Cultural centre up for honours at WA Architecture Awards

One of the most recent additions to Northam's streetscape is in the running for two accreditation at the upcoming WA Architecture Awards.

The Bilya Koort Boodja Centre for Nyoongar Culture and Environmental Knowledge, designed by Iredale Pederson Hook is in the Educational Architecture and Public Architecture categories of the awards.

With over 100 entries, the Bilya Koort Boodja Centre will be reckognised alongside iconic Perth buildings including Yagan Square and the Perth Children's Hospital.

Shire of Northam chief executive Jason Whiteaker said the nomination is a great recognition for the architects.

"It was a great experience working with their team and I think the outcome speaks for itself," he said.

"We are certainly very proud to have such an iconic building in our community which manages to take contemporary design and fit it into our heritage context."

Australian Institute of Architects WA Chapter president Peter Hobbs said the entries shine a light on projects of both local and state significance.

"Whether it's a well-known public project in the heart of the CBD, an upgrade to an iconic zoo exhibit or a heritage transformation in the South West, all of the entries this year work to connect people with their surrounds in a meaningful way," Mr Hobbs said.

"In addition to fostering connections with places and spaces, this year's entries also demonstrate the importance of quality architecture when it comes to delivering a built environment that will sustain Australia's diverse communities well into the future.

"The need to consider how spaces might influence the wider community, not just the people who dwell within or use them on a daily basis is incredibly important, so it's fantastic to see architects delivering such a varied range of projects."

The community is invited to explore the entries in a two-week-long exhibition at Garden City Shopping Centre in Perth from June 18.

The achitects describe the Bilya Koort Boodja Centre as a meeting place and an expression of Ballardong Aboriginal Culture.

"The local Aboriginal families and the shire have worked together to create a place of memory and celebration for locals and visitors to the town," the submission read.

"The Architects and interpretive designers worked closely with the local Aboriginal families to frame stories and to help people to see the world through Ballardong Noongar eyes.

"The building is perched above the flood zone like a burnt tree trunk; the slatted jarrah screen protects the western verandah from the afternoon sun like a skinny forest and its serpentine forms lead people into the foyer, exhibition galleries and rich life within.

"A firepit, yarning circle, bush tucker plantings provide celebration spaces to gather the whole of Northam's community."

The WA Architecture Awards will be held at Optus Stadium on Friday, June 28.