Interior of the award winning Penguin Parade visitors’ centre.

THE winners of the 2020 Victorian Architecture Awards were announced by the Australian Institute of Architects last Friday night, July 10 with the Penguin Parade Visitor Centre receiving a major public project and regional award.

The Penguin Parade Visitor Centre by TERROIR won The William Wardell Award for Public Architecture and the Regional Prize.

Built at a cost of $58.2 million, the centre was

funded by the State Government ($48.2 million) and Phillip Island Nature Parks ($10 million) and was conceived as part of a 2012 master plan to better protect the penguins and their environment.

The centre opened in July last year.

According to the Australian Institute of Architects:

“The new Visitor Centre for the Penguin Parade carries the ambitions of this tourism and conservation program across iconographic, experiential and functional contexts.

“The building sits at the nexus between three landscapes: dunes, headland and wetland, linking these landscapes like a brooch that gathers these together and responds to each in specific ways – formally and experientially. The power of the three landscapes is acknowledged in the homogenous zinc cladding to the building that increases its abstraction while providing a constant against which the three landscapes are registered.”

The 2020 Victorian Architecture Awards showcase the best architecture in the state. Revivals of heritage projects featured heavily in the winners’ list as well as those that offer excellent design outcomes to the public.

Across 15 categories, 63 awards were given including named awards, architecture awards and commendations from 108 shortlisted entries.

A notable project in this year’s awards was the State Library of Victoria Redevelopment by Architectus + Schmidt Hammer Lassen, winning the Melbourne Prize and architecture awards for Heritage – Conservation and Public Architecture.

The redevelopment has opened up 40 per cent more public access space in a transformation of the much-loved institution that is a link between Melbourne’s past and future.

Victorian Architecture Awards chair of juries, Ingrid Bakker, said that the project’s redevelopment leads the way with its contribution to the public and the treatment of heritage buildings.

“Projects such as the State Library offer a major benefit to Melburnians and the way it has been brought back to life is a real gift to the city,” she says.

“The project has been highly collaborative and like all good architectural outcomes, there has been a significant focus on the diverse community users and the context of the building being in the heart of Melbourne.

“This landmark is something that can be enjoyed for generations to come and is an exemplar of the enhancement of existing buildings. It demonstrates the important consideration that needs to be championed by clients, architects, consultants and contractors in understanding the projects inherent value and impact of that building will have over time.”

Also featuring prominently in the awards was the Broadmeadows Town Hall by Kerstin Thompson Architects, receiving the Victorian Architecture Medal, a named award for Heritage Architecture and a commendation for Public Architecture.

This year, Monash University has proven to be outstanding in the educational architecture realm with Monash University Chancellery and Gillies Hall both gaining recognition across three categories.


  • The William Wardell Award for Public Architecture Penguin Parade Visitor Centre | TERROIR
  • Regional Prize 6 shortlisted projects / 1 named / Penguin Parade Visitor Centre | TERROIR.

The world famous Penguin Parade is open daily at dusk but it’s best to book and there have been limits placed on numbers in response to the coronavirus restrictions.

The penguin parade has reopened following the relaxing of Stage Three restrictions but to strictly limited numbers.