Think Brick Australia represents Australia’s clay brick and paver manufacturers, an industry which is worth $2.8 billion and employs over 30,000 people. The Think Brick Awards, Australia’s richest design awards, encourage architects, designers and builders to rethink brick, block, pavers and roof tiles as contemporary and sustainable design materials and celebrates design excellence in their use by Australia’s best architects and designers.
The 2023 jury comprised of renowned architects and experts, including:
Mark Trotter - Director of Fulton Trotter Architects
An Adjunct Professor at Queensland University of Technology who has held numerous leadership positions with the Association for Learning Environments. Previously, Mark was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to research the design of schools for disengaged youth. Fulton Trotter was the winner of the Robin Dods Roof Tile Excellence Award in 2022.
Andrew Benn - Founding Owner & Director, Benn + Penna
Andrew is a NSW registered architect who graduated from the University of New South Wales in 2001 with first class honours. Andrew regularly features as an expert architect and columnist in InsideOUT magazine. Benn + Penna were awarded the Horbury Hunt Residential Award in 2020 for their project, Henley Clays.
Chris Major - Founding Partner, Welsh + Major Architects, established in 2004.
She is an active member of the Australian Institute of Architects and supports architectural education through teaching at the University of Newcastle, regular lecturing at The University of Sydney, and participation in design panels and juries. Welsh + Major’s Seagrass House received a High Commendation in the Horbury Hunt Residential category in 2022.
Claire Martin - Registered Landscape Architect and Associate Director of OCULUS
She is a Fellow and Immediate Past President of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architects, and Chair of the International Federation of Landscape Architects (Asia-Pacific Region) Climate Change Working Group. Claire collaborated with Searle x Waldron on the Joyce Chapel Bridge project, winning the Bruce Mackenzie Landscape Award in 2022.
Elizabeth McIntyre – former CEO, Think Brick Australia
Elizabeth transformed the Think Brick Awards into Australia’s richest architectural design competition. Launching the popular Think Brick, Concrete Conversations and TechTalk podcasts are among Elizabeth’s notable achievements. Elizabeth now heads up the Outdoor Media Association as CEO.
Announced at a prestigious Gala Lunch event at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney on Friday 15 September 2023, 134 exemplary projects from across Australia have been recognised in the 2023 Think Brick Awards. The 6 main award categories were:
· Horbury Hunt Commercial Award: includes built projects that exemplify outstanding craftsmanship and innovation using clay face bricks and pavers, with a cash prize of $10,000.
· Horbury Hunt Residential Award: includes residential built projects that exemplify outstanding craftsmanship and innovation using clay face bricks and pavers, with a cash prize of $10,000.
· Kevin Borland Masonry Award: recognises projects that highlight the design potential of concrete masonry in commercial and residential built architecture, with a cash prize of $5,000.
· Robin Dods Roof Tile Excellence Award: showcases the sustainability benefits, versatility and design possibilities of terracotta roof tiles, with a cash prize of $5,000.
· Bruce Mackenzie Landscape Award: highlights the unlimited possibilities of clay brick/pavers and concrete pavers to enhance the quality of the built environment or public domain, with a cash prize of $5,000.
· New Entrants Award: for those architects who have never entered the Awards before, with a cash prize of $5,000.
HORBURY HUNT COMMERCIAL AWARD
The Horbury Hunt Commercial Award was initiated by the Horbury Hunt Club and by request from architects and designers. The award’s purpose is to honour innovation and craftsmanship in brickwork and to recognise the contribution of architects, builders, bricklayers and manufacturers in that process.
Horbury Hunt Commercial Award
Winner: Huntington – SJB
Product: Austal Bricks - San Selmo Smoked - Grey Cashmere & Cloudy Silver
Honeysuckle Drive is part of the Newcastle Honeysuckle Precinct urban renewal corridor, integrated foreshore precinct with a finer urban grain. Poised to play a key role in enlivening the precinct is Huntington at 35 Honeysuckle, a new mixed-use residential development with an active retail node. Responding to the site’s location at the future intersection with Steel Street, two southern buildings showcase a warm blend of masonry that incorporates cloudy silver and smoky cashmere tones. This material palette creates a texture and sense of presence that speaks to the brick buildings of Hunter Street.
The Jury commented: “Reminiscent of iconic Louise Kahn projects, Huntington showcases brickwork in its monolithic form, which is not an easy thing to do in architecture. The bold, singular use of brick has given the building a fabric-like quality and addressed the project’s scale and prominent location with an exceptional interplay of restraint and materiality. Its clever articulation and attention to detail is sure to encourage people to be committed to using brickwork and doing it well”.
Horbury Hunt Commercial High Commendations:
· St Margaret’s Sports Precinct – Blight Rayner Architects – Austral Bricks
· The Crossing – CHROFI Architects – Bowral Bricks
· Whitton Lane – DJRD | Jackson Clements Burrows Architects | Austral Bricks
· The Rox – Core Collective Architects - Austal Bricks
HORBURY HUNT RESIDENTIAL AWARD
The Horbury Hunt Residential Award was initiated by the Horbury Hunt Club and by request from architects and designers. The award’s purpose is to honour innovation and craftsmanship in brickwork and to recognise the contribution of architects, builders, bricklayers and manufacturers in that process.
Horbury Hunt Residential Award
Winner: Waterloo Street – SJB
Product: Krause Bricks | Recycled Brick
This is a little house freed of the small house typology. With a footprint of 30 square metres and a façade of recycled and broken brick, the property playfully engages with the street through the arrangement and geometry of openings. Punched and cut into the brickwork, the windows camouflage the interiors so that the immediacy of the street does not dilute the intimacy of the living areas.
The Jury commented: “With a footprint of just 30m2, Waterloo Street is like a little brick jewellery box in the neighbourhood that adds real joy and interest to the street. The creative brickwork ideas on display are both familiar and strange, yet beautifully cohesive. This home, with its geometric openings and façade of recycled and broken bricks, playfully shows how it is possible for private buildings to make positive contributions to public spaces by eliciting a sense of delight in passers-by.”
Horbury Hunt Residential High Commendations:
· Shakespeare Grove – B.E. Architecture – Other
· Mary Street House – Edition Office – Krause Bricks
· Gathering House – Inarc Architects – Krause Bricks
· Coleman Bajrovic Residence – Klopper & Davis Architects – Austral Bricks | Bowral Bricks
KEVIN BORLAND MASONRY AWARD
The Kevin Borland Masonry Award recognises projects that highlight the design potential of concrete masonry in commercial or residential built architecture. Kevin Borland (1926-2000) was an innovative architect, a generous patron of younger architects and an inspiring and much-loved design studio teacher. After beginning his architectural studies at the University of Melbourne in 1944, Borland deferred to serve in the West Pacific in World War II. On returning, he completed his studies and graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture in 1950.
Kevin Borland Masonry Award
Winner: UOQ Cricket Club Shed – Lineburg Wang | Steve Hunt Architecture
Product: National Masonry - Standard Grey Block
The University of Queensland Cricket Club Maintenance Shed champions uncommon approaches to common building materials. It is a celebration of cost efficiencies in an exploration of the standard grey block – an outcome driven by construction pricing and material supply constraints in 2020-21. Located at the street’s edge of the University of Queensland campus, the project not only presents as an identifiable utility shed for tractors, but rather as a landscape wall in a field.
The Jury commented: “UOQ Cricket Club Shed takes the use of blocks somewhere new. Installing blocks as a screen is an incredibly inventive way of putting a building together. Super creative masonry has been used structurally and functionally, as well as expressively. The way the shed rises out of the landscape is fantastic. This relatively small project is quite provocative and very singular in its vision.”
Kevin Borland Masonry High Commendations
· Sunday – Architecture Architecture – Austral Masonry | GB Masonry
· Garden Tower House – Studio Bright
· Deepwater House – AHA Architecture – Midland Brick
· Weather House – Mihaly Slocombe – Adbri Masonry
ROBIN DODS ROOF TILE EXCELLENCE AWARD
This new award category was introduced in 2016, named after renowned architect Robin S. Dods (1868–1920). Robin Dods believed in sustainable design to suit the climate, especially in roofing. His distinctive style of gablet roofs for domestic dwellings, which combined passive solar design while allowing for ventilation and insulation, became prevalent throughout Queensland in the early 1900s.
Robin Dods Roof Tile Excellence Award
Winner: Bondi Pavilion Conservation and Restoration Project – Tonkin Zulaikha Greer
Product: Bristile Roofing - Terracotta Roof Tiles - Curvado Roja, Honey, Conac, Carmine, Azul, Cobalt Azul, White, Bottle Green & Olive Green.
The Bondi Pavilion is a multi-purpose community hub as well as a world-famous heritage landmark. Its tired, shabby spaces have been conserved and functionally upgraded, with structural failures rectified and new, colonnaded courtyards opened to the public. The most visible transformations are the removal of a glass addition to the main façade and the reconstruction of the original multi-coloured cordova-tiled roof in place of the 1960s grey concrete incarnation. Returning to the Bondi Pavilion’s design roots has lifted the building’s image, restored its symmetrical, colonnaded elevation and given it a vibrant, new functionality.
The Jury commented: “Multi-coloured roof tiles are the hero in this historic restoration of the iconic Bondi Pavilion. The new roofing materials have been expertly applied to re-interpret the building’s heritage and celebrate Australia’s beach culture. Painstakingly reconstructing the Pavilion’s original, ocean-hued roof elevates it to something textural and reinvigorates the whole building. Its tiles will be there in a hundred years from now, other products won’t be. After an unsympathetic renovation in the 1960s, people no longer noticed the roof, now it’s “the thing”.”
Robin Dods Roof Tile Excellence High Commendations
· Avondale – Aeta Studio – Bristile Roofing
· Viridi – Plus Architecture | TLG Roofing
· St. Patrick’s College Ballarat Residence – Ballarat Bricks & Roofing
· Clay Hip and Valley – APT Roofing – Lutum Roofing
BRUCE MACKENZIE LANDSCAPE AWARD
The Bruce Mackenzie Landscape Award rewards innovation and craftsmanship in the use of clay and concrete masonry in landscape and urban design projects. The award is named to honour renowned Australian landscape architect Bruce Mackenzie.
Bruce Mackenzie Landscape Award
Winner: Allianz Stadium – ASPECT Studios | Cox Architecture
Product: Austral Masonry - Techpave 80 - Custom
The Allianz Stadium project involved the design of the public domain of the new Sydney football stadium, which complements and improves the rich fabric of public spaces found in the Moore Park and Paddington precincts. The design was done by ASPECT Studios Architects. The stadium precinct is embedded in its surrounding context, stitching together the surrounding neighbourhoods to ground the stadium in place physically, culturally, and historically.
The Jury commented: “It’s hard to make a large area feel intimate and activated, yet the brick patterning brings the scale of this project down to a human level and helps to animate the stadium. The patterns in the bricks and pavers create an ‘urban carpet’ that’s visually appealing from all directions. This urban carpet serves to connect the neighbourhood and facilitate pleasant journeys. There’s a real strength in the design idea and execution of the work that showcases the value of making long-lasting investments in public spaces.”
Bruce Mackenzie Landscape High Commendations:
· Wren House – Wolveridge Architects | Bethany Williamson Architecture - Adbri Masonry
· Melbourne Connect – ASPECT Studios | Woods Bagot | Hayball – Nubrik
· Burwood Brickworks Playspace – MDG Landscape Architects – Recycled Brick
· Long Reef Surf Club Public Domain – TYRELL STUDIO – National Masonry
NEW ENTRANT AWARD
In 2018, Think Brick Awards expanded with the addition of a New Entrant Award category that encourages architectural forms to enter and be judged in a separate category if they have not entered before. This category is a great endorsement of the growing momentum of the Think Brick Awards.
New Entrant Award
Winner: The Rox – Core Collective Architects
Product: Austral Bricks - Yarra - Fitzroy & Parkville; Access - Ash; La Paloma - Gaudi
The Rox Apartments makes a positive contribution to Hobart’s urban realm whilst respectfully restoring and reinvigorating the surrounding heritage buildings. The development comprises a new apartment building with 13 apartments and a ground floor commercial space (Lexus Showroom and Omotenashi Restaurant), plus the careful restoration of Scotch College (c. 1880) at the rear of Roxburgh House to accommodate two new apartments. The design team drew on nearby buildings to inform the architectural expression of The Rox Apartments, including curved corners in reference to the many white brick Art Deco corner buildings in the area.
The Jury commented: “The Rox makes a sophisticated statement about brick. It’s simple, elegant and fits snugly in its urban context. Brickwork has been used to great effect in this cleverly conceived design solution that frames the street. The scale, colour and masonry materials are respectful of the surrounds and humanizing. The sense of invitation engendered in the construction is reinforced by the carefully considered brick selections.”
New Entrant High Commendations
· Residence 264 – Enzo Caroscio Architects – Bowral Bricks
· St Margaret’s Sports Precinct – Blight Rayner Architects – Austral Bricks
· Millard Place Terraces Glebe – WMK Architecture – Bowral Bricks
· Thyne House – Xsquared Architects in association with Robert Carroll and Associates – Daniel Robertson
For more information, high-res images and interviews, contact:
Think Brick Australia
Concrete Masonry Association of Australia
Australian Roofing Tile Association
02 8035 8615