A range of architectural leaders from esteemed practitioners, to exemplary architectural students, have been honoured with six national prizes from the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA), announced at the profession’s largest gathering, the 2018 National Architecture Conference. Sydney practitioner and Emeritus Professor Alec Tzannes has been awarded architecture’s highest honour, the AIA’s Gold Medal.
Since 1960, Australian Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal has distinguished exemplary architects which have designed buildings of high merit, produced work of great distinction (resulting in the advancement of architecture), or endowed the profession of architecture in a distinguished manner. After working with the NSW Government Architect’s Office, and establishing his own practice, the jury noted that Alec Tzannes ‘has executed an exceptional body of work across a broad spectrum of architectural practice’.
Tzannes, a former National President of the Institute, has been regarded as showing admirable service and leadership within the architectural profession, academia, and related fields. ‘The outstanding contribution Alec Tzannes has made to the profession exemplifies the highest level of achievement within each of the criteria,’ the jury stated. His most recent projects include International House Sydney in Barangaroo, and the state-of-the-art Dangrove art storage facility, and were both noted by the Australian Institute of Architects jury as ‘projects [which] embody innovative typologies for contemporary and responsive architecture’.
Another notable winner includes Professor Rob Adams AM, Director of City Design for the City of Melbourne, who received the National President’s Prize. Immediate Past President Richard Kirk selected Adams in recognition of his ‘sheer dedication and skill over a 30-year career with the City of Melbourne that has made Melbourne one of the world’s greatest cities’.
“If only every Australian city had a Rob Adams, we might see more of our cities being recognised as the best,” Kirk said.
Queensland emerging practitioner Christina Cho received the National Emerging Architect Prize. A director at Cox Architecture, Cho’s professional accolades are extensive and include finalist in the AFR BOSS Young Executives 2018, and the 2011 Dulux Study Tour.
“She is a leader and a role model for graduates of architecture. Her achievements and dedication to the profession have influenced and nourished her immediate and wider community,” the jury voiced.
Renowned Singaporean architect, Dr Liu Thai Ker was also honoured with the William J Mitchell International Chapter Prize, awarded in recognition of significant contribution by an Australia-linked practitioner to architecture globally.
The Paula Whitman Leadership in Gender Equity Prize was awarded to Melonie Bayl-Smith, Founder and Director of Bijl Architecture in Sydney. The jury acknowledged Bayl-Smith as an ‘exemplary leader for the architecture profession’ noting ‘her leadership in gender equity is particularly evident through her mentoring, advocacy and acting as an exceptional role model for many students, graduates and emerging architects’.
Renowned Singaporean architect, Dr Liu Thai Ker was honoured with the William J Mitchell International Chapter Prize, awarded in recognition of significant contribution by an Australia-linked practitioner to architecture globally.
Troy Borg of RMIT University received the respected honour of Student Prize for the Advancement of Architecture. Borg is the current national president of the Institute’s Student Organised Network for Architecture (SONA). ‘Troy embodies values that speak well to architecture’s future – generosity, leadership and inclusiveness,’ the jury noted.
Another winner was former SONA President and a graduate of architecture, Paul Violett was awarded the Student Prize for the Advancement of Architecture – Commendation.
Lastly, five emerging architects were also announced earlier in the year and selected for the highly competitive Dulux Study Tour. These five recipients participated in a 10-day tour visiting Milan, London and Berlin in May.
The full list of winners include:
- Gold Medal Alec Tzannes AM LFRAIA – Tzannes (NSW)
- National President’s Prize Professor Rob Adams AM LFRAIA – City of Melbourne (Vic)
- Paula Whitman Leadership in Gender Equity Prize Melonie Bayl-Smith FRAIA – Bijl Architecture (NSW)
- National Emerging Architect Prize Christina Na-Heon Cho RAIA – Cox Architecture (Qld)
- William J Mitchell International Chapter Prize Dr Liu Thai Ker FRAIA – Morrow (Singapore)
- Student Prize for the Advancement of Architecture Troy Borg – RMIT (Vic)
- Student Prize for the Advancement of Architecture – Commendation Paul Violett – University of Queensland (Qld)
Dulux Study Tour Winners:
- Kim Bridgland RAIA – Edition Office (Vic)
- Leah Gallagher RAIA – Kin Architects (Qld)
- Jason Licht RAIA – Cumulus Studio (Tas)
- Joseph O’Meara RAIA – BVN (NSW)
- Dirk Yates RAIA – Speculative Architecture (Qld)