10/10 on reveal night for Building Design students

It was a perfect reveal night for Bendigo TAFE student Branden Pearce who won Best Digital Presentation by a student at the recent 2023 Design Matters National Building Design Awards.

Branden also received a commendation in the Design Excellence category and was joined by fellow student Joel Anley who received a commendation for Best Digital Presentation.

It is the third year in a row that Bendigo TAFE students studying the Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural) (22477VIC), have won at these awards.

Branden said the award win was unexpected.

“I was probably quite surprised and I was proud to receive the award. It was a great night and I’ve never had the opportunity to attend an event like that,” Branden said.

“I was very fortunate to receive recognition for the work because I think everyone in my year level was worthy of the recognition, for the quality of their work and persevering through the challenges of COVID.”

Titled The Arches, Branden’s award-winning design is a contemporary interpretation of a heritage streetscape in the heart of Bendigo’s Pall Mall, with environmental sustainability at the forefront.

Branden said his concept was inspired by the idea of restoring a connection to country for the Dja Dja Wurrung people who have referred to Bendigo as ‘upside down Country’ since it was reshaped by mining activity.

“I was inspired by the natural, organic curves found in Australian caves, rock formations, rivers and billabongs,” said Branden.

“The palette of natural timber grains is a reflection of the Australian environment, bringing warm tones and textures into the building.

“Welcoming brick archways on street level invite pedestrians into an adjoining revitalised laneway to experience the building’s amenities.” 

Branden said he was driven to study building design after a change of heart about his future.

“I studied education after taking a gap year after high school but realised it wasn’t the right path for me,” said Branden.

“Ever since I was a kid I’ve had a passion for designing houses so I found myself heading back there and landed at TAFE after exploring opportunities.

“Through the course I was fortunate enough to get a job as a building designer with Leemon Designs in Kyneton, with some help from my teachers.

“I got a similar experience in Bendigo, close to home, as an architecture degree in Melbourne. This course has given me further opportunity to keep pursuing study.

“I have my teachers Brian, Sonia and Paul to thank for the opportunities that got me here. I could not speak highly enough of them both. I think everyone who has gone through this course over the past few years know the teachers have put so much into helping us achieve the best that we all can.”

Bendigo TAFE CEO Sally Curtain said the awards were a great way for students to put their skills to the test alongside student designers right across Australia.

“We are very proud of both Branden and Joel’s achievements in these prestigious industry awards,” said Ms Curtain.

“Both students have demonstrated their talent at the highest industry standard. Congratulations to the students for their efforts and their teachers who have worked hard to provide opportunities for students to achieve at their best throughout their course.”

Members of the public can see Branden and Joel’s designs and the work of other students at the end of year, annual student design exhibition which is on now until 24 November.

The Green Shift Exhibition; Reimagining 34-36 Pall Mall

Showcasing the work of Bendigo TAFE students

Advanced Diploma of Building Design (Architectural) (22477VIC)

DATES:                       Monday 13 November – Friday 24 November (weekdays)

TIMES:                        9.00 am – 4.00 pm

LOCATION:                Building E, Bendigo TAFE City campus, 164 Hargreaves Street, Bendigo

COST:                         FREE

If you are interested in studying Building Design in 2024 please contact Interviews for the 2024 course intake will take place soon.

Visit the Bendigo TAFE website for more information about the course.

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