2018 National Prizes: National President’s Prize

Click to enlarge
Rob Adams.

Rob Adams. Image: Jessica Shapiro/City of Melbourne

National President’s Prize: Rob Adams AM LFRAIA (City of Melbourne)
2018 National Prizes
Australian Institute of Architects

Jury citation

Our cities are now well understood to be an essential part of our cultural and economic wellbeing. A city that is equitable and celebrates diversity is a city that demonstrates insightful governance – an emblem of leadership. Melbourne is regularly considered to be one of the world’s most liveable cities and it should be acknowledged that this doesn’t happen by chance but through foresight, planning and patience by skilled architects, designers and planners. It is not a coincidence that Melbourne has been under the custodianship of one person for over thirty years, who has, through sheer dedication and skill, made this city one of the world’s greatest. I am therefore delighted to announce the awarding of the 2018 National President’s Prize to Professor Rob Adams AM, who has dedicated his professional career to the success of the City of Melbourne.

Rob, as the director of City Design for the City of Melbourne, is a formidable architect and urban designer. As an advocate for the city, Rob has made one of the greatest contributions to the profession – he has demonstrated that design can be an essential part of the process of how we make our cities. Through patience and perseverance over many years, he has shaped public policy in the City of Melbourne and will leave a lasting legacy to that community.

The City Design team, under Rob’s leadership, has crafted a vision for the City of Melbourne where the public realm is championed. Making a city centre that people want to visit and live in contributes to the enrichment of the whole city. I hope this award will communicate to other cities that the success of Melbourne is not circumstantial or something that has occurred recently. Melbourne’s success has emerged over time through a carefully orchestrated process guided by a sensitively conceived design vision.

Rob has received many accolades throughout his career, including recognition as a Life Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects and a Member of the Order of Australia. He has also served on numerous boards and design advisory panels. This President’s Prize adds another dimension to these accolades – it acknowledges his professional contribution to the service of architecture in demonstrating how the profession can be a vital part of civic leadership within our community. Rob has redefined the purview of the architect to include a central role in the making of our cities.

If only every Australian city had a Rob Adams, we might see more of our cities being recognized as the best.


Richard Kirk LFRAIA (Chair) – President, Australian Institute of Architects and Director, Kirk

More award

Most read