A pop-up 'School-in-a-Box' in Papua New Guinea, an embassy redevelopment in Thailand, a brick house in Sri Lanka, and a museum extension in Singapore are the big winners of the Australian Institute of Architects' 2018 International Chapter Awards. The program recognizes projects built outside of Australia by members of the institute.
The William J Mitchell International Chapter Prize, honoring significant contributions by an Australia-linked practitioner to architecture globally, went to Malaysia-born Singaporean architect Dr Liu Thai Ker—considered the 'architect of modern Singapore'—who the jury praised as "influential in the conceptualization and implementation of the urban structure and landscape of the city-state."
Read on for the winners of the four Awards and two Commendations.
Interior Architecture: Australian Embassy Bangkok by BVN (Thailand)
Jury response: "From the red sand of the desert to the cities along the coastal fringe,
the Australian landscape forms an intrinsic part of our national
identity. This connection between land and culture provides the
conceptual framework for the Australian Embassy in Bangkok, creating a
distinctively Australian space within an urban Thai setting."
Public Architecture: New Wings at The Asian Civilisations Museum by GreenhilLi (Singapore)
Jury response: "The success of the elegant new architecture, with its soft metallic
sheen, airy volumes and crisp titanium detailing, lies in its
distinctive yet productive cooperation with the materiality, form and
use history of its heritage partner. Notably no part of the heritage
building has been erased or obscured, rather it provides a counterpoise
to the new."
Residential Architecture – Houses (New): House 412 by Pulina Ponnamperuma + Robust Architecture Workshop (Sri Lanka)
Jury response: "By being 'technologically robust' and pushing for the visible and considered craft of various trades, the building is allowed to act as both a teaching ground and a positive example of technique thereby helping build capacity and understanding of what is possible in the local workforce."
Small Project Architecture: School-in-a-Box by Stephen Collier Architects (Papua New Guinea)
Jury response: "The architects have responded to the challenges of the Papua New Guinea environment by creating an easily transportable pod or box, the contents of which create a pop-up school. Responding to the needs of people who have very little, the box includes a tent for shelter that allows for rainwater to be collected, solar panels to power laptops and a printer and plywood joinery for sitting and working. ‘The school in a box is an exemplar of how simple, thoughtful and useful design can positively influence communities and the environment, and have an influence way beyond an intended purpose."
The jury also awarded two Commendations in their respective categories:
Small Project Architecture (Commendation): Bayshore Park Underpass by GreenhilLi (Singapore)
Commercial Architecture (Commendation): Kampung Admiralty by WOHA (Singapore)
The four Award winners now also have a chance to take home the coveted Jørn Utzon Award for International Architecture at the National Architecture Awards to be announced in November.
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