Sydney theater, Stonehenge center among 2014 Australian Institute of Architects' National Architecture Award winners

This picture shows the exterior of the new visitors centre for the prehistoric site of Stonehenge...

This picture shows the exterior of the new visitors centre for the prehistoric site of Stonehenge (AFP PHOTO / ENGLISH HERITAGE / JAMES O. DAVIES)


, Last Updated: 1:17 PM ET

Australia has honored its best new building projects in the Australian Institute of Architects' 2014 National Architecture Awards.

Community-orientated projects were the order of the day, with winners including a housing project with an emphasis on communal spaces, a mental health facility with a welcoming domestic feel, a primary school offering a sanctuary for the culturally diverse local population and a pro bono surf club protecting an adjacent penguin habitat.

The 43 accolades were split across the 12 categories of commercial, enduring, heritage, interior, international, public, residential (additions), residential (new), residential (multiple), small project, sustainable and urban architecture. There was also a National Colorbond Award for Steel Architecture.

The biggest winner was the University of Queensland Advanced Engineering Building in Brisbane by Richard Kirk Architect Hassell Joint Venture, winning awards in the Public Architecture category as well as the coveted Sir Zelman Cowen Award, the Emil Sodersten Award for Interior Architecture and an Award for Sustainable Architecture.

Other notable winners included the Stonehenge Exhibition and Visitor Centre by Denton Corker Marshall and the Eternity Playhouse in Sydney by Tonkin Zulaikha Greer Architects (NSW).

"It is encouraging that so many projects embodied best practice with informed clients, effective procurement methods, appropriate funding models and intelligent architecture. This provides us with great optimism for the future of our public spaces - an area that has so often delivered dispiriting outcomes," said Jury Chair Paul Berkemeier.

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