The University of Newcastle (UON)’s Watt Space gallery has taken out the prestigious Blacket prize, which recognises the best architectural projects in regional New South Wales.
The win was announced at the 2016 Architecture Awards in Sydney, where the Watt Space gallery also received an award in the small project architecture category and was officially shortlisted for the public architecture category.
Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) Professor Andrew Parfitt, said the win was a testament to the role Watt Space gallery would play in the revitalisation of Newcastle CBD, as well as the impact the space would have on the city’s creatives.
“Watt Space gallery is a vital space within our city, as it provides a unique opportunity for emerging artists to showcase their works in a new and innovative environment which has had a profound impact on the city centre,” he said.
“Our students and alumni are some of our greatest assets, and the University of Newcastle is proud to be able to provide a space for them to explore their ideas and embrace their creativity.“
The Blacket prize was introduced in 1964 as a way to recognise outstanding construction projects outside of Sydney. University of Newcastle buildings have received the award four times in the past:
1967 – Shortland Union Building by Anchor Mortlock, Murray & Woolley
1969 – Staff House (Isabellas) by Anchor Mortlock, Murray & Woolley
1995 – Design Faculty Building by Stutchbury & Pape
2003 – Birabahn Centre – Richard Leplastrier, Peter Stutchbury & Sue Harper
2016 – Watt Space Gallery Refurbishment – Andrew Donaldson Architecture & Design
Watt Space re-opened its doors in November 2015 on the ground floor of Northumberland House, on the corner of Auckland and King Streets in Newcastle’s CBD after undergoing refurbishment. It was previously located at University House on Auckland Street.