Kaunitz Yeung Architecture has been awarded the Union of Architecture (UIA) Vassilis Sgoutas Prize for Implemented Architecture Serving the Impoverished, for their work in deprived communities.

The prize is recognised as the premier humanitarian architecture award for working with underprivileged communities. The practice, headed by husband and wife David Kaunitz and Ka Wai Yeung, have amassed a portfolio of architecture that spans across more than 30 Aboriginal & Torres Strait Island communities, 200 Pacific Island communities as well as in Asia.

Thomas Vonier, President of the UIA says the work conducted by Kaunitz Yeung within these communities made it impossible not to award the practice with the Vassilis Sgoutas Prize.

“The Jury admired your profound commitment to innovative design and sustainable construction, implemented with local participation,” he says on the Jury’s behalf.

“It is my very great honour to announce to you that in recognition of your unique contribution to the practice of architecture, the international jury has awarded you the UIA’s Vassilis Sgoutas Prize for Implemented Architecture Serving the Impoverished.”

Kaunitz Yeung Director David Kaunitz says while grateful for the award, the ability to work with people across various communities is the reason the practice continues to thrive.

“It is an absolute honour to receive the Union of Architecture’s (UIA’s) Vassilis Sgoutas Prize for Implemented Architecture serving the Impoverished,” he says.

“To receive this highly esteemed, international recognition is truly remarkable and humbling.

“It has been the privilege of our lives to work with so many amazing individuals and communities, many of whom we now count as close friends. Their generosity in collaborating and sharing their traditional knowledge has been central to the outcomes achieved.”

The UIA is an international non-governmental organisation recognized by UNESCO as the only architectural union operating at an international level. The UIA acts as a platform for knowledge sharing, helping craft innovative and collaborative solutions for architectural advancement, with a particular focus on sustainable development.

To find out more about the other Vassilis Sgoutas Prize winners, click here.

Kaunitz Yeung last year unveiled the first Aboriginal health clinic in the rural community of Newman. To read more, click here.