Blueprint Awards 2018 Winners Announced!

Best Public-Use Project with Public Funding

Winner: CHROFI with McGregor Croxall, Australia
Maitland Riverlink, Maitland, Australia

CHROFI with McGregor Croxall, Australia Maitland Riverlink, Maitland, AustraliaImage Credit: Simon Wood

Judges’ Comments

‘The choice of materials and the detailing give the building a timeless touch.’ Ben van Berkel

‘A truly thoughtful public project which gives a strong civic presence; not only a sculptural gateway but a place to dwell and host.’Ole Scheeren

Envisaged as a ‘public living room’ for the community, the new Maitland Riverlink from Australian practice CHROFI reactivates an unused part of a regional town centre in rural New South Wales. The building is designed to unite Maitland’s two key assets for the first time — its High Street and the Hunter River.

In recent years, partly due to a series of devastating floods, the town turned its back on the river — locals no longer saw it as an asset, but as a threat. Working with multidisciplinary design studio McGregor Coxall, as well as Maitland City Council, CHROFI identified an opportunity to help reframe that dynamic by finding buildings which could be purchased and redeveloped to act as a pivot for the revitalisation of the town centre.

Maitland Riverlink is expressed as a ‘sculptural gateway’ that frames views to and from the river and attracts people to pass through. The timber and brick arch creates a covered space for the community, a ‘public living room’ that offers a comfortable place to sit and a mobile library.

The building also houses a cafe and restaurant as well as public amenities. All of this can be transformed into an outdoor cinema or theatre for special events. The architecture has a strong civic presence in a street full of historic buildings. Handmade clay brick was chosen as the primary building finish to complement the heritage brick and sandstone textures of the town.

Maitland Riverlink is a public project that hopes to crystallise new value for the town, both in terms of its identity and its assets, and support the community while attracting new visitors.

Highly Commended

Curl La Tourelle Head Architecture, UK
Revitalise Peckham Rye, London, UK

Commended

Feilden Clegg Bradley Studios, UK
Southbank Centre, London, UK

gad x line+ studio, China
Dongziguan Villagers’ Activity Centre, Fuyang, China

Finalists

Brady Mallalieu Architects, UK
Brickworks, London, UK

C F Møller Architects, Denmark
Maersk Tower, Copenhagen, Denmark

CZWG Architects, UK
Studio 144, Southampton, UK

Dominique Coulon & Associés, France
Salle Salvador Allende, Mons-en-Baroeul, France

Grimshaw, UK
London Bridge Station, London, UK

John Wardle Architects and NADAAA in collaboration with Oculus, global
Tanderrum Bridge, Melbourne, Australia

Titan, France
Welcome Pavilion for Maison de Georges Clemenceau, Saint-Vincentsur- Jard, France

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