Top award for Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre
THE Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre has been judged one of the best buildings in Australia.
The centre at Edge Hill won the national commercial construction award ($5 million-$10m) at the Master Builders' National Excellence in Building and Construction Awards at Parliament House last night.
The $6.2 million building was completed by Hansen Yuncken for the Cairns Regional Council in August, 2011. The latest award recognises the project as one of the best in building and construction in Australia in the past year.
The judges said: "The building's unique design aimed to mimic the natural contours of the gardens and reflect its natural landscape.
"The unique facade required bespoke building solutions to achieve the smooth finish to the curved mirrored cladding.
"More than 100 solar panels generate electricity that exceeds the building's requirements for operations. Concrete block walls and honed concrete flooring provide a natural cooling system, while the building's design encourages natural airflow and ventilation."
Master Builders Australia chief Wilhelm Harnisch said the building deserved national recognition as one of the best in the country.
"The Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre is a striking design and impressive feat of construction," Mr Harnisch said. "It demonstrates the industry's ability to realise the client's vision, regardless of how difficult it may be.
"Equally impressive were the project management skills, quality assurance and occupational health and safety systems in place to ensure the construction went as smoothly as possible -- despite a record rainy season and delays due to a tropical cyclone."
The award is the highest accolade bestowed on the building.
Other awards include:
June, 2012: Master Builders Queensland tourism and hospitality facilities over $5 million.
June, 2012: Australian Institute of Building national professional excellence award.
May, 2012: Queensland Architecture Awards state commendation in the public architecture category.
Oct, 2011: Tracy Steinhardt of Hansen Yuncken State Women in Building Award for her work on the visitors centre and Cairns Airport.
August, 2011: Far North's Building of the Year by the Australian Institute of Architects.
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Striking structure: Cairns Botanic Gardens Visitor Centre has received a National Excellence in Building and Construction Award. Picture: STEWART McLEAN