Slam dunk for Indigo Slam

National Architecture Awards

Congratulations to local NSW architect Smart Design Studio, who won the highest recognition of residential architecture in Australia, the Robin Boyd Award. 2016 marks the 35th year of the National Architecture awards. This year, the awards were preceded over by Abbie Galvin, principal at BVN Architecture; Jon Clements (chair), Immediate Past National President of the Australian Institute of Architects and director at Jackson Clements Burrows; Fenella Kernebone, freelance curator/producer/journalist; Stuart Vokes, director at Vokes and Peters; and Rodney Eggleston, founding director of March Studio. Of the shortlist, NSW was represented very strongly across the different categories, with 18 properties listed across 11 of the 14 categories.

Modern House was delighted to see Indigo Slam win the coveted Robin Boyd Award. This award is one of a raft of awards received by Smart Design Studio, who also received the Wilkinson for the same property this year. This sculptural Chippendale property, which challenges ideas about art and architecture, also confronts the viewer’s notions of fashion and contemporary design. The jury gave this residence, home to art patron Judith Neilson, the highest praise: “It is an exceptional and rare privilege to engage with architecture at this level.”


Another noteworthy recipient was CO-AP (Architects), who jointly won the National Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions) for the Darlinghurst Rooftop. As described by the jury, “This extraordinary work provides a perfect example of how we might renovate our cities to simultaneously increase both social density and the presence of nature, within the constraints and opportunities of existing settings and local planning instruments.” As densification increases in Sydney, access to amenity and natural spaces will be critical to maintaining and enhancing the quality of lifestyle for urban dwellers.

Five Facts:
7 – the number of architects to win both a Wilkinson Award and a Robin Boyd Award for the same property (Smart Design Studio -Indigo Slam in 2016; Durbach Block Architects – Droga Apartment in 1998; Alexander Tzannes – Snelling House in 1997; Ken Woolley – Woolley House in 1983/1987; Glenn Murcutt – House, Bingie Bingie, 1985; Glenn Murcutt – Two Houses in 1982/1981)
18 – number of NSW properties shortlisted for the National Architecture Awards
21% – percentage of NSW properties who won a National Architecture award in 2016
890 – number of entries to the National Architecture Awards 2016
15 – number of NSW properties to win a Robin Boyd Award since the awards inception in 1981


Photography from top:
Indigo Slam by Smart Design Studio. Photo: Sharrin Rees
Darlinghurst Rooftop by CO-AP. Photo: Ross Honeysett