Both experienced practitioners and the next generation of architects featured in the winners’ list for the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2021 NSW Chapter Prizes. While the younger architects were awarded for their socially and environmentally conscientious projects that benefitted the community, the more accomplished architects were honoured for their enduring contributions to the practice of architecture.

“Tonight, we honour endeavour across the breadth of our profession and recognise the individual excellence in research, education, advocacy, community and social aspects for practitioners,” NSW Chapter president Laura Cockburn said.

The 2021 NSW President’s Prize was awarded to former NSW Chapter president, now CEO of the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia, Kathlyn Loseby LFRAIA for her leadership as well as the pivotal role she played in deepening the profession’s influence in NSW.

“Kathlyn presided over a period of immense regulatory change in NSW and through extraordinary service, personal commitment and sheer determination managed to advocate on behalf of the profession in parliamentary and government circles, thereby elevating the profession as a trusted advisor desirous of high quality-built environment outcomes,” the jury said.

Loseby also received a Life Fellowship, the highest honour class of Australian Institute of Architects membership alongside five other leading NSW architects, Olivia Hyde LFRAIA, Peter Kemp LFRAIA, Rachel Neeson LFRAIA, Alex Popov LFRAIA and Agi Stirling LFRAIA.

Jenna Rowe, Belinda Goh, Steven Donaghey, Guy Luscombe, Angus Kell, Abdullah Iftekhar, Robert Graham and William Smart received a fellowship for demonstrating a significant contribution to the architecture profession beyond architecture practice.

Among the prize winners was Kevin O’Brien from BVN Architecture who won the 2021 NSW Reconciliation Prize for Kimberwalli, an Aboriginal Centre of Excellence located on Darug Country in Mount Druitt, Western Sydney. Meaning ‘many stars’ in Darug, Kimberwalli won the prize for “reflecting cultural values, demonstrating positive community benefits, authentic partnerships and deep engagement”.

Dr Kirsten Orr LFRAIA has been awarded this year’s prestigious Marion Mahony Griffin Prize, which recognises a distinctive body of work by a female architect. The jury described Dr Orr as a “remarkable ambassador of the architectural profession”, and a “creative, original, and independent thinker” who is adventurous in her advocacy.

Architect Hugo Chan won the 2021 David Lindner Prize – a research-based prize – for his “highly topical” submission ‘Architecture & Belonging: An Exploration into Designing for Cultural Diversity’. His research will explore “the connections between architecture, culture, belonging and memory and the role that the built environment plays in defining, shaping, and perpetuating self-identity and belonging of migrant communities in urban contexts”.

Emerging architect Nicole Larkin, who won the 2021 Christopher Procter Prize for her proposal ‘The Wild Edge’ will have the opportunity for research-based travel or study to enrich her professional development. Larkin’s proposal, according to the jury, “bodes well for the next generation of public space type within one of our most contested realms – the NSW coastline”.

Architecture student Ryan Dingle won the 2021 Brian Patrick Keirnan Prize for his project repurposing a disused railway tunnel underneath Hyde Park that takes visitors from the City to the Botanic Gardens into what the jury describe as “an intense experiential passage” that reinterprets Sydney’s pre-colonial ecology.

Complete list of prize winners, Fellows and Life Fellows (Winner - Award)

Olivia Hyde LFRAIA - Life Fellows

Peter Kemp LFRAIA - Life Fellows

Kathlyn Loseby LFRAIA - Life Fellows

Rachel Neeson LFRAIA - Life Fellows

Alex Popov LFRAIA - Life Fellows

Agi Stirling LFRAIA - Life Fellows

Jenna Rowe - Fellows

Belinda Goh - Fellows

Steven Donaghey - Fellows

Guy Luscombe - Fellows

Angus Kell - Fellows

Abdullah Iftekhar - Fellows

Robert Graham - Fellows

William Smart - Fellows

Ryan Dingle - Winner - Brian Patrick Keirnan Prize

Lucy Sharman – Commendation - Brian Patrick Keirnan Prize

Chloe Goldsmith – Commendation - Brian Patrick Keirnan Prize

Nicole Larkin - Christopher Procter Prize

Hugo Chan - David Lindner Prize

Dr Kirsten Orr LFRAIA - Marion Mahony Griffin Prize

Kevin O’Brien - Winner - Reconciliation Prize

Burri Gummin Housing Studio - Commendation - Reconciliation Prize

Luk - Commendation - Reconciliation Prize

Kathlyn Loseby - President’s Prize 

Image: Barker College Rosewood Centre by Neeson Murcutt and Neille / Rory Gardiner