Fish River Ranger Accommodation project receives dual architecture awards
The Design Construct program at the University of South Australia was recognised at the Australian Institute of Architects Northern Territory Architecture Awards in Alice Springs on Saturday night.
The Fish River Ranger Accommodation project, coordinated by Joti Weijers-Coghlan and David Morris in conjunction with Art, Architecture and Design staff and students, took out the Yali-McNamara Award for Small Project Architecture and the Indigenous Community Architecture Award.
The Design Construct program at the University of South Australia was initiated in 1993 to complement theoretical architectural education with hands-on construction projects. As the program became more established, many projects became the focus of core architectural design studios providing students with the opportunity to participate in the development of schematic designs, detailed documentation drawings, prefabrication, and on-site construction.
In 1999, the program expanded its scope and undertook its first Indigenous project in the Gibson Desert of Western Australia. This project, and subsequent Indigenous and remote projects, resulted in specialisations in cross-cultural consultation and design strategies for extreme arid, alpine, and tropical climates.
Building on a history of Indigenous housing in remote locations, the Indigenous Land Corporation invited the Design Construct program to propose upgrades to the Fish River Ranger Accommodation. The project aimed to improve the living conditions of the rangers by retrofitting existing structures to address the extreme climatic conditions of the Northern Territory.
Head of the School of Art, Architecture and Design, Associate Professor Jane Lawrence, congratulated the team on their success, noting "it's particularly poignant to have attained the Indigenous Community Architecture Award during National Reconciliation Week and a testament to the meaningful engagement and impact that this research produces."
The Fish River project will be entered into the Australian Institute of Architects' National Awards to be held later this year as a result of its success in the Northern Territory Awards.