Posted: 26 October 2017

Tonsley Innovation District has been awarded the top honour in Urban Design at the nation’s premier awards for excellence and innovation in urban design, picking up the ‘Delivered Outcome — Large Scale’ gong at the Australian Urban Design Awards in Brisbane on Wednesday night.

The awards, initiated by Paul Keating’s Urban Design Task Force, recognise contemporary Australian urban design of the highest quality and encourage best practice.

Urban Design Awards chairman, Bill Chandler praised the district declaring Tonsley Innovation District as the type of ambitious brownfield development all cities should be looking towards.

He said developments often focused too heavily on just an office, or housing, or commercial spaces, doing it all separately.

If we want to see the vision of a 20-minute city realised, Mr Chandler said it was vital for cities to increasingly look to mixed-use developments such as Tonsley.

It is important for urban developments like Tonsley having quite a lot of people able to live, work and shop in and around the same area.

The concept is key to increasing liveability, even in other interstate cities such as Melbourne and Sydney.

Modern lifestyles presently revolve around people living further and further from the CBD and commuting for longer periods of time to get to work. Mr Chandler said that in his opinion, that is not a life or a liveable city and not something that he wants to be doing.

In addition to Tonsley’s appeal as a mixed-use precinct, the jury believed the district also succeeded in striking a balance between old and new, respecting the heritage of the site, while transforming it into a new and exciting community space.

“The retention of the existing building’s raw industrial heritage combined with a range of contemporary design features and focus on achieving high levels of sustainability illustrates a strong desire to unite past, present and future,” the jury noted.

The redesign and redevelopment of the site was a joint effort led by Renewal SA on behalf of the State Government in conjunction with Woods Bagot, Oxigen, KBR, WSP and Tridente Architects.