Kensington Colleges win national architecture gong

Lauded as an “exemplar student housing project”, UNSW's Kensington Colleges have been recognised with a 2014 National Architecture Award. 

Kensington colleges peterbennetts 1

Kensington Colleges (Photo credit: Peter Bennetts)

Lauded as an “exemplar student housing project”, UNSW’s Kensington Colleges have taken honours in the 2014 National Architecture Awards. 

The Colleges, which were designed by architects Bates Smart, won the National Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing at an Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) ceremony in Darwin last night.

It comes four months after the project won the same category at the AIA NSW state finals. 

The national jury citation called the Kensington Colleges “a striking collection of buildings” and complimented the intelligent design that met the social, privacy and support needs of the almost 1000 students that call them home.

Shared balcony spaces, vast open-plan communal kitchens, tutorial and communal spaces on each floor and “thoughtful consideration … where particular colleges require additional privacy and separation for students” are considered particular highlights of the architectural design.

“An exemplar student housing project, UNSW Kensington Colleges demonstrates how the combination of a strong, singular design idea and restrained material palette can lead to a rich architectural outcome,” the citation said.

Kensington Colleges, which include the historic Basser, Phillip Baxter and Goldstein colleges, have undergone a two-year, $110 million redevelopment as part of a major expansion of student accommodation at UNSW.

UNSW now offers close to 4,500 on-campus beds, more than any other university in NSW.

Media contact: Denise Knight, UNSW Media Office, 02 9385 3249