The Australian Institute of Architects welcomed Sydney-based architect Paul Berkemeier as its 74th National President this week.

During the Annual General Meeting in Melbourne, AIA CEO David Parken praised Berkemeier’s close involvement with the Institute over the last 15 years, including terms as chair of the NSW education committee and a national councillor.  He then presented Berkemeier as the Institute’s new leader and champion for its members and the profession.

Berkemeier graduated in architecture from the University of Sydney in 1975 and was awarded Master in Architecture from Harvard in 1983.  He worked with the Commonwealth Government and then as an Associate Director of Denton Corker Marshall before establishing his own award-winning small practice in 1988.

Known for redesigning Sydney's Luna Park with fellow architect Ken Maher in the 1990s, he has extensive experience in a broad range of projects including large scale urban design and planning, public buildings, medical and research projects, single and multi-unit housing, schools, exhibition design and heritage buildings. 

Berkemeier is also an active advocate for architectural education and accreditation, having taught at numerous Australian architecture schools as well as a position at the University of Sydney.

Assuming the role from Melbourne-based architect Shelley Penn, Berkemeier is enthused about his tenure in the lead up to the federal election – an important time of reflection and action on matters integral to the profession and the built environment.

"I consider it a great privilege and honour to be entrusted with this role and I look forward to working with fellow members and Institute staff to gain the recognition that the value of design warrants," he says.