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An Outstanding Year of Wins at the 2021 Architecture Awards

In what can only be described as an exciting year for COX, many of our projects – spanning disciplines, scales and sectors – took home top titles at their respective Australian Institute of Architecture awards.

These awards, albeit a fun occasion, aren’t just about a trophy or a night out. These awards signify our people’s contribution to civic life, to informed, sustainable architecture, and to the legacy of COX.

So what projects won this year? Take a look below. Winners of awards and named awards will progress to the National Architecture Awards to be announced in November.

The 2021 South Australian Architecture Awards saw two of our projects awarded four of the night’s top honours.

Her Majesty’s Theatre was a standout, taking home the David Saunders Award for Heritage Architecture, The Jack McConnel Award for Public Architecture, and much to the delight of all involved – the City of Adelaide Prize. Her Maj’s City of Adelaide Prize win marks the third for our Adelaide studio, its predecessors being Karen Rolton Oval and the Adelaide Oval Redevelopment project.

Wilderness School Learning Commons was also recognised for its ‘innovative, creative and collaborative’ addition to the prominent school, being awarded the Dr John Mayfield Award for Educational Architecture.

Her Majesty’s Theatre

City of Adelaide Prize
Jack McConnell Award – Public Architecture
David Saunders Award – Heritage Architecture


Wilderness School 

Dr John Mayfield Award – Educational Architecture

After an array of exciting wins during the regional chapters, last night’s Queensland Architecture Awards saw our Brisbane studio take home more top titles.

Five projects across four categories – diverse in both form and location.

Cairns Performing Arts Centre, completed in collaboration with CA Architects, received the FDG Stanley Award for Public Architecture. In the educational architecture category, Brisbane’s first vertical school, Fortitude Valley State Secondary College received the Jennifer Taylor Award. Taking our named award count to three was James Cook University Central Plaza – awarded the Hayes and Scott Award for Small Project Architecture.

Furthering our success in the Public Architecture category, the Waltzing Matilda Centre received an award and Queensland Country Bank Stadium received a commendation. Transurban Workplace took home the award for Interior Architecture.

Queensland Country Bank Stadium 

Commendation – Public Architecture, 2021 QLD Architecture Awards
​​​​​​​Commendation – Public Architecture, AIA North Queensland Regional

Waltzing Matilda Centre 

Award – Public Architecture, 2021 QLD Architecture Awards
J.W. Wilson Award – Building of the Year, AIA Central QLD Regional​​​​​​​
Commendation – Public Architecture, AIA Central QLD Regional

Cairns Performing Arts Centre

Queensland Architecture Medallion – 2021 QLD Architecture Awards
​​​​​​​FDG Stanley Award – Public Architecture, 2021 QLD Architecture Awards
Eddie Oribin Award – Building of the Year, AIA Far North Regional

Fortitude Valley State Secondary College

Jennifer Taylor Award – Educational Architecture, 2021 QLD Architecture Awards
​​​​​​​Commendation – Educational Architecture, AIA Brisbane Regional

Transurban Workplace

Award – Interior Architecture, 2021 QLD Architecture Awards
Commendation Interior Architecture, AIA Brisbane Regional

JCU Central Plaza

Hayes and Scott Award – Small Project Architecture, 2021 QLD Architecture Awards
​​​​​​​Walter and Oliver Tunbridge Award – Building of the Year, AIA North QLD Regional
Commendation – Small Project Architecture, AIA Central QLD Regional
Art & Architecture Prize, 2021 QLD Architecture Awards

The 2021 ACT Architecture Awards reiterated Canberra’s reputation as an architectural powerhouse.

COX’s Burgmann Anglican Early Learning Centre won both the W. Hayward Morris Award for Interior Architecture and received a commendation in the Educational Architecture category. Furthering our success in the Interior Architecture category, the University of Canberra Our Space 5C fit-out received a commendation. In the Public Architecture category, Stromlo Leisure Centre received a commendation. In the Urban Design category, Kingsborough Village received a commendation for what the Jury described as “A fine layering of scaled landscape and built elements humanise the space while the variety in viewpoints makes for excellent ‘people watching’.”

Burgmann Anglican Early Learning Centre

W. Hayward Morris Award – Interior Architecture
Commendation – Educational Architecture

University of Canberra – Our Space 5C Fitout

Commendation – Interior Architecture

Stromlo Leisure Centre

Commendation – Public Architecture

Carrum Station and Foreshore Precinct 

The Victorian Architecture Awards saw COX’s Carrum Station and Foreshore Precinct awarded two prestigious titles.

Taking home The Joseph Reed Award for Urban Design and the award for Public Architecture, the Jury described the project as “an extraordinary offer of civic generosity, elevating the commuter experience through the gift of a panoramic Port Phillip Bay view”.

The 2021 WA Architecture Awards ‘demonstrated how architecture helps build communities and foster our sense of place within the built environment.’

COX’s Parmelia Hilton Refurbishment took home the award for Interior Architecture, with the Jury citing that the refit ‘turned what was a claustrophobic and disconnected reception area into a delightful and sophisticated space.’

Parmelia Hilton

Award – Interior Archtecture


Project Discover claimed multiple titles at the NSW Architecture Awards, including the top honour – the NSW Architecture Medallion.

A project that revealed a ‘new way to experience Australia’s first museum,’ Project Discover also took home the John Verge Award for Interior Architecture and the Greenway Award for Heritage Architecture.

Designed in collaboration with Neeson Murcutt and Neille, ‘it prioritises changes that will sustain the Museum into the long-term. It reveals and celebrates the Museum’s rich historic layering; creates legibility of movement – vertical and horizontal; enables universal public access throughout; and enhances the Museum’s engagement with William Street.’

In the Urban Design category, COX’s Putney Hill Master Plan and Residential Development received a commendation.


Project Discover

NSW Architecture Medallion
John Verge Award – Interior Architecture
Greenway Award – Heritage Architecture

Putney Hill Masterplan 

Commendation – Urban Design

The International Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects Awards were held last night, with the Sir John Monash Centre (SJMC) leaving the night as the most highly awarded project.

SJMC is a war museum and interpretive centre in France that seamlessly integrates into the existing Australian National Memorial. Won through an international design competition, the centre is only small – but tells an important story about the ANZAC experience on the Western Front.

Designed by COX with Williams, Abrahams and Lampros, the project was awarded the International Chapter Named Award for Heritage and a Chapter Award for Public Architecture. Set on the grounds of the Villers-Bretonneux Military Cemetery, the centre is the hub of the Australian Remembrance Trail, which links sites of significant Australian battles during World War I.

Sir John Monash Centre 

International Chapter Named Award – Heritage Architecture
​​​​​​​Award – Public Architecture

Australian Museum Project Discover


Putney Hill


Fortitude Valley State Secondary College


Transurban Workplace | Interiors


Queensland Country Bank Stadium


Waltzing Matilda Centre


Her Majesty’s Theatre Redevelopment

Adelaide, South Australia

Wilderness School


Cairns Performing Arts Centre


Sir John Monash Centre

Villers Bretonneux, France