Nominations now open for the 2020 City of Adelaide Prize


Posted on 18 Nov 2019

The City of Adelaide Prize, presented by the City of Adelaide and the SA Institute of Architects, is a category within the South Australian Architecture Awards Program and honours extraordinary urban design by recognising innovative projects that bring the city’s public spaces to life.

“The City of Adelaide prize celebrates a project that contributes to the economic success and reputation of Adelaide as a place of arts and culture,” said James Hayter of Oxigen, 2018 City of Adelaide Prize winner for 84 Halifax Street.

“To us, the Prize is one of the most important awarded by the Institute as it connects people, ideas and design.”

84 halifax street

84 Halifax Street: Photo by Oxigen

Eligibility criteria

Entries for the 2020 City of Adelaide Prize are not limited to buildings. They can also include landscape works, public art installations and temporary contributions to public spaces that encourage engagement within the community and improve the city.

“It’s a great initiative that is focused on a contribution to community life, which is often overlooked in ‘design award’ programs,” said David Burton of William Burton Leopardi, winner of the People’s Choice Award in 2018.

Projects can be any scale but must be located within the city of Adelaide and have been completed in the last two years. Individual stages or components of the projects as well as those undertaken by or for the City of Adelaide, State Government and/or Federal Government are also eligible.

Darling building

Darling Building: Photo by Williams Burton Leopardi

Helping businesses

Previous winners say the award has contributed to the success of their business.

Matiya Marovich from Sans-Arc Studio, winner of the 2016 City of Adelaide Prize for Pink Moon Saloon said, “Pink Moon Saloon has been a transformative project for the practice, one that had global coverage and won a number of awards locally, nationally and internationally.

“For me, the City of Adelaide Prize was the most significant one in this, firstly awarded in conjunction with the Institute of Architects means something significant to any Graduate of Architecture.

“Also, the criteria for winning is genuinely meaningful – a project that contributes significantly to the urban fabric of Adelaide. Winning this was meaningful because it wasn’t just about the design, but about something deeper. The uniqueness of the project and its positive contribution to the city meant a lot.

“This type of work is something Sans-Arc has now become known for, something we are very proud of.”

David Burton from Williams Burton Leopardi said, “working in the Darling Building means we can enjoy the (success) every day, and for our clients and those of the other tenants, a ‘closed’ private (derelict) building has been opened up and populated with life which is great.

“It’s just a different and inspiring feeling knowing that you are part of and responsible for a much-loved icon in Adelaide.”

Pink moon saloon

Pink Moon Saloon: Photo by Sans-Arc Studio

Top tips from previous winners

James Hayter, Oxigen – 84 Halifax Street

Good architecture is not just about the object. How does each project contribute towards the street, precinct and neighbourhood in which it’s located? What lessons can be learnt from the approach taken and can these provide an exemplar for good architecture within the city?

David Burton, Williams Burton Leopardi – Darling Building

Darling Building was ‘too hard’ in the traditional context of development and building – hence why it was abandoned and left derelict. It’s an all too common narrative with buildings in Adelaide and ‘traditional’ or unimaginative views of what makes a good development.

What stands out I think is that a bit of determination and creative thought has confounded the critics and provided a first-class working environment, (which) in many ways (is) more attractive and definitely more soulful than the latest glazed sealed ‘5-star office.’ It’s really a matter of what the project gives back to the community.

James McIntyre – Peter Rabbit

Place making was at the centre of the business model from day one. We utilised council surveys in the area to identify what people wanted (greenery) and designed a business around that. The obvious choice from the building layout was putting the structure at the front on Hindley Street, but we wanted to add to the amenity of the area and create an active space that can be enjoyed by everyone in the community without even coming into the venue.

There are rewards for putting the greater community at the centre of what you do in business. And that the community reward you with patronage in return.

Peter rabbit

Photo by Peter Rabbit

Matiya Marovich, Sans-Arc Studio – Pink Moon Saloon

I think Pink Moon was unlike anything Adelaide had seen at that point in time. I think the re-use of an existing lane way, turning it into two buildings that were both familiar and unusual made it stand out. The whole project is a little unusual and transforms a space that was previously not activated or accessible to the public.

Figure out what it is that is unique and different about your project and talk through these ideas. Explain why the project contributes something special to our city and how it has transformed Adelaide for the better.

Nominate now

It’s free to nominate for the City of Adelaide Prize. Entries are open until 14 February 2020.

For more information including entry guidelines, or to nominate for the 2020 City of Adelaide Prize, visit the SA Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects.