Victorian Architecture Awards 2024: Geelong Arts Centre, North Melbourne Primary School lauded

The 2024 Victorian Architecture Awards winners were announced by the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) on Friday 7 June, with ARM Architecture taking home a named award, an architecture award and a commendation.

“This year’s awards recipients have indelibly shaped our built environment, showcasing the world-class ingenuity and expertise that resides in our state,” AIA’s Victorian president David Wagner said.

This year, Victoria received the largest number of awards entries of all states and territories with 228 submissions across 15 categories. Out of 228 nominations, a total of 15 named awards, 24 architecture awards and 22 commendations were presented.

The Geelong Arts Centre Stage 3 by ARM Architecture received The Marion Mahony Award for Interior Architecture, the top award in the Interior Architecture category. The project also received an architecture award in the highly competitive Public Architecture category.

“Shedding pretension with its street transparency, tight bombastic thresholds and a literal sense of entering behind the curtain, Stage 3 of the Geelong Arts Centre extends a playful, welcoming invitation to the public to engage with theatre,” reads the citation from the Interior Architecture category jury.

“A wonderful sense of contrast exists between the precision and performance requirements of the theatres, and that of the loose spacious lobbies, as if parts of the theatre have been turned inside out. All in all, a great deal of fun.”

The citation for the Public Architecture Award lauds the project for its engagement with the street.

“The theatrical concrete draping energises the street, announcing a remarkable world within. It offers a welcome that is democratic, fun, and without judgment. It invites us to come in, gather, and enjoy.”

“Inventive, ingenious, engaging, joyous: The Geelong Arts Centre is empathetic and human-focused architecture filled with collaborative voices.”

In the Education Category, ARM’s design for North Melbourne Primary School’s Molesworth St campus received a commendation.

According to the jury, “this ambitious project nimbly negotiates a complex brief and difficult triangular site, providing an innovative vertical school filled with joyous learning environments that enrich the lives of those lucky enough to interact with it.”

“The spatial arrangements are complex but deeply functional, with careful consideration of how spaces interact with each other and encourage different learning opportunities. The interiors are vibrant and playful and embrace their Indigenous narratives dynamically and engagingly, inspiring a deep appreciation for diversity and inclusion.”

View the full results here.