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January 23, 2019
— The Design Issue

The very best of South Australian design: Architecture

The Australian Institute of Architects works to improve Australia’s built environment by promoting quality, responsible, sustainable design and these award winners are the embodiment of this mission.

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There was a moment in the city’s recent history when South Australia was given permission to design and build with ambition. SAHMRI was that moment in CityMag‘s opinion, and since that landmark project, excellent and bold and meaningful and sensitive design has flourished in this state.

Our built environment is constantly evolving to better reflect the personality of South Australia, whether that be through aesthetics, function, materials or – hopefully – all three.

These award-winning projects celebrate just a few of the best architecture projects we’ve seen pop up over the last 12 months.


The Darling Building, Williams Burton Leopardi
Keith Neighbour Award for Commercial Architecture

An unexpected and exemplar project, the Darling Building tells the story of historic Adelaide commercial life whilst creating an alternative workplace offering within the city.

This brave adaptive re-use of a disused building – previously perceived as worthless – reveals the skill and tenacity of the architect/developer. Offering a new kind of work life, adaptive to established professionals and start-ups, the aesthetic is poetic and patient, celebrating craftsmanship and learning from it.

The decision to rejuvenate this building required complete architectural commitment and the project’s success lies in this journey of discovery to understand the original architecture and its relevance to contemporary life.

The urban contribution of this reinvention cannot be understated. In a time when the sustainable development focus is on the new, The Darling Building reminds us that our city is abundant with hidden gems that could well serve as an alternative approach.



PR House, Architects Ink
John S Chappel Award for Residential Architecture Houses (New)

The PR House is a successful, bold architectural form inspired by the original dilapidated shack on this coastal block. Double-height textured in-situ concrete walls and raw timber wrap the façades of the house. An oversized pivot door integrates seamlessly when closed and when open, entices you inside.






Ivy Apartments WEST, Davis + Davis Architects
Newell Platten Award for Multiple Housing

Ivy demonstrates the value an architect can bring to the multi-residential field delivering an excellent outcome under the potentially challenging Design and Construct procurement method. The Ivy Apartments, on the corner of West Lakes Boulevard and Central Park, is the first completed apartment block at West, Commercial and General’s redevelopment of the former Football Park site.






84 Halifax St, Oxigen
Marjorie Simpson Award for Small Project Architecture


At a more detailed level, the exclusive use of South Australian materials and locally sourced and manufactured components underpins a core narrative about place – how design and local designers play significant roles in the production of a better built outcome. 84 Halifax is an inner urban and narrow site that has created spatial and formal experiences of delight within these constraints.




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