Westmead Millennium Institute won the Sulman Medal for public architecture at the 2015 NSW Architecture Awards last Thursday night. We had an extraordinarily committed team and the medal stands testament to this.
I was fortunate enough to work with Rose Jimenez, Frank Buss and Ali Bounds, who helped define the design principles and the arrangement of the building as a whole. Simon Hubert and Josephine Meldgaard were instrumental in the documentation of the building's fitout; and Namaste Burrell led the project on site, accomplished as ever. Other team members from BVN included Will Blake, Michael Persch, Xavier Tan, Christina Rangel, Catherine Skinner, Nesa Marojevic, Ian Goodbury, Andrew Metcalf, Peter Clarke, Mark Greene, Jahan Faeghi, Joe Fiumendesi, Michelle Farman and Nikita Notowidigdo. The BVN Principals on the project were Julian Ashton and Bill Dowzer.
WMI had a very low profile in the office. Consequently, the design team was afforded an unusual level of autonomy, which was instrumental in the resolution of the building. The design came from the team and was led by those involved on a day-to-day basis; each decision was informed by an intimate understanding of the detail and its place in the whole. The Sulman represents a strong endorsement of this approach to the design of buildings of this type and scale, which is both interesting and somewhat provocative in the context of contemporary architectural practice.
Finally, the awards are as much a reflection of the values of the jury as they are the architecture. It appears we had the perfect jury for the building in Kiong Lee, Anita Panov and Peter Tonkin. Many thanks.
See all the NSW Awards here