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AIA NSW Chapter Awards: Two Architectus projects shortlisted

Barker College Senior School Hub and Blacktown Exercise, Sport & Technology (BEST) (Architect ARM & Landscape Architecture Architectus), have been shortlisted for awards in the 2024 Australian Institute of Architecture (AIA) Awards.

Each year the NSW AIA Awards celebrate design excellence across the state, and we’re honoured to have two projects shortlisted for 3 awards in this year’s program.

Barker College’s Maths and Senior Student Hub designed by Architectus is shortlisted in both the Educational and Sustainability categories. The three-level building creates a new center of activity at the campus’s geographical heart. The enduing and highly sustainable built form facilitates the academic program for Maths, supports the teaching staff in their approach to curriculum development and delivery, and contributes positively to Barker’s overall mission to encourage its diverse cohort of students to thrive.  

Comprising two levels of mass timber teaching and learning spaces over a podium of social areas, informal study spaces, and a dining commons, the Hub draws together work, study and rejuvenation in an environment that prioritises and celebrates sustainability. 

The extensive use of sustainably sourced mass timber reduces the building’s embodied carbon footprint by more than 25% while creating a nature-inspired learning environment. Organic finishes, abundant daylight, natural ventilation, and passive heating and cooling strategies have all been designed to further minimise the building’s impact on the environment while simultaneously bringing the benefits of biophilia to the school community.

Barker College Senior School Hub. Photography by Martin Mischkulnig

Blacktown Exercise, Sport & Technology (BEST) Hub is also shortlisted in the Education category. The state-of-the-art facility, designed by ARM with Architectus’ Landscape Architectural team, makes a positive impact on community health, research, sports performance, and rehabilitation.  

The external spaces of BEST are an extension of the indoor facilities, focused on the Physical Literacy space. This space, designed in consultation with the Australian Sports Commission, facilitates development of the physical, social, cognitive and psychological skills and attitudes which encourage an active lifestyle. Catering for all ages and abilities the design from the fundamentals area that supports rehabilitation and basic skills development, to the advanced area for the athletic and elite sports people.

Congratulations to all involved – site visits will be held in April with winners announced at the Awards Gala in June. 

Blacktown Exercise, Sport & Technology Hub. Photography courtesy of Blacktown City Council