YVE Apartments win top architecture award

YVE Apartments win top architecture award

An apartment complex on St Kilda Road has won the state's highest architecture award.

Wood Marsh Architecture was presented with the Victorian Architecture Medal at last night's Royal Institute of Architects awards for its innovative use of space and form in the Yve Apartments.

"What the juries are looking for is architecture that's changing the way people think, and successfully challenging known concepts," jury chairman Peter Maddison said.

"They're looking for buildings that hallmark a contribution to the development of architecture and this building does it in a number of ways."

The apartment complex was designed to be three-dimensional, giving equal distribution of space to residences and creating a sense that the aesthetics of the tower were the same whether viewed from front, back or side.

"It's a very clever combination on the one hand of the potential of the tower form and then, in some ways, inscribing it to say that it's also about people living there," said juror and RMIT associate professor Shane Murray.

"But then that shape itself also has this very practical contribution to the building where, because it's a clover leaf shape, it means that from your balcony … you only ever look out, you don't look back across other apartments, so it gives you a great sense of privacy."

Previous medal-winning buildings have included Federation Square, the Melbourne Museum and RMIT's Storey Hall.

There were 153 entries for this year's awards and the RAIA handed out 28 prizes in 11 categories including commercial, heritage, institutional, residential and sustainable architecture.

These were judged by a panel of 44 jurors from within the industry.

As well as the Victorian medal, the Yve Apartments won the

main prize in residential architecture. John Wardle Architects, in collaboration with HASSELL+NHArchitecture, won the top award in the commercial category for The Urban Workshop at 50 Lonsdale Street.

It also won in the categories of interior architecture and urban design and was a joint winner, with Ashton Raggatt McDougall's new Melbourne Central, of the Melbourne Prize.

This award recognises buildings within the CBD that make a significant impact on the "fabric" of Melbourne.

"The whole language of the building was quite allegorical and I think architecture is successful when the building can tell a story, and I think that's what we thought was commendable," juror Zahava Elenberg said of the Urban Workshop.

"There was an element of generosity. The projects all lent themselves to the city, lent themselves to a broader context."

Ms Elenberg's own practice, Elenberg Fraser, was also the recipient of a subsidiary award in the regional category for the distinctive Huski ski lodge at Falls Creek.

Healesville Sanctuary's platypusary and wildlife health centre won accolades in the institutional architecture section.

Juror Rob McBride said architects designing for institutional projects had to consider the public use of those buildings and encourage people to engage with them across a broad scale.

"They're much more conscious of it being a public asset, that everyone has ownership of it," he said.

Mr McBride praised the incorporation of inside and outside spaces in the health centre, where visitors are able to view treatment and recovery rooms through glass walls within, then step in to the building's centre "courtyard" to reflect and view a multimedia presentation.

All winners go into consideration for the national architecture awards, which will be announced in October.

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