2023 NSW AIA Architecture Awards

The NSW Architecture Awards celebrates design excellence in architecture in NSW. This year’s awards event was hosted on Friday 23 June 2023 at the Art Gallery of NSW, Sydney Modern.

Sydney Opera House Concert Hall Renewal Project

The Sydney Opera House Concert Hall Renewal project was awarded the NSW Architecture Medallion, The Greenway Award for Heritage, and the John Verge Interior Architecture Award. Design 5, as heritage architects, were part of the large consultant team led by ARM and Sydney Opera House on this extraordinary project.

Extracts from jury citations:

The design team’s meticulous attention to detail is evident throughout the refurbishment, which has revitalised the concert hall while thoroughly respecting and enhancing the original design. Technical virtuosity, engineering innovation, and skilful integration of existing and new materials define the reimagined interior. The incorporation of sophisticated new systems for acoustics and lighting, simultaneously celebrate and enhance the heritage of the original space while reconciling its previous shortcomings. 

Performing delicate surgery to a much-loved World-Heritage-listed building, this renewal project manages to not only meet, but transcend, all of the project challenges to achieve something truly special. The result is a renewed Concert Hall for the next generation, on par with the world’s great halls.   

This is a rare example of a heritage intervention handled with such masterful technical skill, care, craft, creativity and deft precision as to make the interventions almost invisible – all achieved amidst the most complex of heritage, stakeholder and functional controls.  Beyond respect and reverence for the original work, the architects have also managed to bring something special and ineffable to the table: a sense of joy, surprise and delight for visitors that resonates so well with the spirit of the original work, and brings the voices of Utzon and Hall into constructive dialog. Respecting the legacies of both Jørn Utzon and Peter Hall, the project demonstrates exceptional virtuosity, striking a delicate balance between preserving the iconic character of the original space, whilst subtly infusing it with contemporary elements. The reconfigured hall and stage now create an orchestral experience, described as both vibrant and intimate, with sound quality that resonates with the brilliance of a Stradivarius violin.

Completed in its 50th year, the Sydney Opera House concert hall refurbishment is a masterpiece – a symphony of design, innovation, and acoustic excellence. This is truly an achievement that deserves the highest recognition, and we applaud the entire project team for their remarkable performance.”

Millers Point Townhouse

Design 5 – Architects were awarded a Commendation for Heritage Conservation for this beautifully detailed conservation and modern intervention on a derelict pair of prominently sited 1840s townhouses at Millers Point.

Extracts from jury citation:

“The Millers Point Townhouse, constructed in c1845, was designed by prominent colonial architect John BibbA high level of care has been paid to the conservation of the original fabric via attentive documentary research and investigation of physical evidence. This included reinstatement of external stair rails, balcony, and – most significantly – infilled light wells found to be outside the modern-day site boundaryThese now adorn the public realm thanks to the support of the City of Sydney.”

See the announcement here:

2023 NSW Architecture Award Winners

Sydney Opera House Concert Hall