Renowned Australian architect Kerry Hill died on Sunday 26 August, 2018, aged 75. Hill had suffered a short battle with cancer. 

"The profession will be deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Kerry Hill. Kerry was one of Australia's most renowned architects and he will be sorely missed by many," says Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) acting national president Richard Kirk. 

"Kerry started his practice in 1979 in Singapore and in the following decades we saw the creation of a body of work that has come to define tropical modernism in the region. The significance of the work is that it responds sensitively to place through melding the local craft traditions, and cultural and climatic sensibilities of the east, with the technical precision of the modernist traditions.

"Kerry has given us an enduring architectural legacy throughout Asia and Australia as far afield as Europe and China." 

city-of-perth-library.jpgCity of Perth Library. Image: City of Perth

State Theatre Centre of WA. Image: Robert Frith/Acorn Photo

desertpalmyt.jpg Desert Palm, Dubai. Image: YouTube

"Kerry received the highest of honours, both professional and civil, throughout his long and active career," adds Kirk.

Hill received the AIA Gold Medal in 2006, with the jury noting that Hill "has distinguished himself as an architect of exceptional sensibility and expertise - encouraging a progressive and regionally sensitive approach to the design and construction of buildings across the Asia-Pacific region". 

In 2012, he was appointed an Officer of Order of Australia for 'distinguished service to architecture, particularly as an ambassador for Australian design in South East Asia, and as an educator and mentor'.

datai2-1.JPG  Datai Resort, Langkawi. Image: The Datai

In 2001, Hill also received the prestigious international Aga Khan Award for Architecture for his landmark Datai Resort in Langkawi. This is the only time an Australian has received the award since its establishment in 1977 and demonstrates the ability of Hill's studio to work meaningfully across a great diversity of places and cultures. 

"On a personal note, Kerry was a warm and incredibly generous person," says Kirk.

"As I and many other friends who often travelled through Singapore knew it was never the same unless you included a short visit to their studio in the heart of Singapore's Chinatown. The studio is located in one of the unassuming shophouses with the only marker to the practice a modestly sized 'Kerry Hill Architects" bronze plate. I soon learnt this understatement is more to do with a quiet confidence about the work speaking for itself."