Architecture accolade for University of Sydney

23 May 2011

The winning Youth Mental Health Building at the Brain and Mind Research Institute.
The winning Youth Mental Health Building at the Brain and Mind Research Institute.

A University of Sydney building is the only Australian building to be honoured in this year's prestigious Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) International Awards.

The award went to the Youth Mental Health Building at the Brain and Mind Research Institute (BMRI) in Camperdown, Sydney, by BVN Architecture.

Announced in London last week, the winners include some of the world's leading architects, including Zaha Hadid.

James Grose, BVN National Director said: "This building was designed to take into account many diverse requirements and constraints. It had to provide a human scaled and tactile environment for mental health patients on the one hand, and address an inner-city streetscape that combines residences and the remnants of the industrial character of Camperdown on the other."

The BMRI, a part of Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney, conducts research into mental health and clinical issues relating to the brain.

The Youth Mental Health Building consists of two floors of consulting and patient interaction and two floors of research laboratories.

The challenge was fitting this new facility into a group of existing buildings. The result is a design integrated into the streetscape, with a translucent glass box sitting on top of an existing facade, making a rich and interesting contribution to the neighbourhood.

Mr Grose commended his clients, particularly Professor Ian Hickie and Professor Max Bennett, for their support through the creative and design process of this now world acclaimed project.

This is the second time the BMRI has been recognised on the international stage. Last November it won the Health Category award at the World Architecture Festival (WAF), giving it the title of Best Health Building in the World.

A RIBA spokesperson said the awards recognise "a star studded cast of imaginative and breathtaking buildings."

The 13 winning projects will all receive awards and will now be considered for the RIBA Lubetkin prize that will be presented in London on 1 October 2011.

Media enquiries: Kath Kenny, 0478 303 173, 9351 1584,

Victoria Hollick, 0401 711 361, 9351 2579,