Council scoops prize at Architecture Awards

Blacktown City Council has been recognised for excellence in community development with an award from the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA).

City Architect Bill Tsakalos

Council’s efforts to create an interesting and diverse built environment including the delivery of two “buildings of incredible significance” –  an animal rehoming centre and sports centre – earned it the AIA President’s Prize at the NSW Chapter Awards.

Blacktown Mayor Tony Bleasdale, who described the accolade as a pleasant surprise, paid tribute to City Architect and Director of Transformational Design Bill Tsakalos and his team.

“Receiving the Australian Institute of Architects President’s Award is a tremendous honour and is testament to the efforts of our community, architects, and planners,” Cr Bleasedale said.

“This recognition affirms Council’s commitment to transforming the Blacktown City through the creation of public spaces that not only meet the needs of our residents but also provides a more liveable, sustainable, and enjoyable urban environment.”


The Blacktown Animal Rehoming Centre, or ‘BARC’ was designed by Australian firm Sam Crawford Architects and built by main contractor AW Edwards.

Council says the centre was delivered in line with international best practice in animal welfare to provide a one-stop shop and a safe environment for animals looking for new homes.

Blacktowns BARK animal rehoming centre (image supplied by Blacktown City Council)

The Blacktown Exercise Sports and Technology (BEST) Hub in the Blacktown International Sports Park was designed to improve local community health, research, sports performance and rehabilitation.

 The design team of ARM Architecture and Co-op developed the design, with construction done by Buildcorp, and Architectus designing the landscape and physical literacy area.

The development, towards which Council contributed $100 million, contains facilities for training, sports medicine, rehabilitation, research and education, as well as providing accommodation, a café-restaurant and a children’s play space.

A ‘representative urban fabric’

President of the AIA NSW Chapter Adam Haddow said one of the hallmarks of a great city is the creation of environments that enable multicultural activities to exist and thrive in collaboration.

“Our daily lives are enlivened by public parks, swimming pools, sports centers, and even animal shelters,” he said.

“With innovative procurement models and a commitment to investing in keystone public projects, Blacktown Council under visionary elected officials and steady bureaucratic leadership is delivering on its promise of a built environment as interesting and diverse as the people who call Blacktown home.

“We congratulate Blacktown City Council and look forward to the continued growth of an urban fabric that is expressive and representative of its people while delivering on the promise of fairness and equity.”

The awards were announced on November 24.

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