|of projects now taking environmental issues as key motivating factors - a university building, childcare facilities at Darwin Hospital, an hotel in rural South Australia and the Lighting Towers at Homebush.|
The large number of houses present in the awards list (one third of all awards) proves yet again that the single detached house is alive and well as a site of innovation and excellence. Denton Corker Marshall have won the Robin Boyd Award for the second consecutive year, this time for the Emery Residence at Cape Schanck. The jury made four housing commendations,and the awards for Interior and Recycling also go to domestic projects - in both cases for the architect’s own residence. Would the results have been any different had not Field Associates’ overtly experimental Holyoake Cottage, unanimous winner of both the Victorian Architecture Medal and the Harold Desbrowe-Annear Award, been withdrawn by the architects? Tangentyere Design’s Lolly Houses, which address complex social and cultural issues and won the Northern Territory’s Tracey Memorial Award and President’s Award, are also absent from the national awards list.
In addition to the twenty-one honours within established categories, the jury made two special awards, both to multiple housing projects. Harry Seidler received a Special Jury Award for International Practice for his Wohnpark Neue Donau public housing, sited over an eight-lane autobahn in Vienna. In addition to recognising the power of the Viennese project, the award marks Seidler’s ongoing international contribution to architecture, and the "tenacity and commitment" with which he pursues his work.
The Newington Apartments at Homebush also received a Special Jury Award.In its verdict, the jury makes a case for establishing a new named award, to be known as the Romberg Award. This would complement the Robin Boyd Award, which invariably goes to a detached, single- family house. The Romberg award would recognise excellence in multiple housing, a major growth area, and would acknowledge Australia’s history in this area - epitomised by the work of Frederick Romberg. We shall see whether the RAIA takes the jury up on this idea.