U City reaches new heights with Good Design Award

 In News

Uniting Communities’ innovative U City building has taken out the Good Design Award for Social Impact in Australia’s International Good Design Awards.

The winners of Australia’s peak international design awards – the highest honour for design and innovation in the country – were announced today during the 2020 Good Design Week.

‘We’re honoured that U City has been recognised by the prestigious Good Design Awards,’ said Uniting Communities’ Chief Executive, Simon Schrapel. ‘It’s a humbling recognition of how we have brought to life the vision of the U City building which, from the outset, has been to create a diverse, inclusive and thriving community in Adelaide’s CBD.’

Opened in August 2019, the U City development on Franklin Street is a truly unique, inclusive and diverse ‘vertical village’. This world-first, radical mixed-use building brings together retirement living, specialist short- and long-stay disability apartments; a function centre; commercial, retail and hospitality outlets; and a hub for Uniting Communities’ broad range of social services.

The panel of Good Design judges applauded the innovation of the project, stating that U City combines ‘a number of progressive ideas to help break down barriers and offer better wellbeing’ for residents, tenants and clients. ‘Over the past year, we’ve welcomed a variety of people into the U City building – from those wishing to enjoy the city lifestyle in their new homes, to visitors to Adelaide seeking purpose-built disability accommodation, to our Function Centre guests, to tenants who have connected with our vision and, of course, Uniting Communities’ dedicated staff and volunteers,’ said Mr Schrapel.

‘This award really belongs to the entire U City community; it is their contribution to the vibrancy of the building, their trust in us and their commitment to our vision that has made it possible.’

The annual Good Design Awards is Australia’s oldest and most prestigious international Awards for design and innovation with a proud history dating back to 1958. The Awards celebrate the best new products and services on the Australian market, excellence in architectural design, engineering, fashion, digital and communication design, design strategy, social impact design and young designers.

More than 55 Good Design Awards Jurors evaluated each entry according to a strict set of design criteria which covers ‘good design’, ‘design innovation’ and ‘design impact’. Projects recognised
with a Good Design Award must demonstrate excellence in good design and convince the Jury they are worthy of recognition at this level.

Dr Brandon Gien, CEO of Good Design Australia said: “Receiving a Good Design Award is a significant achievement given the very high calibre and record number of entries received in 2020.”

“There’s no doubt it has been a really tough year for everyone so it’s nice to be able to share some good news for a change. The projects represented in this year’s Good Design Awards shine a positive light on our creative and innovative capacity as human beings. These inspirational winning projects give me hope and optimism that our design community will continue to innovate, no matter how challenging the world around us is,” said Dr Gien.

“Australia’s Good Design Award is more than a symbol of design excellence – it represents the hard work and dedication towards an innovative outcome that will ultimately make our lives better. These projects showcase the shear brilliance of design and the potential it has to improve our world,” said Dr Gien.

“U City broke convention by mixing uses and communities never previously brought together,” said Mr Schrapel. “It is an initiative that has been tailor-designed in Adelaide as a world-first, now gathering interest globally as a means of bringing together communities and people from different backgrounds to co-exist in a purpose-designed ecosystem.

“It is exciting to have U City recognised for the ground-breaking development that it is, for what it is delivering those who call it ’home’, and for the Adelaide community. It is exactly the sort of innovation and boldness we need as we strive to rebuild our communities in the wake of COVID-19 – it is South Australian innovation at its best and something for all South Australians to be justly proud of.”

The 2020 Good Design Awards attracted a record number of submissions with an astonishing 835 design projects evaluated in this year’s international design awards. For more information about Uniting Communities, please visit unitingcommunities.org. For more information about the Good Design Awards, please visit www.good-design.org


For media comment
Simon Schrapel
Chief Executive, Uniting Communities
0411 643 132

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