Creating Places to Thrive Recognised at 2020 National Architecture Awards

Marrickville Library, Front Entry

BVN has won three prestigious awards at The Australian Institute of Architects’ National Architecture Awards announced on Thursday evening.

Marrickville Library by BVN has won the prestigious Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture as well as receiving the David Oppenheim Award for Sustainable Architecture.

Marrickville Library represents an evolving vision for new public buildings by creating a distinctive, contemporary and genuinely welcoming environment that has reinvigorated the historic urban setting by placing community life at its heart,
– Jury.

This significant accolade highlights the ongoing evolution of BVN’s work, and our commitment to creating architecture with an emphasis on communities, our focus on adaptation and re-use of buildings and our desire to create civic hubs, centres of community and sustainable places.

MLC Senior Learning Centre, Interior staircase with pop out glazed rooms.

MLC School Senior Centre by BVN has won the National Educational Architecture Award, reflecting BVN’s growing reputation and recognition around how we re-imagine the role of learning spaces, designing educational architecture that is adaptable for the future.

This state of-the-art building has truly raised the bar for learner-centred design in the future by creating a collaborative, democratic and interactive space for students and staff,
– Jury.

The three awards recognise BVN’s vision of minimising the impact to the environment, prioritising wellbeing, community connection and designing learning models with longevity. BVN has created places that people thrive in.


Marrickville Library, Rear Entry

Marrickville Library – David Oppenheim Award for Sustainable Architecture Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture

The transformation of the former heritage listed Marrickville hospital building, into a new library, shows the innovation and successful repurposing of space.  The development sought to maximise opportunities for urban revitalisation through the re-use of an old building into a new library. This previously abandoned hospital campus and ward block was reorganised and transformed into a new public hub, now known as Patyegarang Place. The community’s vision for the new library called for a diverse and accessible community space, demonstrating leadership in technology and sustainability, through its design, programs and services. The design creates a new civic precinct that extends beyond the traditional role of the library and is an inclusive and welcoming place for all.

Marrickville Library is uncompromising with regards to sustainability. Recycled elements, materials and design features have resulted in a 25% reduction in energy use. The adaptive reuse of the old hospital building ensures its cultural rehabilitation and represents a responsible and sustainable response to the environmental cost of new construction. The building is a true example of sustainable construction and ongoing operation, with an abundance of natural light, incorporation of natural/mixed-mode ventilation as well as the use of sustainable timber and recycled bricks. The materials selected for the design, sought to maximise reuse, as well as renewable and low embodied energy materials.

MLC Senior Learning Centre, Interior staircase with pop out glazed rooms.

MLC Senior Learning Centre– National Educational Architecture

MLC Senior Learning Centre represents a shared vision, designing flexible and progressive learning spaces that can evolve over time, whilst supporting wellness and social integration.  The new Senior Learning Centre at MLC School is part of the overall Master Plan for the MLC Burwood campus. The Senior Centre is a new four storey building, designed much like an office building – allowing for future flexibility as learning pedagogies change overtime. A new external spine to link the new building, the courtyards and the remaining buildings on the site, has enabled the topography of the campus to make sense. It draws people through the site and easily introduces the new building and external teaching spaces.

The building offers a variety of different learning spaces—enclosed teaching spaces, open collaborative learning spaces, science laboratories, amphitheatre seating, seminar rooms and quiet rooms, provide staff and students with a flexible, contemporary building. It is focused around an internal, central atrium. The ‘pop-out’ meeting and quiet rooms also project off the atrium and the stairs run through this space as well.

Contact details for project awards:

All General Enquiries
Phil Spedding, Head of Brand and Communications:

Marrickville Library
Bill Dowzer
, Principal BVN:

MLC School Senior Centre 
Phillip Rossington
, Principal BVN:

Ben Guthrie, MLC School Senior Centre
Tom Roe, Marrickville Library


BVN Communications