Wilson Architects Director Beth Wilson has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship from the Australian Institute of Architect’s (AIA) Queensland Chapter – the first time a landscape architect has received the award.
Establishing the landscape architecture studio within Australia's oldest architecture practice, Wilson Architects, in 1970, Wilson began her career when landscape was rarely considered in building projects in Brisbane, but has gone on to work on many landmark projects, including Cathedral Square, the redevelopment of the Brisbane City Botanic Gardens, Queen St Mall, Suncorp Stadium and the Eleanor Schonell Bridge.
According to a statement by the AIA, she is known for her depth of understanding of history and place making, an unrivalled knowledge of plants and vegetation, and her ability to ‘read a site’:
“Beth pioneered the introduction of landscape as part of interior architecture, which can be seen in her recent work on the internal landscaped room of the national, multi-award winning Translational Research Institute, and the EcoSciences Precinct landscape at Boggo Road. She also led the way to a better understanding of native plant selection as part of landscape design, and the need to develop more sustainable landscapes.
Translational Research Institute by Wilson Architects and Donovan Hill
A memorable landscaped room contributes to the identity and workplace environment while adding significant interactive space to the network of communal places on the Princess Alexandra Hospital campus. The inspiration for the furnishing of the outdoor room with plants was derived from the proposed functional use, internal and external views, and the desire to promote scientific intent within the building’s community.
“Beth graduated from the Queensland Institute of Technology (now Queensland University of Technology), and was in the cohort of Queensland’s first landscape architecture course in 1966. As a lecturer at QUT in the 1980’s and 1990’s, she taught many of today’s leading landscape architects and architects, and has been a powerful role model and influence on their work.
“Shane Thompson, Principal, Shane Thompson Architects said, “This award recognises Beth’s important contribution to the education of architectural students in the field of landscape history, which laid the foundation for some of Queensland’s leading architects to fully appreciate the context of place”.
“Today, Beth continues to make a significant contribution to Brisbane’s landscape —she is currently writing a book on the history of gardens with houses in Brisbane. She has also developed a strong interest in landscape design for aged care facilities, which she is pursuing in her role as Director, at Wilson Architects where she works with her son, Hamilton Wilson, the fourth generation of Wilson family architects and the Managing Director of the practice.”
Beth Wilson was wife to the late Blair Wilson, a former National President of the AIA and President of the AIA Queensland Chapter.