Emerging
Architect
Prize

Contributing to architectural practice and design excellence

About the Prize

The Emerging Architect Prize (EAP), recognises an individual emerging architect or emerging architectural collaboration’s contribution to architectural practice, education, design excellence and community involvement, which advances the profession’s role within the public arena. Entrants need to be nominated by a member of the Australian Institute of Architects (or Institute members can self-nominate). 

The International Chapter Emerging Architect Prize is awarded biennially, in each odd year. The International Chapter prize is a separate program to the Chapter/National prize. The International Chapter prize recipient will not therefore be eligible to progress to the National Emerging Architect Prize program. 

The Emerging Architect Prize is awarded annually, firstly at a Chapter level, then winners automatically proceed to be considered for the National Emerging Architect Prize. The winner of each Chapter Emerging Architect Prize will be announced at the Chapter Architecture Awards or celebration event., with the winner of the National Emerging Architect Prize being announced at the National Architecture Awards.

Chapter winners receive:

  •  $1,000 cash prize and a Certificate
  • Ticket to attend their local Chapter Architecture Awards or celebration event

National winner receives:

  • $2,000 cash prize and a certificate
  • Winner will present a virtual tour early the following year

key dates

Entry type Entries open Entries Close
Nomination Wednesday, 10 February Midnight, Tuesday 6 April
Self-nomination or accepting a nomination Wednesday, 10 February Midnight, Monday 19 April

find out more

Maitland Riverlink | CHROFI with McGregor Coxall | NSW | Photographer: Simon Wood

Advice on who can nominate

Denton Corker Marshall Studio | Denton Corker Marshall | Vic | Photographer: Shannon McGrath

Our system involves a two step process, find out more

King Bill | Austin Maynard Architects | Photographer: Derek Swalwell

Find out more about the criteria used to assess your application

Find out more about our 2020 National Emerging Architect Sarah Lebner.

Eligibility

Maitland Riverlink | CHROFI with McGregor Coxall | NSW | Photographer: Simon Wood

Who can participate

Nominees, as an individual or as part of collaboration, must meet each of the following eligibility requirement:

Chapter/National EAP

  • Must be a member Level 1 Institute member.
  • Must be within 15 years of graduation of the AACA Accredited Master of Architecture degree (or equivalent) and have first been registered as an Architect anywhere in Australia, not more than 10 years ago and must be currently registered with any of the Architect Registration Boards in Australia.
  • Must enter in the Chapter in which they are currently residing.
  • Must be self-nominated or nominated by a member of the Institute (only members of the Institute will be eligible for this prize). 
  • Previous recipients of a Chapter or National Emerging Architect Prize are not eligible to enter.
  • Submission must be received by the closing date.

International Chapter EAP

  • Must be a member of the Institute (International Chapter) and working/residing overseas
  • Must be within 15 years of graduation of the AACA Accredited Master of Architecture degree (or equivalent) and have first been registered as an Architect in Australia or overseas, not more than 10 years ago
  • Must be self-nominated or nominated by a member of the Institute (only members of the Institute will be eligible for this prize). 
  • Previous recipients of a Chapter or National Emerging Architect Prize are not eligible to enter
  • Submissions must be received by the closing date specified by the International Chapter

Additional considerations:

  • Once nominated, the nominee must complete the required entry form. Nominations will remain on a register for three (3) consecutive years, after which the nomination will lapse.
  • A minimum of three (3) eligible entries must be received by the closing date or the Jury may decide not to award a winner.
  • The Chapter Jury may choose not to award a Chapter winner if they feel the entries received are not of a high enough standard or do not fulfill the judging criteria

Nominate

How do I enter

Entry into the Emerging Architect Prize is a two-step process.

  1. Nomination – eligible candidates are nominated by a member of the Australian Institute of Architects or  members can self-nominate via the online entry system.
  2. Submission of entry material – nominated candidates will be invited to continue with their submission. Should they wish to accept the nomination, the nominee will be asked to submit the entry material listed under ‘entry requirements’ via the online entry system.

Winners at a Chapter level automatically proceed to be considered for the National Emerging Architect Prize, no additional entry material is submitted for National judging.

Entry requirements
The nominee will be asked to submit the following entry material via the online entry system:

  • a statement addressing each of the key criteria items outlined in the judging criteria (within the entry form).
  • a resume: four A4 pages maximum (please ensure you provide the architectural registration number, date of registration and date of graduation for each individual being nominated).
  • a portfolio of works: this can include built and unbuilt work (five A4 pages maximum).
  • two references: from an employer or clients.
  • photo of entrant(s) – this can be uploaded separately to the requirements above.
  • entry requirements listed above must be uploaded on a single PDF document and must not exceed 10MB.
The 2019 Emil Sodersten Award | Denton Corker Marshall Studio | Denton Corker Marshall | Victoria | Photographer: Shannon McGrath

Judging criteria

Participation requirements / What we look for

All entries received by the due date will be judged by a Chapter Jury. Jury members will comprise:

  • The Chapter President or nominee
  • Previous Chapter Emerging Architect Prize winner
  • Chair of the local EmAGN group or a nominated representative

The Chapter Jury will select one (1) Chapter winner, noting that juries are not obligated to select a Chapter winner if the pool of candidates does not warrant a decision. Each Chapter winner then progress to the National Jury for judging.

The National Jury will comprise:

  • Institute National President or nominated representative
  • EmAGN President or nominated representative
  • Previous National Emerging Architect Prize winner or nominated representative.

Chapter and National juries will judge entries based on the following criteria:

  • excellence in architectural practice, research or education
  • involvement in Australian Institute of Architects activities and/or forums of similar professional bodies
  • contribution to architecture through leadership within the profession
  • contribution to community activities such as charity and voluntary work related to the profession is not essential but would be judged favourably. 
Blackwood St Bunker | Clare Cousins Architects | Photographer: Lisbeth Grossman

Previous winners

2020 National Emerging Architect Prize Winner | Sarah Lebner | Light House Architecture and Science

Congratulations to the 2020 National Emerging Architect - Sarah Lebner, Light House Architecture and Science

Sarah Lebner exhibits an energy and focus beyond her years. Her nomination had a rare spark, offering a universal reach at two levels. Having joined ACT-based interdisciplinary practice Light House Architecture and Science soon after graduation, she rose to become principal architect within two years. She leads a team of 11 under the directorship of building scientist Jenny Edwards.

Sarah’s generous vision of an architecture for the masses is underpinned by her dedication to climate-change responsiveness. She aims to simplify sustainable design for homebuilders, and to make thoughtfully designed, energy-efficient homes part of the mainstream. This may sound straightforward, but it constitutes nothing short of revolutionizing Australia’s domestic building industry.

Sarah’s initiative has transformed Light House Architecture and Science’s early ideas about modular design into a fully-fledged service, architecturally integrating sustainability, design and specification. She has made quality, architect-designed homes more affordable, capturing homebuilders who previously believed this to be out of their reach. Many architects dream of making architecture more accessible; Sarah is actually doing so.

Sarah’s munificent desire to give back to the profession is also reflected in her commitment to young architects entering the industry. Underpinned by her website, “My first architecture job,” and her book, 101 things I didn’t learn in architecture school (and wish I’d known before my first job), Sarah is continuing to provide invaluable resources to the profession. It is a noble act to share knowledge and maintain an interactive conduit through publishing and establishing an online community. Sarah’s reach via her chosen platforms inspires young architects, arming them with knowledge and demystifying a world that can too often feel overwhelming. — Jury citation

Previous winners

Rodney Eggleston

Congratulations to the 2019 national Emerging Architect - Rodney Eggleston, march studios

‘From an exceptional field of contenders, Rodney Eggleston is a most deserving winner of this year’s National Emerging Architect Prize. Graduating from RMIT University in 2006, Rodney founded March Studio in 2007 with graphic designer Anne-Laure Cavigneaux.

With relentless consistency, Rodney and the other members of March Studio demonstrate design excellence in everything they do. They inspire our industry by continuing to innovate with material explorations and experimental methods – all with an entrepreneurial spirit. This leadership is demonstrated across the board in retail, residential, cultural, hospitality and furniture design. March Studio has been awarded numerous state, national and international awards. Rodney is a regular contributor to the architectural profession as an awards juror, a speaker at forums and a visiting teacher at RMIT University. His passion for and contribution to various community groups through his voluntary efforts is admirable. Having very much already emerged, Rodney is to be congratulated on a truly impressive body of work. We look forward to his continuing connection to the Australian Institute of Architects.’ – Jury Citation