Sydney Opera House takes out two national named awards

ARM’s renewal of the Sydney Opera House’s Concert Hall was recognised with two national named awards at the recent 2023 Australian Institute of Architects National Architecture Awards ceremony in Canberra.

The project took home both the Emil Sodersten Award for Interior Architecture and the Lachlan Macquarie Award for Heritage Architecture.

“Mechanical interventions in the Concert Hall, including drop-down acoustic curtains and sound ledges, have been handled with great restraint, and the wave-form timber acoustic panelling feels perfectly at home. Every possible fragment of original building fabric has been re-used. If (then) Prince Charles once decried the proposed extension to London’s National Gallery a “monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend,” ARM Architecture has managed to perform the most flattering of facelifts for this grand dame. “The House” feels ready for its next 50 years.” — Emil Sodersten Award citation.

“In its fiftieth-anniversary year, the Sydney Opera House is arguably one of Australia’s most recognizable pieces of architecture and our only modern building on the UNESCO World Heritage List. To undertake a major renovation and update of its world-famous Concert Hall was no small endeavour. ARM Architecture has completed this seminal work with a confident and considered hand. The combination of painstakingly recrafted timbers and new fuchsia colouring, which nods to the original interiors designed by Peter Hall, is nothing short of awe-inspiring.” — Lachlan Macquarie Award citation.

The 2023 jury comprised Shannon Battisson, Shaneen Fantin, William Smart, Stephanie Kitingan and Scott Burchell. Jury chair and former Australian Institute of Architects president, Shannon Battisson said the award-winning projects can be used as a source of inspiration for Australians during a time of environmental and economic crisis.

ARM Architecture is extremely honoured to receive this recognition from our peers. We thank our client and partners for their invaluable input, without which this project would not have been possible.


Project credits: 
Architect: ARM Architecture; Project team: Mark Raggatt, Howard Raggatt, Andrew Hayne, Peter Bickle, Stuart Webber, Justin Fagnani, Andrea Wilson, Paul Buckley, Aaron Robinson, Leo Carson, Rocio Batlle, Mario Posala, Daniel Lazarow; Builder: Taylor Construction; Town planner: Keylan Consulting; Quantity surveyor: Rider Levett Bucknall; Mechanical and electrical services engineer: Steensen Varming; Fire services and hydraulic engineer: Warren Smith Consulting Engineers; Building surveyor: Group DLA; Acoustic engineer: Muller-BBM; Heritage consultant: Design 5 Architects; Theatre planning: Schuler Shook; Programming: Mace; Vertical transport: Norman Disney and Young; Access consultant: Laccess.

View the project page here.