Design excellence honoured

Design excellence honoured

A closer look




View a short film that captures the City’s David Burns discussing Prince Alfred Park and Pool, which won the Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design.


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Praise for major City projects

Two of the City’s major projects have been recognised at the Australian Institute of Landscape Architecture NSW Awards.

Napier Street Closure, developed along with Oculus Landscape Architecture, won the Design in Landscape Architecture Award.

“This project demonstrates an ability to retain an existing established landscape setting while responding to the new demands of a space,” the jury said.

“The jury appreciated the design solutions used to retain the existing mature fig street trees and later plantings. These give an intimate, cool and soft setting while adapting to new more intense functions in a simple setting of strong design.”

In addition, Jubilee Park Playground, designed with Sue Barnsley Design Landscape Architecture, received the AILA NSW Medal for Landscape Architecture. 


“What a delight to see a playground that gets what kids need and want. A place to kick off your shoes and get dirt between your toes, it encompasses whimsical cubby spaces and room for fantasy and exploration. Jubilee Park Playground is a dynamic place for play and community gathering.

“The City of Sydney is to be congratulated for recognising this need and responding with an array of urban play environments across the City. Jubilee Park Playground in Glebe’s Bicentennial Park overlooking Blackwattle Bay is a most recent welcome addition,” the jury said.

These awards come hot on the heels of 2 nods the City received at the Australian Institute of Architects’ National Awards for 2014.

Prince Alfred Park in Surry Hills won the coveted Walter Burley Griffin Award for Urban Design and a National Award for Public Architecture, while Eternity Playhouse was the recipient of the  Lachlan Macquarie Award for Heritage. 


Excellence in design

Over the past 10 years, City of Sydney projects have won more than 50 national and international design awards. The City, together with renowned architects, designers and builders, is committed to delivering great facilities for all our communities. 

Prince Alfred Park Pool

The City, in partnership with Neeson Murcutt Architects, claimed the state’s oldest public architecture prize, the Sir John Sulman Medal, for converting a tired outdoor public pool into a beautiful all-year-round heated aquatic centre. 

In July it took out the prestigious Australia Award for Urban Design for its clever blend of architecture, landscape and design. It is the third City project to win an Australian Urban Design Award after Sydney Laneways in 2013 and Paddington Reservoir Gardens in 2009. The award was created in 1996 to recognise and encourage top urban design projects in cities, towns and emerging settlements. 

This pool, which was part of our major upgrade of Prince Alfred Park, and attracts thousands of people every day, has also won the Lloyd Rees Award for Urban Design, and was joint winner of the City of Sydney Lord Mayor’s Prize along with Environa Studio’s renewal of The Wayside Chapel.

Congratulations to representatives from Neeson Murcutt Architects, Sue Barnsley Design and City Design Managers Elizabeth Sandoval and Lisa Dodd, and Project Managers John O’Shea, Damon La’Rance and Andrew Chippindall.

Eternity Playhouse

The project to transform and renew an old Baptist church into an intimate 200-seat theatre was a major endeavour involving Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects and the City’s Design Managers Marcia Morley and Matthew Taylor, and Project Managers Samantha Carroll and Tom Keeler.

The City’s realisation of Eternity Playhouse earned it the Australian Institute of Architects’ Lachlan Macquarie Award for Heritage in November 2014.  

It has also won the Greenway Award for Heritage Architecture

Foley Park

The major facelift of Glebe’s Foley Park facilities, including expanded accessibility and sustainability features, earned architects Stanic Harding and City Design Manager Matthew Gribben and Project Manager Michael Woolley the Robert Woodward Award in the Small Project Architecture category.

Prestigious gong for City's design guru

The design director responsible for Sydney's rapidly improving public face has been recognised with a coveted award by the state's architecture body.

Bridget Smyth (pictured) was awarded the Marion Mahony Griffin Prize at the Australian Institute of Architects Awards NSW in June for helping drive the city’s transformation and reinforcing its sustainable future.  

Andrew Boy Charlton Pool, the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre and the City's 230 public artworks stand among the physical tributes to her success integrating public art into the City, its villages, parks, streets, plazas and buildings. 

Bridget's skill choreographing the architects, landscape architects, artists and designers to shape our city and create public spaces for rate payers and visitors alike was recognised in the prize citation.

"Bridget Smyth is a distinguished recipient of this year's Prize and is outstanding for her commitment to improving cities as places for people," the citation read.

"This is demonstrated not only through her public projects but also in her collaborative approach to facilitating countless strategies, master plans and programs focused on urban transformation."

Lord Mayor Clover Moore said, "Bridget Smyth has shown outstanding commitment to pursuing design excellence and improving the way our city looks and functions.

"I congratulate her on winning the prestigious Marion Mahony Griffin Prize and thank Bridget and her team for their tireless efforts to make Sydney a better place to live and work," the Lord Mayor said. 

A Harvard-educated design expert, Bridget has been instrumental in the promotion of public art in the urban environment since joining the City of Sydney in 2001.

"We encourage dynamic, lasting legacies in public spaces and it’s an honour to be recognised," she said.

Angel Place

Bridget Smyth

"Our long-term strategic plan, Sustainable Sydney 2030, includes a new civic boulevard for George St, 3 revitalised public squares, and public art in Chinatown, the Cultural Ribbon walk embracing cultural venues along the Sydney foreshore, the Eora Journey and the activation of our city laneways. 

"The strategy also supports major new programs and projects to bring art out of the galleries and into the public domain, into hidden nooks and crannies in the city," she said.

Before joining the City, Bridget was Urban Design Director for the Sydney Olympic Coordination Authority, commissioning and directing the design of venues and public spaces at Olympic Park.  

Previously, she completed a Master in Design Studies (Urban Design) at Harvard after tenure as a senior urban designer for an architectural firm in Boston.

There Bridget worked on the ‘Big Dig’ project to re-route a highway through the city into a tunnel beneath it and reconnect the historic city to its waterfront

The Marion Mahony Griffin Prize

The Marion Mahony Griffin Prize was established in 1998 to acknowledge a woman for a distinctive body of architectural work.    

Chicago-born Griffin graduated from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the early 20th century as one of the first women architects while Chicago sprang up around her. She was also one of the first licensed woman architects in the world.

She was married to fellow architect Walter Burley Griffin and lived and worked in Sydney while he oversaw Canberra’s construction.

Mahony Griffin’s water colour perspectives of Australia’s future capital helped secure first prize in the international competition to plan the city.

Bridget was involved in saving Melbourne’s Capitol Theatre, which was designed, somewhat ironically, by Marion Mahony Griffin and Walter Burley Griffin.

At the City, Bridget leads a team of talented architects and landscape architects developing Sydney 2030 and delivering many of the city’s key projects including new public spaces and public art at Green Square and in the city centre. 

Last updated: Monday, 10 November 2014