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Australia Shines at the Shaw Contract Design Awards

From nearly 500 entries from 32 countries, it was Australia that shone at the Shaw Contract Design Awards, with four Australian projects taking out Market Awards in the 2017 competition.

  • Salvation Army HQ | Photography by Trevor Mein

  • Salvation Army HQ | Photography by Trevor Mein

  • Notre Dame Centre | Photography by Adam Thwaites

  • Notre Dame Centre | Photography by Adam Thwaites

  • Ground Floor Reid Library | Photography by Peter Bennetts

  • Ground Floor Reid Library | Photography by Peter Bennetts

  • Frank Bartlett Library & Services | Photography by John Gollings

  • Frank Bartlett Library & Services | Photography by John Gollings



BY Andrew McDonald

May 19th, 2017


Shaw Contract believes design is changing the world; the architecture and design community is an active developer and problem solver in the world. The Shaw Contract Design Awards recognises the vision and tenacity behind momentous work, and commemorates the design story behind every project.

The 2017 Shaw Contract Design Awards had a total of 497 entries from 32 countries, highlighting the global scope of the program. Market Award entries were assessed by a panel of independent judges from 6 countries, including our own Mel Mackenzie representing Australia. 36 Market Award winners were selected from the entry pool, which showcases the highest caliber of work within an industry segment across the globe.

Market Award winning projects are automatically entered into the Global Awards program and People’s Choice voting for the Shaw Contract Design Awards, which will be announced later in 2017.

The four Australian projects selected for a Market Award this year highlight the exceptional quality of Australian design on the global stage…

Office Category: Salvation Army Headquarters by Bates Smart
Recognising the Salvation Army’s vital social contribution to the local community, Bates Smart undertook this project within its pro bono program. The driving theme was to design a space that ‘cares for the carers’, ultimately uniting the various Army divisions, reinforcing team identity, and developing internal efficiencies. Although a large space, the judging panel felt that Bates Smart kept an intimacy to the design.

Education Category: Notre Dame Centre, Our Lady of Sion College by Law Architects
This facility was born from a need to provide a designated adult learning environment and to further foster a sense of belonging to the local community embarking on their final years of school. Translating the school’s sense of community and college cohesion played a prominent role in the brief and design, and the judging panel commented that there was great warmth in this space and good flow overall.

Education Category: Ground Floor Reid Library Refurbishment by SCHIN Architects
By using research conducted by University staff, SCHIN Architects found that most students would spend over five hours at a time when visiting the existing Reid Library space. For this reason, they wanted to give these users a sense of ownership over the space they occupy. The judging panel liked the diverse range of spaces for study, eating, and other tasks.

Public Space Category: Frank Bartlett Library & Services Centre by FJMT
Dubbed simply ‘the community centre’ by locals, this building provides a strong and vibrant civic heart uniting all demographics and connecting dislocated precincts of Moe, Victoria. FJMT took a sensitive approach to the design, with ambient and considered lighting locations. The judging panel enjoyed the sense of community within this space, which they found to be beautiful architecturally through the use of concrete and wood materials.

To view the full list of international Market Award winners click here.


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