July 12, 2023
By Peter Tulla

A multibillion-dollar mixed-use development, an innovative office project and the merging of two inner-city office towers into one workplace are amount the winners of the Property Council’s 2023 Rider Levett Bucknall State/Territory Development of the Year awards.

The awards are the prestigious runway to the Property Council’s National Innovation & Excellence Awards, which will be unveiled at a gala in Sydney later this year. Each state and territory winner are now eligible to take out the night’s biggest prize, the Australian Development of the Year.

The awards program, which is now in its 41st year in partnership with Rider Levett Bucknall (RLB), highlights ground-breaking innovations and exceptional leadership in Australia’s property industry.

The NSW Development of the Year was awarded to the transformational Brookfield Place Sydney which combined heritage preservation while delivering a modern transport hub, the cantilevered 405 Bourke Street won in Victoria, and the BHP Adelaide workplace was named South Australia’s Development of the Year for its family-friendly and accessibility focus. In Queensland, the revitalisation of two older buildings into the new Midtown Centre was named the state’s best, the bustling civic heart of Fremantle, the new Walyalup Koort, received the honors in Western Australia, and the bold The Tasman Hotel won in Tasmania. The community-focused Thorsby Residential Community and the meticulously restored RAAF Darwin Banksian House won awards in ACT and the Northern Territory, respectively.

Property Council of Australia Chief Executive Mike Zorbas said the awards acknowledge the finest accomplishments in the sector that supports more Australian jobs than any other industry.

“The Innovation & Excellence awards celebrate the pinnacle of property achievement. They showcase the positive impact that Australia’s most innovative projects will have on the future of our cities,” Mr Zorbas said.

“Our winners have created incredible places for people to enjoy and to thrive in.  I congratulate them for their extraordinary role modelling and their dedication to the communities they serve,” he said.

RLB Oceania Chairman Peter Tulla said 2023 was another great cohort of entrants.

“The property sector’s beautiful designs, innovative techniques and enduring sustainability results are on full display in this year’s winners,” Mr Tulla said.

“Every winning project serves as a testament to the lasting impact property development has on our cities and communities in creating places of real and enduring value.

“RLB is proud to have provided cost management and quantity surveying services towards Brookfield Place Sydney and the BHP Adelaide workplace at 10 Franklin Street. Congratulations to the project teams involved in these transformative projects,” he said.

In collaboration with RLB since 1982, the prestigious awards have promoted excellence in design and innovation in the built environment. From 112 eligible finalists, the winners were selected by a high calibre judging panel made up of 11 property specialists and chaired by Adrian Harrington.

2023 RLB State Development of the Year winners

Australian Capital Territory: Throsby Residential Community – Suburban Land Agency

Quintessentially Canberran, Throsby is a residential subdivision in Gungahlin, developed by the ACT Government’s Suburban Land Agency and is home to 2,500 people. Spanning approximately 106 ha, it features 1,100 dwellings, community facilities, and high-quality open spaces. The innovative planning created several natural view and habitat corridors to facilitate the Superb Parrot migration through the suburb.

New South Wales: Brookfield Place Sydney – Brookfield Properties

Brookfield Place Sydney is a transformational mixed-use development combining heritage preservation with a rejuvenated transport hub and delivering next-generation commercial and retail space by amalgamating five individual properties. An innovative solution to a challenging transport amalgam, it was the first real estate Unsolicited Proposal approved by NSW Government and sets a new benchmark for transport-oriented developments.

Northern Territory: RAAF Darwin Banksian House Refurbishment – Aurecon

Banksian House is the Commander’s residence at Royal Australian Air Force Base Darwin, designed by acclaimed architect Beni Burnett and built in 1941. Extensive restoration work was undertaken and completed in 13 months, bringing the building up to modern standards while preserving original building fabrics for future generations to enjoy and providing functional VIP spaces to RAAF users.

Queensland: Midtown Centre – AsheMorgan & DMC Projects

Midtown Centre sets a new benchmark in commercial development across architecture, sustainability, innovative design, and construction through merging of two adjoining buildings nearing the end of their economic lives in the Brisbane CBD. An exemplar project of how to repurpose existing underutilised assets into an innovative, relevant and contemporary workplace.

South Australia: BHP Adelaide Workplace – BHP

By creating a workplace that promotes inclusivity with family friendly spaces for working parents to host children onsite, gender-neutral bathrooms and an accessible and wheelchair friendly environment, BHP created a base where people want to work and one that feels uniquely South Australian.

Tasmania: The Tasman Hotel, Parliament Square Hobart – Citta Property Group

The Tasman Hotel links heritage buildings of various eras with bold contemporary additions creating a contrasting yet harmonious ensemble of structures embracing Parliament Square, Hobart. The undertaking necessitated a meticulous overhaul of deteriorated heritage structures, focusing on intricate attention to detail. In its opening year, Marriott’s first Luxury Collection branded hotel in Australia has garnered extensive hospitality industry accolades locally and internationally.

Victoria: 405 Bourke Street – Brookfield Properties

The award-winning 405 Bourke Street comprises a 32-level, 66,000 sqm vertical commercial campus and retail laneway connecting Bourke and Little Collins Streets. Utilising a cantilevered truss system -inventively deployed over an existing residential building- to unlock expansive, campus-style floorplates from a 700sqm land parcel, 405 Bourke Street redefines Melbourne’s city skyline while exemplifying cutting-edge workplace design.

Western Australia: Walyalup Koort – Sirona Urban

Designed as the bustling civic heart of Fremantle, Walyalup Koort marked the revitalisation of the once declining City Centre. With a focus on providing considered public amenity within Walyalup Civic Centre and an engaging retail experience in FOMO, the project saw considerable support by the community and emerged a success.

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