By Rhys Williams
Regional Design Service’s vision for a small country town has been amplified after taking out a top honour at the NSW Architecture Awards last week for a masterplan project.
The Corowa business attended the awards ceremony, held in Byron Bay last Thursday, where they received the NSW Country Division Architecture Award for their ‘Plan Rand’ project.
The award was judged by architects Damien Furey, Gabrielle Pelletier and Sam Crawford, along with project design manager Joseph Paonessa and artist Tom Arthur.
In their comments of ‘Plan Rand’ the panel wrote, “In regional areas where ‘funding needs to go a long way’, this masterplan explores how small projects may change the way locals and visitors experience rural life.
“It promotes the ability to understand, address and adapt to longevity with purpose in delivering better outcomes as Rand moves forward to celebrate its centenary in 2026.”
After 12 months of community consultation and surveys ‘Plan Rand’ was delivered to the town in late September.
After what started out as an idea around the town wanting to jump on the silo art trail, Phillip Nielson and Aaron Nicholls at Regional Design Service have helped deliver to Rand a vision to green the town, improve accommodation and amenities and the creation of the Billabong Festival – a sporting and cultural event that aims to bring communities together along the Billabong Creek.
Aaron said that he and Phillip were excited to be presented the award and hope that it emboldens other small towns to go out and seek the best outcomes for their community.
“The comment was made on the night by a prominent architect that we were really at the forefront of change by being out there on the ground talking to people which me mentioned no one else is doing,” Aaron said.
“This further solidifies to small towns that change is possible and you can ask for better results and putting a masterplan like this together is a really good first step.”