Barangaroo South takes a bow as Australia’s best development

Sydney’s largest urban renewal project, Barangaroo South, has been presented with the nation’s most prestigious property prize, the RLB Australian Development of the Year.

Lendlease took home the top honour at the Property Council of Australia / Rider Levett Bucknall Innovation and Excellence Awards in Sydney last Friday evening.

Property Council chief executive Ken Morrison says Barangaroo South is a “truly iconic international project” which has “recalibrated the way Australians think about precinct-scale urban renewal”.

On completion in 2023, Barangaroo South will house 23,000 office workers, 2,000 residents, a six-star hotel and 80-plus cafés, bars, restaurants and retail outlets across more than half a million square metres of space.

“Lendlease has combined iconic buildings designed by acclaimed architects with world-leading sustainability initiatives that have transformed entire supply chains and challenged large tenants to embrace green business practices,” Morrison adds.

“Barangaroo South also throws down the gauntlet to governments around Australia by showing when density is done right, it delivers.”

Barangaroo South took home a swag of awards, including WSP Award for Best Sustainable Development – New Buildings and the Liberty Steel Award for Best Mixed Use Development. Lendlease's workplace at Barangaroo was also the winner of the Eagle Lighting Australia Award for Best Workplace Project.

This year, 137 finalists competed for national recognition in 20 categories.

Mirvac's EY Centre was presented with the SAS International Award for Best Office Development. According to RLB’s Managing Director NSW, Matthew Harris, the EY Centre is a “new breed of smart buildings in Australia”.

“Mirvac’s masterpiece is instantly-recognisable for its spectacular architecture, and has activated the ground plane and surrounding laneways, creating a well-connected bustling precinct,” Harris explains.

Newport, located in Frasers Property Australia’s Hamilton Reach community, was presented with the Crown Group Award for Best Residential Development.

“Newport’s location, on an irregularly-shaped plot of land that was formerly an industrial wharf, demanded a careful and considered planning, design and construction approach,” Morrison says.

Stockland staved off competition from eight other national retail centres to win the Yardi Award for Best Shopping Centre Development for the $228 million redevelopment of Stockland Wetherill Park. International Convention Centre Sydney was presented with two plaudits – the Brain & Poulter Award for Best Tourism and Leisure Development and the Woods Bagot Award for Best Public Building. The judges were impressed not only with the scale of the project – the Exhibition Hall is one of the largest steel structures in Sydney – but also with the project team’s commitment to innovation and sustainability.

Boutique developer Mbark Pty Ltd was presented with the GHD Woodhead Award for Best Retirement Living Development for its Wivenhoe Village development on the outskirts of Sydney. Morrison says Mbark showed unwavering commitment to a new housing model for “people who have lived on acreages and larger lots and want to downsize without losing privacy and space.”

Meanwhile, Caribbean Park, owned by the Caribbean Group, took home the LJ Hooker Commercial Award for Best Business or Industrial Park for a creating “a unique setting for business,” Harris says

Quantity surveying firm Slattery took home the PwC Award for Diversity for companies with less than 250 employees.

“Diversity is integral to Slattery’s business philosophy. Sarah Slattery is the first female to lead any quantity surveying company in Australia, 41 per cent of the firm’s workforce is female and half of its growth sector leaders are women. These impressive statistics are well worth applause,” says Morrison.

Meanwhile, the Moulis Legal Award for Diversity for companies with more than 250 employees went to Cushman & Wakefield.

Morrison says the judges were impressed with Cushman & Wakefield’s “diversity culture that permeates all levels of the organisation, and that prioritises Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement, gender equity and disability inclusion”.

Rebecca Fitzgerald, a senior mechanical engineer with WSP, was awarded the du Chateau Chun Award for Future Leader of the Year. Check out our interview with Fitzgerald in this issue of Property Australia.

“Rebecca is passionate about buildings and is a role model for other aspiring female engineers wanting a challenging and rewarding career,” Harris says.

The S4B Studio Award for Best Heritage Development was taken out by the Old Clare Hotel in the Sydney suburb of Chippendale. “It’s a spectacular new space, carved out of the Clare Hotel pub and Carlton & United Breweries Administration Building, which honours its heritage while bringing new economic opportunities to the area,” Harris says.

The Equiem Award for Best Project Innovation was presented to Project REDDA, an end-to-end real estate due diligence solution that automatically detects key risks in leases.

The Tonsley Innovation District in South Australia was presented with the KONE Award for Best Development Innovation for cultivating high-value manufacturing, leading-edge research and emerging industries.

According to Morrison, the quality of this year’s entries reflects an industry committed to “driving innovation and delivering high-quality outcomes for Australians”.

“Property is our nation’s largest industry, and the Innovation & Excellence Awards honour the leaders who are shaping the future of our cities and building the communities for Australians to work, live and enjoy their lives,” Mr Morrison concludes.

RLB has partnered with the Property Council of Australia to present the Innovation & Excellence Awards program since its inception in 1982.

Check out this year’s amazing award winners.