On 3 November the winners of the Martumili Architectural Competition were announced by Associate Professor Patric de Villiers at a showcase event at the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts (ALVA).
The limited design competition for an innovative Arts and Gallery Facility for Martumili Artists in Newman, WA was held by the Martumili Creative Indigenous Partnership, BHP Billiton, the WA Government, the Shire of East Pilbara and ALVA.
Teams of ALVA academics, current students or recent graduates and related professionals were encouraged to enter the Competition.
The five-strong jury comprised representatives from the Martumili Artists group, the Government Architects Office, UWA and a private architectural practice.
A checklist of criteria based on the Competition brief was provided to the jury to assist their deliberations.
The critical criteria were:
- a welcoming address to the street
- the working conditions provided for the artists
- response to place
The winner of the first prize of $10,000 was awarded to a team led by Jennie Officer with fellow members Trent Woods and recent ALVA graduates Jack Choi and Alex Farrington. According to the jury, "their ‘shed' provided a dramatic and distinctive identity for the facility. While the approach was direct, robust and honest it carried considerable conceptual sophistication and not a little carefully calculated whimsy.
In spite of its lack of pretention it provided a welcoming entry and logical address for the facility. The jury was particularly impressed by the sophisticated approach to the flexibility of use in a structure that was likely to encourage, rather than constrain, creative thinking. The user experience was well considered and the planning of the Gallery masterful."
Second prize ($5000) went to ALVA sessional staff member Ben Braham's team and the entry from Nic Brunsdon's group received a Commendation from the jury.
Gabrielle Sullivan, manager of the Martumili Artists said she was "really encouraged by the high quality of the submissions and the range of very different approaches taken by the competitors to the brief".
All the entries are shortly to be on public display in Newman and architect Trent Woods from the winning team will fly there to meet with the Martumili Artists and various local government representatives.
Simon Anderson, Dean of the Faculty, said "I'm delighted by the collaboration between the Martumili Creative Indigenous Partnership, BHP Billiton, the WA Government and our Faculty in producing innovative, climatically-responsive and culturally sensitive designs for this important cultural endeavour in the Pilbara".
It is anticipated that a public exhibition of the entries will be held in the Cullity Gallery in February or March next year.