Vale Kerry Hill AO

On behalf of the Australian Institute of Architects, Acting National President Richard Kirk has offered sincere condolences to family, friends and colleagues of Life Fellow Kerry Hill AO following his passing on Sunday 26 August 2018.

‘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.

‘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 and as far afield as Europe and China.

‘Kerry received the highest of honours, both professional and civil, throughout his long and active career. In awarding the Australian Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal in 2006 the jury noted Hill “has distinguished himself as an architect of exceptional sensibility and expertise – encouraging a progressive and enquiring regionally sensitive approach to the design and construction of buildings across the Asia-Pacific region”,’ Kirk said.

In 2012, he was appointed an Officer of the 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’.

In 2001, Hill 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. And, 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,’ Kirk added.