Innovative vision for Cabramatta wins design award

UNSW Master of Architecture graduate Felix Saw has won the prestigious NSW Design Medal for an innovative project redesigning a Vietnamese community building in Cabramatta.

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Images: Felix Saw

UNSW Master of Architecture graduate Felix Saw has won the prestigious NSW Design Medal for his innovative graduation project – a redesign of a Vietnamese community building in Cabramatta to include a community nursery with a herbarium, community kitchen, apothecary and research lab.

The Medal recognises and celebrates excellence in design for a project undertaken in the final year of the Master of Architecture degree. Felix’s project – The Stoma: Herb Bank – also received the Bangladeshi Architects in Australia Rafiq Azam Travel Bursary Scholarship which includes a trip to Bangladesh.

Professor Alec Tzannes, Dean of the Faculty of Built Environment, congratulated Felix on his success at the 2014 Australian Institute of Architects NSW Graduate and Student Awards.

“This is the second year running that a UNSW student has won the NSW Design Award and it reinforces the Faculty’s reputation for producing future leaders in the built environment professions who are highly sought after in the industry,” said Professor Tzannes.

“A distinguishing characteristic of the Faculty is our strong focus on the design of the public domain integrated with innovative architecture, and Felix’s project reflects this. I’d also like to congratulate our other UNSW Built Environment student nominees, Jin Lee and Vincent Hsu,” he said.

Felix said he was surprised and delighted to receive two awards on the night.

“I was honoured to receive both the NSW Design Medal and the Travel Bursary for my graduation project. The idea behind the project was a community nursery to encourage visitors to learn, experience and engage in the process of growing and nurturing herbs.

“The brief was to actively engage in the debates on cultural identities and explore the relationships between the dominant culture and subcultures of contemporary Australian society. I chose Cabramatta because of the vibrant intersection of Vietnamese culture and politics,” Felix said.

The Rafiq Azam Travel Bursary Scholarship includes return airfares and two weeks of accommodation in Dhaka, Bangladesh as well as work experience with renowned architect Rafiq Azam at his practice Shatotto. 

In selecting the recipient of the Scholarship, the judging panel sought to identify a project that explored some of the issues confronting Bangladesh such as urban planning, food supply and water management.

Media contact: Leilah Schubert, UNSW Media, 02 9385 5405

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