The Australian Institute of Architects has recently awarded Australia’s top national architecture prize to a man credited with ‘shaping Sydney’s physical and culture landscape’ – the Australian Institute of Architects 2009 Gold Medal for Architecture.  

The award was presented at a ceremony in Sydney by the National President of the Australian Institute of Architects, Howard Tanner. He announced that architect, landscape architect and urban design advocate, Professor Ken Maher of HASSELL, would be the recipient of the 2009 Gold Medal.

Ken Maher is best known for the creation of several key architectural projects in Sydney, Canberra, Adelaide, Brisbane, China and Melbourne, over the past 38 years. Examples of his work include the restoration of Luna Park at North Sydney, National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) buildings, the new Epping Chatswood Rail Line, the Canberra Playhouse Theatre and the BHP Tower in Perth. Overseas, he has provided the concepts for a new sustainable city centre in Ningbo, China, and leads the design team for the new underground railway station in Singapore. 

The Gold Medal has been awarded annually for nearly 50 years, and is considered to be the highest honour one can receive in the architectural profession. It identifies distinguished service by architects who have designed or executed buildings of high merit, or who have produced works of distinction resulting in the advancement of architecture.  

Ken Maher has worked nationally and internationally since graduating from the University of NSW in 1970 with First Class Honours and the RAIA Prize for Design. He then went on to complete postgraduate courses in landscape architecture and environmental studies.  

His projects have won important awards including Institute Merit Awards, the 1988 Canberra Medallion, the 1995 Lachlan Macquarie National Architecture Award, the Sir Zelman Cowen Award in 1998, Sulman Medals in 1998 and 2002, and national Australian Institute of Landscape Architects awards.