base. The other commended projects were Magnetic Island Solar Park by Insideout Architects and Townsville Grammar School Performing Arts Precinct by Tippett Schrock Architects.

Magnetic Island Solar Park is part of the Australian Government’s Townsville Queensland Solar City project. The jury said, “This is an outstanding undertaking, which generates substantial energy, involves a passionate community, makes an existing community facility significantly more amenable and healthy, and unites disparate facilities into a cohesive whole.”

The Townsville Grammar School Performing Arts Precinct creates a stongly identifiable and functional performing arts centre with new connections and interstitial spaces between buildings.

The jury chose the commended projects from eight entered projects that included school buildings, indigenous housing and a stadium.

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