National awards shine a light on a local ‘Empire’

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Canberra home “Empire”… won an award last night in Brisbane.

THE addition of twin pavilions to a Canberra home has received a national commendation for residential architecture for home alterations in this year’s Australian Institute of Architects’ National Architecture Awards held last night (November 7) in Brisbane.

Canberra home “Empire”.

Austin Maynard Architect’s extension to the suburban Canberra home, labelled “Empire”, added two living pavilions and opened up the home to light and airflow, while maintaining the existing cottage.

In collaboration with the home-owners, the architect chose not to demolish the existing house, and instead created what the jury called “thoughtful and sympathetic interconnections between the original post-war residence and the contemporary additions”.

Jury chair and immediate past president of the institute, Clare Cousins, said the national awards highlighted the strength and value of high-quality architecture in creating “functional, sustainable and beautiful spaces to live, work and play”.

The Institute’s National Awards are the most rigorously assessed in the country. Around the country and globally, 14 projects won named awards, and an additional 21 were recognised with national awards. Winners were chosen from a shortlist of 78 projects drawn from a total pool of 185 eligible national and international entries.

This year it was of note that almost one in four projects shortlisted came from outside the country’s major cities.

From a total field of 895 entries in the 2019 awards program, 78 entries were shortlisted across 14 categories.

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