Gloat of many colours: Melbourne sweeps colour awards

Philip Hopkins April 02, 2012

Grand Prix winner, The Royal Children's Hospital.

Grand Prix winner, The Royal Children's Hospital.

THE Royal Children's Hospital in Melbourne has taken out the grand prix title in the 2012 Dulux colour awards for its innovative use of colour in architecture and design.

The hospital, designed by Billard Leece Partnership and Bates Smart, also won the commercial interior category. The judges said the project showed the possibilities of using colour as a key design element.

The winners and various commendations for the 26th Dulux colour awards were announced at a function in Melbourne last week. A total of 217 entries were received.

The judging panel was headed by award-winning architect and Grand Designs Australia host, Peter Maddison. Other panel members were the principal and co-founder of award-winning Auckland firm Fearon Hay; the founder of www.thedesignfiles.net, Lucy Feagins; and the colour expert at Colourways, Kim Chadwick.

The panel said the hospital's colour pattern was dynamic, complex and richly researched. The panel noted the base palette was drawn from Royal Park to define various parts of the hospital, with the colour schemes for different floor levels taken from various regions around Victoria.

A house renovation in Richmond, titled ''Shakin' Stevens'', was named the single residential interior winner, the judges commending the integration of green throughout the house, from the front door to outdoor areas and the heart of the residence, the kitchen.

The single residential exterior category was won by a children's cubby house, Open House. Designed by Nixon Tulloch Fortey Architecture, the panel said the colour wrapped from inside to out like a ''ribboned jewellery box'' showing how far design could be stretched when the shackles were removed. The use of colour evoked a sense of playfulness, they said.

Drill Hall Community Housing, designed by MGS Architects and near the Queen Victoria Market, took out the multiresidential exterior and multiresidential interior title. The judges said that on the outside, the building cleverly used colour insertions that demanded attention from passers-by. ''The vibrant colour used on the exterior continues on in the interior,'' they said.

The Venny, designed by the City of Melbourne, took the top spot in the sustainable interior category. It is a communal backyard and play space designed for five to 16-year-olds in Kensington. The judges commented on how the colour moved from the project's fabric to an integrated community artwork on the floor.

Projects to receive commendations in the commercial interior category included the Annexe - Art Gallery of Ballarat, designed by Searle x Waldron Architecture; Vue de Monde, designed by Elenberg Fraser; and Penleigh and Essendon Grammar junior boys school, designed by McBride Charles Ryan.

The RMIT University Building 22 by ARM Architecture took out a commendation in the commercial exterior category.