The Australian Interior Design Awards, backed by the Design Institute of Australia, showcase and celebrate Australia’s best interior designers. From sustainability advancement to workplace design, the 2019 winners in each category produced innovative and stunning work.
Award for Interior Design Impact: Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Primary School
This award represents the ability for interior design to impact and transform. From a 1970s Telstra building to an open and light primary school – the winning design was intended to facilitate learning and discovery. The open-plan layout and floor-to-ceiling windows connect the pupils and teachers to the surrounding environment and space itself.
Award for Sustainability Advancement: Arup Melbourne
2019’s winner for Sustainability Advancement focused heavily on biophilia, community and wellbeing. The designer of Arup in Melbourne integrated greenery and sustainable material – with plans for 100% green power and carbon neutrality by 2020. The judges took a particular shining to the hosted concierge and caf, run by the social enterprise Streat.
Emerging Interior Design Practice: Pierce Widera
Pierce Widera was awarded the gong for Emerging Interior Design Practice. The Melbourne studio produces designs that are professional and ordered, with a special mention for their creative use of lighting. The judges admired the diversity of their portfolio and how each design is tied together by a clear creative expression.
Retail Design: George Livissianis for Usfin
This futuristic hair salon took out the award for retail design. Complete with moveable hair “pods” and an almost clinical vibe, the judges unanimously agreed that Livissianis’ dynamic design was a worthy winner. Usfin was also awarded the Premier Award for Australian Interior Design.
Workplace Design: BVN Sydney Studio by BVN
BVN’s winning design was an attempt to recreate the office experience. The design focused heavily on creative flow and transparency in order to facilitate collaboration. The designers also deliberately moved away from the traditional workstation approach – with a clear desire to reflect how people truly use a workspace.
Hospitality Design: United Places Botanic Gardens South Yarra by Carr
This luxury boutique hotel in the Eastern Suburbs of Melbourne won the award for hospitality design due to its spatial sequence, textural palette and exquisite detailing. The judges were particularly drawn to the use of lighting within the space – creating warmth and making the rooms appear larger.
Public Design: Waltzing Matilda Centre by Cox
The designers of the Waltzing Matilda Centre produced a clear narrative through the use of materials and colour palette. The judges were taken by the layered experience throughout the centre. With nods to the Australian landscape and the building’s namesake, it’s clear why this Aussie-inspired design took out the top prize.
Residential Design: Edsall Street by RITZ & GHOUGASSIAN
The restrained and elegant winner of the Residential Design Award was also said to be a “dream home” by one of the judges. The timeless, simplistic design highlights the lines and light of the house. The judges were in awe of the spatial execution – from the size of the rooms to the heights of the ceilings. The designer achieved the near impossible – minimalism minus the feeling that something is lacking.
Residential Decoration: Under the tree by Arent & Pyke
Arent & Pyke’s balance between drama and quiet restraint won the judge’s hearts and the award for Residential Decoration. It is clear the designers respected and worked with the architectural elements of this home – the designs’ connection to the garden and natural light makes this a truly special space.
Installation Design: Escher X nendo: Between Two Worlds by National Gallery of Victoria and nendo
This coupling of art and design resulted in an installation that created a compelling visitor experience – and the winning entry for Installation Design. This groundbreaking exhibition showcased both practices and their influence and effect on each other. The judges commended the designer’s restraint and use of space, which showcased Escher’s work perfectly.
Words by Nell Matzen. Lead image credit: Arent&Pyke, Photography Anson Smart
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