'Niche' project wins top award
THE work, dedication and vision of winners in this year's Awards for Excellence listing have added much to Ipswich's fine heritage.
City architects JM Pearce and Associates, with Thurlow Stonemasonry, achieved a gold award for the design and construction of a grand 432-niche columbarium (resting place) beside St Mary's Church.
Inspiration came from the shape of the buttresses on the church and the stepped plinths, while the sandstone is a close match to the church walls.
St Mary's pastoral assistant Bernadette McAndrew has already reserved her "niche" alongside members of her family and overlooking the junior school.
"We're getting weekly inquiries for niches. There's certainly a need," Ms McAndrew said.
"A lot of these people are baptised here at St Mary's.
"The parish offers a simple dedication service where the niche is blessed.
"Families can put whatever words they'd like to express on the plaque."
The Ipswich City Council awards presented at the Civic Centre encompass design, environment, heritage and student categories.
Council's Planning and Development Committee chairman Councillor Paul Tully said this year saw another impressive field of entrants.
Other overall winners were Springfield Land Corporation, Vee Design and JMac Constructions for Robelle Domain (design); Powerlink Green Works, Boys Town and Ipswich City Council for the Kholo Gardens Flood Recovery Project (environment), and Woodcrest College Junior School for their project We are one, but we are many (student).
"These projects are fine examples of the excellent work which has taken place in the design and construction of new developments and the conservation of heritage places throughout the City of Ipswich," Cr Tully said.
Mayor Paul Pisasale said Ipswich was host to some of the best construction and heritage conservation projects - both from developers creating new buildings through to residents who were ensuring their properties were restored and preserved for future generations.