SOUTHEAST ASIA BUILDING12 Nov 2021
Prestigious 2021 Good Design Award for Sustainability goes to Aboriginal Health Hub in Newman, WA
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Sydney, Australia – Sydney-based Kaunitz Yeung Architecture has received two prestigious 2021 Good Design Awards, including the top Award for Sustainability for their design of the Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Services Healthcare Hub in Newman, Western Australia.

The Good Design Award for Sustainability is awarded to an entry that represents the highest level of excellence in sustainable design practice. The Award is limited to only one recipient that, in the judge’s opinion, will have a positive impact in promoting excellence in sustainable design.

Andrea Elhers, a member of the Good Design judging panel, said; “The judges drew from the entire field of ‘Good Design’ award entries for the design for ‘sustainability award,’ and we were looking for design initiatives that create substantial change in environmental, economic, and social outcomes.

“The judges’ panel selected the Puntukurnu AMS Healthcare Hub (PAMS) in Newman, Western Australia, as the ‘design for sustainability award’ for social sustainability. “This project shows outstanding leadership in the co-design process which was manifested into the built environment, and its users have applauded that process. The judges were impressed that through this inclusive, respectful design and approach, the community has genuine ownership of the centre. It’s also brought health, well-being, and social cohesion outcomes. “On behalf of the jury, congratulations to Kaunitz Yeung Architecture and the community who committed to designing an exceptional social and culturally sustainable outcome.”

The project was also recognised with a ‘Best in Class’ accolade at the awards, which are one of the longest-running international design awards, promoting excellence in design and innovation since 1958. The Good Design Award for ‘Best in Class’ is limited to the top 30 projects in the Good Design Awards and represents the highest level of design excellence in Architectural Design and absolute best in class design.

David Kaunitz, Director at Kaunitz Yeung Architecture, said, “We are thrilled that the Newman Health Clinic has been recognised with two accolades including the best in Sustainability at the 2021 Good Design Awards. This recognition highlights that high quality, award-winning architecture is not a matter of cost, but commitment and true collaboration with the people for whom the buildings are being designed and built for. This project combines best practice / culturally appropriate clinical care that is connected to people, country and culture. The rammed earth was made exclusively with earth from the site. The art screens were made from the art of seven artists, selected by the communities and representing all the communities serviced by the building. The endemic native landscaping shades the central courtyard and provides a new un-fenced public park. The 150kW rooftop photovoltaic system delivers the largest solar power rooftop in the area and is a standout feature providing close to 100 percent solar energy and saving PAMS thousands in operating costs. This project is the culmination of all we have learnt from working with Martu communities for the last four years and the communities of the Western Australian Desert for the last decade. Their generosity and wisdom have taught us so much. The project shows what is possible with true collaboration with Aboriginal people and we thank them wholeheartedly.”

The PAMS Healthcare Hub is the first primary healthcare facility to be constructed in Newman and serves the 10,000 strong population of primarily Indigenous Australians and surrounding remote communities. The site’s design was facilitated in close consultation with the local community, ensuring that architectural elements are appropriate to culture and country. Indeed, the hub features rammed earth from the site itself.

The clinic, which was commissioned by the Puntukurnu Aboriginal Medical Services (PAMS) and located 12,000 kilometres north of Perth in the remote town of Newman, has been well received in the community with over 15,000 patient visits since opening at the end of July 2020.

Robby Chibawe, CEO of PAMS, said, “The respectful and collaborative approach by Kaunitz Yeung Architecture with the Martu Elders and communities has created a deep sense of ownership and pride in this health centre amongst the local community.”

Kaunitz Yeung Architecture has built a strong reputation in collaborating with communities, stakeholders and end-users to produce internationally recognized architecture within modest budgets that places people at the centre of buildings. They have a significant body of award-winning architecture and have worked in more than 30 Aboriginal & Torres Strait Island communities, 200 Pacific Island communities as well as in Asia.