The NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects , which is the peak body for the architectural profession, recognised the quality of the renewal works undertaken at Sub Base Platypus with a Heritage Award (NSW) as well as the highest honour in the Urban Design Category (NSW) – the Lloyd Rees Award for Urban Design.
This marks the second time, this year, that Sub Base Platypus has received significant industry recognition. In mid-May, the National Trust, Australia’s leading conservation body, named the emerging waterfront destination the winner in the 'Adaptive Re-use’ category at the 2021 National Heritage Awards.
As with that accolade, the victory at the NSW Architecture Awards validates the Harbour Trust’s efforts to reveal, reimagine and activate important historic spaces at Sub Base Platypus and position the site as a contemporary place for community recreation and work.
The latest awards are also a testament to two of our collaborators on the Sub Base Platypus Renewal Project; namely, lahznimmo architects and landscape architects ASPECT Studios.
The jury commended lahznimmo architects for its ‘generous’ approach to opening up as much of Sub Base Platypus as possible for safe access and recreation while maximising opportunities for public access and conserving the site’s rich history.
lahznimmo and ASPECT Studios were also applauded for ‘thoughtfully referencing’ the site’s naval heritage in their design work and complementing its unique historical character with contemporary forms and materials that support wayfinding across the site.
When Sub Base Platypus was opened by the Harbour Trust in May 2018, it marked the first time the site – formerly a gasworks, torpedo factory and submarine base – had been accessible to the public in 150 years. The Harbour Trust’s work to renew and improve access to the site continues.