How this monolithic Brisbane cricket shed swept the state’s architecture awards

A maintenance shed for a University of Queensland cricket team has won the Queensland architecture industry’s highest award,  indicating that beauty can be found in the most unlikely structures.

Jun 22, 2023, updated Jun 23, 2023
The cricket maintenance shed that won at the Queensland Architecture awards (Photo: David Chatfield)

The cricket maintenance shed that won at the Queensland Architecture awards (Photo: David Chatfield)

The “abstract and monolithic” shed, by Lineburg Wang and Steve Hunt Architect, was described by the award’s jury as being a celebration of cost efficiencies in an exploration of the common grey block”. It also won an award for small project architecture and was rewarded for being “a small project playing in a much larger game” as well as being able to outwit cost constraints.

“This project exceeds expectations, showcasing the profession’s unique and exceptional capacity to produce the most triumphant outcomes under the most constrained circumstances,” according to the jury.

But it’s more than a block cricket gear shed, according to jury chair Paul Jones.

“The architects have really gone above and beyond to deliver an exceptional building,” he said.

“The shed type always struggles with budget but they worked with the contractor and the client to outwit that budget by using a simple construction method. The architects took it a step further and looked at how they could use the blockwork to make an exceptional building. That level of inventiveness is quite extraordinary.

“It has a public presence and it has a front of house quality about it a sets up future development. It’s also a place where people work and they have provided amenity for the building and the people who occupy it.”

The awards also celebrated other structures. The refurbished and expanded Thomas Dixon Centre won four accolades, including the Harry Marks Award for sustainable architecture. The centre in West End is the home of the Queensland Ballet.

“The centre has been sensitively transformed into a dynamic space that seamlessly combines the preservation of its architectural heritage with the demands of modern functionality,” the jury said.

“Beyond its role as a heritage site, the Thomas Dixon Centre now serves as a catalyst for wellness, art, and performance in the state of Queensland.”

The Rockhampton Museum of Art, by Conrad Gargett, Clare Design (lead design architects) and Brian Hooper Architect, won The FDG Stanley Award for Public Architecture.

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The Jennifer Taylor Award for educational architecture was awarded to Cannon Hill Anglican College D-Block, by Reddog Architects in association with Blueline Architecture.

Warwick East State School – National School Building, by Conrad Gargett, won The Don Roderick Award for heritage architecture.

Vokes and Peters were acknowledged for their “masterful approach in optimising character and identity within a constrained budget” for QVS Stafford Vet Hospital, which was awarded the Beatrice Hutton Award for commercial architecture.

The Herston Quarter redevelopment, by Hassell, received the Karl Langer Award for urban design. The architects also received The GHM Addison award for interior architecture for Suncorp headquarters.

Habitat on Juers, by REFRESH Studio for Architecture, was awarded The EmAGN project award and The Job & Froud award for residential architecture – multiple housing.

River Hearth House, by Arcke, received the Robin Dods award for residential architecture (new houses), while Justin Humphrey Architects won the Elina Mottram award for residential architecture (houses – alterations and additions) for The Cottage.

The Robin Gibson Award for enduring architecture went to Sir Kingsford Smith Memorial, by Noel Robinson Architects.

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