Being given the opportunity to design an iconic part of community infrastructure as the result of winning a design competition is something that has given the entire Genton team a special connection to architectural industry awards. Since their insightful design caught the attention of the Office of the Victorian Government Architects competition the team’s completion of the Frankston Station in 2018, Genton’s list of award wins has grown – something Principal Marc Debney says has inspired the Genton team, including fellow Principal, Steven Toia, to continue to strive to elevate the quality of railway station design.
With the Frankston Station project forming part of the Victorian State Government’s circa $6.9b. Level Crossing Removal project – delivered by the North Western Program Alliance, with construction overseen by the Level Crossing Removal Authority – Genton has been given fresh opportunities to have a similar impact in other key railway station refurbishment projects, including the Reservoir Station transformation, due for completion in 2020.
‘We like railway projects, because they are so public – lots of people use them – and it’s something that has been neglected from a design perspective, for a long time,’ Marc says. ‘We want to elevate that design quality to create railway stations that enhance the communities they are part of – and the experience of the people who use them.’ But the awards the architectural firm has been honoured with, says Marc, are not only focused on the design and build of key community infrastructure.
With recognition that includes a commendation in the Australian Institute of Architects Public Architecture category, as well as the gold award for Urban Design and the Silver for Architecture in the Melbourne Design Awards, and a current short-list position in the Vic Premier’s Design Awards, the peer-led recognition for Genton’s ideas have helped nurture a company culture that is driven by creating award-worthy projects. ‘Professionally, being nominated and then winning these type of industry awards gives everyone involved a lot of confidence,’ says Steve Toia. A flow-on impact of that feeling has extended to potential applicants keen for a position with an architectural firm that is earning a reputation as industry leaders. ‘The recognition has meant that a lot more applicants want to work with us,’ Steve says. ‘And for the team who is already here with us, it reinforces the fact that they are where they want to be.’