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Diverse and impactful designs win at Architecture Awards for the Darling Downs and West Moreton region

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Australian Institute of Architects, Media Release, 4 June 2024

The winning architectural designs for the Darling Downs and West Moreton region were celebrated at the Australian Institute of Architects awards evening on Friday 14 June.

The diversity of projects – a mental health facility, a museum, a home for a family of six, to a propagation shed – selected by the Awards Jury demonstrated the incredible range of talent and skill of architects throughout the region. The rich variety of entrants stands as a testament to the strength and quality of great architectural design.

Top honour goes to Mental Health facility

Ipswich Hospital Mental Health Acute Inpatient Services, designed by Hassell, has been honoured with the William Hodgen Award for Building of the Year. The new mental healthcare facility, for Queensland Health, was also commended in two categories: Interior Architecture and Public Architecture.

The facility features an abundance of natural light, internal green spaces and tranquil sensory rooms. The interior design is integral to establishing a calm setting, restoring dignity to the healing journey and normalising mental health care. Hassell conducted an extensive collaboration process involving patients, carers, clinicians, staff, community groups and First Nations representatives to shape the healing environment.

Wellness areas were also designed for staff, helping to attract and retain quality employees for the region. The jury noted that the design is set to “redefine mental health care through holistic design”. The project has also been recognised for social impact.

Regional Project of the Year exceeds expectations

Regional Project of the Year was awarded to Toowoomba’s Good Samaritan College Polding Place, designed by Speculative Architecture and Brammer Architects, architects in association. The jury described the project as a “piece of adventurous architecture that exceeds the client’s expectations”.

The simple yet robust structure includes classrooms, food technology spaces, a commercial kitchen, cafe, and a design technology workshop. Outdoor learning spaces are located next to traditional teaching spaces, and are flexible for social activities. The project also received a Regional Commendation for Educational Architecture and recognition for social impact.

House of the Year playfully blends indoor and outdoor spaces

East Toowoomba Renovation, designed by Kin Architects, has won House of the Year. The jury commended the project as “an intuitive and subtle set of adjustments and additions to a small cottage”.

Balancing a series of courtyards between new and old, the home for a family of six, feels in touch with the outside world. The line between inside and outside is blurred, allowing the children to zig zag between spaces with little constraint. The project also received a Regional a Commendation in Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions).

A win for future for generations

The first stage of the Eromanga Natural History Museum, by Architectus has received the People’s Choice and a Regional Commendation for Public Architecture. Set in Outback Queensland, the jury described the completed reception and research spaces as the beginning of a building that “aspires to last forever, like the bones it showcases and protects”.

Rounding out the awards were Cunnamulla Hot Springs by COX Architecture, Shed for Propagation in Toowoomba by Marc & Co, and Coulson Creek Shed designed by Reddog Architects, each winning Regional Commendations in their respective categories.

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