This year, we reflect on 60 years since the name COX became part of the Australian architectural landscape.
In 1963, Philip Cox burst onto the architectural scene. A designer with a passion for place, his first buildings looked to the Australian farm and industrial vernacular for inspiration – with these projects often regarded as the emergence of the first genuinely Australian contemporary architecture.
In 1980, work on Yulara at Uluru began, a project that simultaneously expanded our size and enabled the formative principles of the practice to flourish in one of Australia’s most iconic environments.
These projects helped COX solidify a design ethos still followed to this day – crafting projects that are socially responsible and inspiring, that are an expression of structural exploration and elegance. Further, representing place without taking from it, and responding to the surrounding topography are key to a project’s success.
Our sixtieth year marked one of beautiful projects, revered awards, new and exciting initiatives, and collaboration. It has been a truly fantastic year – so, thank you all. To celebrate, we’ve wrapped up a few of our best moments.
Ian Smith, Managing Partner
From everyone at COX, have a safe, happy, and restful break.
COX’s Auckland Studio Opens
COX is thrilled to announce the establishment of a new design studio in Aotearoa.
Marking our seventh permanent studio, this move symbolises a sincere mission to bring our renowned approach to architecture and design to New Zealand. This studio is not an experiment – but instead a long-standing commitment to a country we deeply respect.
Read more about our exciting move in the article below:
COX Secures 34 Prestigious Awards and Commendations across Architecture, Interiors, and Planning
2023 was a great year for COX with projects from each state being celebrated across a range of design awards:
Proserpine’s Entertainment Centre was born of Cyclone Debbie, which tore through northern Queensland in March 2017. Almost exactly five years later, we celebrated alongside the Proserpine community the rebirth of the Proserpine Entertainment Centre. We weren’t the only ones to celebrate it though, with the project taking home four titles this year:
- Walter & Oliver Tunbridge Award for Building of the Year at the AIA QLD Regional Awards
- Regional Commendation in Public Architecture at the AIA QLD Regional Awards
- People’s Choice Award at the AIA QLD Regional Awards
- Award in Public Architecture at the AIA QLD State Awards
COX’s Sydney Studio sits across 5 floors of the Metcalfe Bond Stores at 70 George Street in Tallowoladah. Future proof – the studio adapts to changes in workplace culture – suiting both the way we work now and how we will work in the future.
Our home in Tallawoladah took home four titles this year:
- Interior Design Award at the Sustainability Awards
- Award of Merit within the PLACE category at the Designers Australia Awards
- Award for Interior Architecture at the AIA NSW State Awards
- Commendation at the AIDA
Government Fitout was awarded the W Hayward Morris Award for Interior Architecture at the 2023 ACT Architecture Awards. The jury cited that ‘the interiors of each level are thoughtfully influenced by and designed to represent the functional divisions of the government client where nature’s colours become the background themes for the fit-out.’
Hotel Mottanai received a Commendation for Small Project Architecture at the same awards. Also receiving a commendation was Johns XXII College ANU, in the Educational Architecture Category. Read more on all three of these projects below:
From the deserts of Winton to the coastal town of Proserpine, this year’s Queensland Architecture Awards saw four of our diverse projects take home titles in a range of categories. Further to Proserpine Entertainment Centre’s success, was regional commendations for four projects.
The Dynamic Destination Project includes the March of the Titanosaurs exhibition housing Australia’s best-preserved sauropod tracksite, the Gondwana Stars Observatory and two life-sized bronze sauropods at the exhibition entrance. The project was celebrated with a Regional Commendation in Public Architecture at the AIA QLD Regional Awards.
West End State School Expansion was awarded a Commendation for Educational Architecture, seen as an ‘ambitious expansion’ of the century-old West End Primary School. ‘Purposefully responding to the impact of inner city, high-rise living on students, [the project] blends elements of a vertical school with site planning that provides open space and amenity.’
Labrador Social Housing was awarded a Commendation for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing, where it was celebrated for its skilful demonstration of ‘density done well.’ ‘Apartments are designed intelligently for climate, and the spaces between provide moments of joy, connection to landscape, and opportunities for social interaction.’
Master Builders Housing & Construction Awards celebrate the best and brightest in Queensland’s building and construction industry. AURA Middle Ridge Toowoomba was the winner for Residential Building over 20M. Read more about it here. Great Barrier Reef Arena was the winner for the Mackay & Whitsunday Housing & Construction Award. Read more about it here.
The Design Institute of Australia (DIA) has announced the recipients receiving the Award of Merit honours for its Designers Australia Awards 2023. All within the PLACE Category, COX had three projects celebrated with an Award of Merit:
• Australian Retirement Trust Workplace
• 70 George Street, COX Sydney Studio
• The Charles Grand Brasserie & Bar (in collaboration with H&E Architects)
Amongst 230+ entrants, 86 were shortlisted, with 32 Merit awards. The awards have garnered a reputation for identifying Australia’s foremost designers and studios, shedding light on the individuals and their design processes as much as the outcome.
Wesley Place has received a prestigious Good Design Award in the Architectural Design category in recognition for outstanding design and innovation.
The Good Design Awards Jury was captivated by Wesley Place’s innovative design, calling it a masterpiece that adds incredible value to Melbourne’s heart.
Wesley Place is one of the largest urban renewal projects in Melbourne, creating a new active urban precinct to connect the rich history of the Wesley Church with next-generation frictionless workplace, curated retail and engaging public offerings.
‘Wurriki Nyal’ Civic Precinct, situated in the heart of Geelong, is making a significant impact on the future of its city and beyond.
We are proud to report that Wurriki Nyal was recently honoured at the Urban Developer Awards 2023. The project received:
Winner: Excellence in Commercial Innovation
Finalist: Excellence in Sustainability
Finalist: Development of the Year – Commercial
These recognitions underscore Wurriki Nyal’s unwavering commitment to innovation and sustainability – a project that paves the way for a brighter future for Geelong. We extend our congratulations to Quintessential Equity on these great wins. Read more >>>
‘Not another tourist café,’ Glory Days in Bondi has been recognised in this year’s Eat Drink Design Awards with a Commendation in the Best Café Design category.
An effortless blend of its beachside location, heritage setting and contemporary style, Glory Days is the ideal spot for warm afternoons. A staple venue located in the heritage Bondi Pavilion, it offers a textured and tonal ode to everyone’s favourite summer holidays.
Crafted in close collaboration with our talented client, we extend our congratulations to The Good Atelier. Read more on Glory Days here >>>
Proudly Elevating our People
This year four of our people from three studios were elevated to new positions within our leadership teams. Felipe Miranda is COX’s newest Director, with his exciting appointment announced at this year’s AGM. COX is also proud to announce the appointment of three new Associate Directors across our Adelaide and Canberra Studios, Gianni Francisco and Kate Russo (ADL) and Gerard O’Connell (CBR).