The Australian Institute of Architects’ highest honour, the Gold Medal, has been awarded to the founding directors of ARM Architecture at the Australian Achievement in Architecture Awards.
ARM, based in Melbourne and Perth, are known for their contemporary, often daring, sometimes controversial designs.
As Australian Institute of Architects National President Jon Clements said, ‘This is a practice that has been a genuine leader, influencer, provocateur, culture builder and disseminator of ideas for nearly three decades, and at the core of the practice are three outstanding architects who have created some of the most extraordinary buildings in the short post-colonial history of this country.’
Established in 1988, ARM’s directors Stephen Ashton, Howard Raggatt and Ian McDougall have built a successful large-scale practice which has had a profound impact across the national design landscape.
ARM Architecture has been the recipient of 63 Institute awards including the coveted Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture at both the 2013 and 2015 National Architecture Awards. They have won the Victorian Architecture Medal a record five times.
Among their most notable works are Perth Arena in Western Australia, Storey Hall at RMIT University, the refurbishment of Hamer Hall, Melbourne Recital Hall and the practice’s decade-long reconfiguration of Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance.
In addition to their built works all three have played significant roles as national ‘culture builders’ participating in exhibitions, lectures and national conferences along with educational roles with a deep commitment to supporting and nurturing the next generation of design thinkers. Both Ashton and McDougall have been Presidents of the Victorian Chapter of the Institute.
On receiving the honour Ian McDougall said ‘We’ve always been interested in architecture that tells stories about our lives, about our cities. It is humbling to have our ideas acknowledged in this way.’
Institute National President Jon Clements presented Ashton, Raggatt and McDougall the award at a special ceremony held at the Adelaide Oval on Friday 29 April following the first day of the National Architecture Conference.
The Gold Medal Jury was composed of Clements, Immediate Past President David Karotkin, Alice Hampson, Annabel Lahz and Professor Carey Lyon.
It is only the second time the accolade has been presented to a trio in its 56-year history.
Previous recipients of the Gold Medal include Glenn Murcutt, Jørn Utzon, Brit Andresen, Harry Seidler and Robin Boyd.