September 26, 2016
The best of the Boroondara Urban Design Awards
The City of Boroondara has once again celebrated the best residential design innovations at this year’s Boroondara Urban Design Awards. Since 2012, the prestigious awards have recognised excellence in architectural modifications that enhance not only residential progression but also retain much of the character and heritage that is so intrinsic to the spirit of Boroondara’s neighbourhoods.
According to Boroondara Mayor, Councillor Jim Parke, the awards, “showcase inventive designs and quality finishes that complement and enrich existing streetscapes while meeting the evolving needs of the community.”
Judged by a panel of metropolitan design experts and Boroondara councillors, six winners and six commendations were awarded across five categories. Let’s see who this year’s big winners were.
Category 1: Best heritage extensions, additions and alterations
Winner: WAF Constructions
Boroondara is a city steeped in residential heritage, a characteristic that was well preserved by WAF Constructions during the renovation of 12 Mary Street, Hawthorn. Previously a modest bungalow, the impressive dwelling that now exists is a mix of heritage charm and contemporary design. By restoring the property’s front façade and roofscape but still extending the rear of the property, this extension proves that modern property additions can still be respectful of traditional architecture.
Category 2: Best small-scale multi-dwelling residential development
Joint winners: Virgon Constructions and Chan Architecture
Joint winners in the best small-scale multi-dwelling development category were Virgon Constructions for their four, three-bedroom townhouses at 12 Mountain Grove, Kew, and Chan Architecture for their side-by-side residences at 5 Aird Street, Camberwell. Both inspiring designs highlight the ability to downsize a property without compromising on superiority and comfort. The other valuable aspect of both designs is the positive impact the infill dwellings have on the existing streetscape in terms of quality finishes and preserved interfaces.
Category 3: Best medium-scale multi-dwelling residential development
Winner: WAF Constructions
Visual quality, connections between property and landscape, and mingling of shared and private open spaces were all executed by WAF Constructions in their creation of 8-10 Simpson Place, Hawthorn. The industrial-style medium-scale multi-dwelling, which is located at the end of a no-through road and bordering a natural reserve, uses strategic place-making processes to reduce convenience impacts to adjacent properties while still adding visual quality to the area.
Category 4: Best institutional development
Commendation: PMDL Architecture & Design
Commendation for the best institutional development was awarded to PMDL Architecture & Design for their building addition at Strathcona Girls’ Grammar School Learning Centre. The new three-floor Learning Centre was designed as a ‘spine’ to connect different parts of the school including the Library Resource Hub, Café and all-weather recreation areas. The new ‘zone’ is now considered the heart of the school, connecting students and teachers to state-of-the-art recreation and learning facilities.
Category 5: Best apartment/mixed-use development
Winner: OLA Studio
The infill development that now enhances 729 Burwood Rd, Hawthorn East is a prime example of a modern building with a historic distinction. Celebrating the area’s heritage was an integral part of the brief executed by OLA Studio, who designed the nine-apartment development using fragments of the existing structure, including old bricks and a 120-year-old advertising slogan, on one of its walls. The result is a striking, urban fixture that is a valuable model for future infill projects.