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March 18, 2021

Vote for your favourite city-based architecture project in the 2021 City of Adelaide Prize

The City of Adelaide Prize looks to highlight great works of architecture and public art within the CBD, with the winner determined by your vote.

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  • Words: Johnny von Einem
  • Pictures: Supplied

For a decade now, the SA Architecture Awards (run by South Australian chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects), has run the City of Adelaide Prize – a competition highlighting the architectural fabric of our city.


Vote now in the SA Architecture Awards’ City of Adelaide Prize here.

You, as a city-dwelling member of the Adelaide public, can now vote for your favourite piece of architecture amongst the seven nominees,

There are, as you might expect, several buildings listed amongst the architectural works, as well as some landscape and art projects, including the popular city tour, Modernist Adelaide.

“All of those things actually encourage people to stop, look, consider where they are, and hopefully interact with themselves, each other, and the environment in different ways,” says Executive Director of the SA branch of the Australian Institute of Architects, Nicolette Di Lernia.

“So the City of Adelaide Prize is very much about activating the city, making it a wonderful, liveable, interesting place to be.”

The seven projects are:

—The Gawler Place upgrade (aka home of the Pigeon) by City of Adelaide, ProcurePM, WGA, URPS, BMD;
—Her Majesty’s Theatre by Cox Architects;
Hidden Gem at dwell East End Adelaide by dwell in collaboration with artist Tapiwa Hwata;
—Modernist Adelaide by Stuart Symons;
—Sheridan Kiosk by BB Architects;
—SkyCity Adelaide Expansion Project by Buchan
—and Vietnamese Boat People Monument – Guiding Light by Rosella Badios.

You can vote for your favourite amongst those projects here.

This image: Sam Noonan


The purpose behind the City of Adelaide prize, and the SA Architecture Awards more broadly, is to foster appreciation for thoughtfully designed built amongst the South Australian public.

“We have just last Saturday had our public jury presentations, where any member of the public can come along and actually hear about the backstory behind these projects, understand some of the complexities that have been dealt with, some of the motivations, and get a better understanding of the work that goes into creating a great work of architecture,” Nicolette says.

“Design is not for the few, it’s for everyone. We all interact with it every day, and we make sure that there’s plenty of opportunities for people to understand how great design adds value.”

The awards also act as an opportunity for architects to step out of their busy schedules and reflect on their own work and that of their peers.

“There’s a real collegial atmosphere for the awards presentations, in that it’s an opportunity for people to come together to actually experience other people’s work, to share ideas,” Nicolette says.

This image: Sam Robert


CityMag asks if an Adelaide design aesthetic can be seen in the nominees for the awards, but Nicolette says it is difficult to say that such a thing exists.

What she is seeing is that architects are moving away from the one-size-fits-all approach of previous generations, and instead the buildings are being designed in response to the people who will use or live in them, and the environment in which they’re located.

In this way, Adelaide is “good at doing a lot with what we have to work with,” she says.

“I think we make our architecture here work really hard, but the way we do that is quite specific to each project.”

Read more about each of the City of Adelaide Prize nominees and cast your vote here.

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