About the Gold Medal
Congratulations John Wardle
The Gold Medal – the Australian Institute of Architects’ highest honour – recognises distinguished service by architects who have designed or executed buildings of high merit, producing work of great distinction that has advanced architecture or endowed the profession in a distinguished manner.
John Wardle is an architect’s architect. He is a designer of consummate skill, whose works, from the smallest intricate piece of joinery to complex high-rise buildings receive detailed attention and conscientious formal experiment. His works celebrate both individual craft and the broader production processes of making a building. His works re-position the role of the architect as chief designer in the process of making a building. His works are the outcome of a studio-based collaborative practice.
Who can participate
The Gold Medal is the highest honour the Institute may bestow.
The Award is made in recognition of most distinguished services by an individual architect who has designed or executed structures of high merit or produced work of great distinction to promote or facilitate the knowledge of architecture, or by work which has endowed the profession of architecture in such an exceptional or distinguished way as to merit the award.
In exceptional circumstances, the Gold Medal may be awarded to a group of individual architects who demonstrate that they have collectively met the above criteria.
ENTRIES FOR THE 2021 GOLD MEDAL ARE NOW CLOSED!
Participation requirements / What we look for
The Gold Medal may be awarded to an Australian or foreign architect.
Not more than one Gold Medal shall be awarded in any year, and the honour need not necessarily be given each year.
Nominations are sought for excellence in the achievement of the following:
- 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
Nominations must be made electronically and provide:
- Comprehensive biographical details
- Career history
- Evidence of distinguished work
- Australian Institute of Architects Service
- Chapter President’s citation supporting the nomination
How to nominate
The Nomination process
The Gold Medal is the highest honour the Institute may bestow.
Annually the CEO will call for nominations for the Gold Medal.
The CEO (or delegate) shall keep a record of Gold Medal nominations including the original date received. Nominations will be considered by the Gold Medal Committee and, if considered worthy, will be added to the Gold Medal Register. Once on the register, nominations will be considered each year for five consecutive years, after which the nomination will lapse. Previous nominees may be re-nominated. The Gold Medal Register will be kept confidential. Those nominated are not guaranteed a place on the Register.
To suggest a Gold Medal nominee please contact your local Chapter. Entries are closed for 2021 Gold Medal. Entries for 2022 Gold Medal will open February 2021.
Gold Medal nominations are submitted to the National Awards and Prizes Manager by:
- National Council – signed by the President
- National Executive – signed by the President
- Chapter Council – signed by the Chapter President
- National Committee – signed by the Committee Chair
- The National President
- A National Councilor
- A Chapter President
- A Chairperson of a National Committee
- An Area Committee – signed by the Chair
2020 Gold Medal
Congratulations John Wardle
Since the formation of his Melbourne-based practice in 1986, John Wardle has devoted his energies to maintaining the design ethos of the small office to ever larger institutional and commercial projects across the country. His early practice was built upon the design of single-family houses such as the Kitamura house, Kew (1995) and Isaacson-Davis house, Balnarring (1997) whose external forms, interiors and joinery rejoiced in the pleasures of creating place, spatial delight and exquisitely resolved detail. At the same time, Wardle commenced a long and productive association with institutional clients, CSIRO and the Salvation Army, designing, on the one hand, laboratories and research facilities and on the other, low-budget low-income residential accommodation. As a result, Wardle and his office developed considerable expertise in responding to programs and client bodies of considerable complexity, while at the still delivering projects of considerable architectural design integrity.
More than three decades of honing skills to address often competing agendas, purposefully and cogently, with the ongoing support and development of a studio-based office of committed staff at every level, has meant that John Wardle has created a practice of national stature and international repute; a practice where design excellence takes the prime position in every single project and at every scale.
In the last decade, Wardle’s institutional and commercial buildings have reasserted architecture form at the city scale. The Urban Workshop (2000-07) and the Nigel Peck Centre for Learning and Leadership (2004-2007) in Melbourne, the Kaurna Building (2002-05) in Adelaide, and the Queensland Brain Institute (2004-2007) in Brisbane, and the Jane Foss Russell Building in Sydney (2009) exemplify the national impact of Wardle’s personal project of raising the public status of architectural design. His public buildings have become exemplars of quality for institutional and commercial patrons.
Wardle’s domestic projects too are of note, continuing the great Australian tradition of the single-family house as the architect’s laboratory for experiment and innovation. His iterative design process is an exemplar for students of architecture. His collaborations with artists and craftspeople comprise a practice of mutual enrichment not only for the built environment but also for each contributing discipline.
Evidence of consistent peer recognition over more than 30 years reinforces the view of John Wardle as an architect whose contribution to the development of Australian architecture has been distinguished and substantial. His practice has been the recipient of numerous state Institute awards for architectural excellence in Victoria, South Australia, and Queensland as well as numerous awards at the national level.
In Victoria, Wardle is a two-time winner of the Victorian Architecture Medal (1997 and 2008), the state’s highest accolade. He has won the Harold Desbrowe-Annear Award for residential architecture three times (1995, 1997 and 2004), the Sir Osborn McCutcheon Award for commercial architecture twice (1997 and 2006), and the William Wardell Award for public buildings twice (2000 and 2008).
At a national level, he has twice been the recipient of the Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Buildings (2002 and 2006), the Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture twice (2012 and 2013) as well as the inaugural Daryl Jackson Award for Educational Architecture (2015). Such acknowledgement of design excellence demonstrated across a range of building types and geographic locations is further evidence of the deserved peer respect for the dexterity of his formal compositions, his programmatic innovations as well as his engagement with residential, institutional and commercial clients.
John Wardle is an outstanding Australian architect who maintains an exemplary practice. Across the nation he has restored faith in what architects do best – the design of buildings that function well and please hand and eye. He is a most worthy candidate for the award of the Gold Medal, the highest accolade of the Australian Institute of Architects.
Gold medallists 1960-2019
|Year||Gold Medallist||Year (1960-89)||Gold Medallist|
|2019||Hank Koning and Julie Eizenberg||1989||Robin Findlay Gibson|
|2018||Alec Tzannes||1988||Romaldo Giurgola|
|2017||Peter Elliot||1987||Daryl Sanders Jackson|
|2016||Stephen Ashton, Howard Raggatt and Ian McDougall||1986||Richard Butterworth|
|2015||Peter Stutchbury||1985||Richard Norman Johnson|
|2014||Phil Harris and Adrian Welke, Troppo||1984||Philip Sutton Cox|
|2013||Peter Wilson||1983||Gilbert Ridgway Nicol and Ross Kingsley Chisholm|
|2012||Lawrence Nield||1982||Sir John Wallace Overall|
|2011||Graeme Gunn||1981||Colin Frederick Madigan|
|2010||Lindsay and Kerry Clare||1980||John Hamilton Andrews|
|2009||Ken Maher||1979||Harold Bryce Mortlock|
|2008||Richard Johnson||1978||Mervyn Henry Parry|
|2007||Enrico Taglietti||1977||Ronald Andrew Gilling|
|2006||Kerry Hill||1976||Harry Seidler|
|2005||James Birrell||1975||Sydney Edward Ancher|
|2004||Gregory Burgess||1974||Raymond Berg|
|2003||Peter Corrigan||1973||Jørn Utzon|
|2002||Brit Andresen||1972||Edward Herbert Farmer|
|2001||Keith Eric Cottier||1971||Frederick Bruce Lucas|
|2000||John Neville Morphett||1970||Jack Hobbs McConnell|
|1999||Richard Leplastrier||1969||Robin Boyd|
|1998||Gabriel Poole||1968||Sir Roy Grounds|
|1997||Roy McCowan Simpson||1967||William Purves Race Godfrey|
|1996||John Denton, William Corker, Barrington Marshall||1966||Wiliam Rae Laurie|
|1995||no award||1965||Sir Osborn McCutcheon|
|1994||Neville Quarry||1964||Cobden Parkes|
|1993||Kenneth Frank Woolley||1963||Sir Arthur Stephenson|
|1992||Glenn Marcus Murcutt||1962||Joseph Charles Fowell|
|1991||Donald Campbell Rupert Bailey||1961||Louis Laybourne Smith|
|1990||Professor Peter McIntyre||1960||Leslie Wilkinson|