The NSW Architecture awards were announced the other night at the Carriageworks at Everleigh and although the party was by all accounts rad the awards themselves do not do much to dispel the idea that this is a state where earnestness generally wins out over invention.
Both of the big awards for public buildings and residential projects seem to have gone to the same project, that is, the well-crafted pavilion in the bush. While these types of projects are not without their own difficulties — such as bushfire controls and access — they are a far cry from the constraints, both physical and political, of populated areas and this lack of constraint means that innovation in this locale is rare. And being of the view that innovation and invention are to be celebrated, it is disappointing to see projects that seem to retread old ground be awarded.
In a move sure to excite media agencies and the public worldwide, the Australian Institute of Architects for some reason has not provided any images of the awarded projects on it’s website or in it’s press release, offering instead, this compelling list. And while I could scour the web for images of the winning projects, the Sydney Morning Herald has the one I am after:
For our money, and based only on the limited material available online, the bravest project seems to be the Balgowlah House by Reg Lark which at the very least appears to offer a critical approach to its (suburban) site; sharply raking back from the street, its louvred facade perpendicular to the slope of the site.