CONGRATULATIONS TO THE RAIA’S 2005 National Architecture Award winners and commendation recipients, featured throughout this awards issue of Architecture Australia. This year’s winning projects, as always, are exemplary – from Stutchbury and Pape’s wonderfully contextual and environmentally pioneering Deepwater Woolshed, to Ancher Mortlock and Woolley’s glorious restoration of the State Library in Victoria, to the cliff-straddling prowess of Durbach Block’s House Holman, and the thoughtful, appropriate beauty of Anzac Hall.
They all are exceptional projects that display great architectural merit, an acute sense of their responsibilities to the public realm, and to individuals. As they must in today’s world, they demonstrate a clear understanding of and willingness to embrace ecologically sustainable design principles. Some are shining examples of a celebration of the history of place. I would encourage readers to familiarize themselves personally with these fantastic examples of Australian architecture where possible, not just through these pages. It’s especially heartening that many of this year’s awards have gone to highly accessible public projects – Anzac Hall in Canberra can and must be experienced up close, as can The Mint in Sydney and the Walsh Bay Redevelopment, together with the Perth Town Hall, Melbourne’s GPO, Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium and Hobart’s IXL Development.
While I congratulate all the award and commendation recipients, I would also like to applaud those 600-plus members from around Australia who submitted entries. Thank you for your participation. There were good projects that unfortunately didn’t make it through to the 90-odd state and territory award winners list, and some excellent projects that didn’t win a national award. I would encourage you all to keep entering the awards and remind you that your efforts are never in vain as all entries are displayed on our awards gallery at www.architecture.com.au.
It’s fitting that in this year, the 75th anniversary of the RAIA, that we announced our winning projects and celebrated Australia’s top architects responsible for them, at a special Architecture Awards evening at the Sydney Opera House. A recorded message from Jørn Utzon was a special highlight of the evening, and I would like to thank him, and his son Jan who attended on his behalf, for helping us mark such a special occasion for the Institute.
The awards are a good demonstration that Australian architects are some of the best performing professionals in the world. Their contribution to the quality of the built environment in which we live, work and play is significant and sometimes reaches beyond traditional notions of architecture.
I’m pleased to say that this expertise can now be exported more readily following the launch of a new initiative last month allowing reciprocal trade of architectural services between twelve Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) countries – without the considerable cost and time traditionally required for architects to practise in those countries.
The initiative, the APEC Architect Register, has been developed by the APEC Human Resources Development Working Group (HRDWG), and aims to reduce or remove the current barriers to architects’ independent practise among participating APEC signatory economies.
While we have world-class architects, in the past strict registration requirements in all participating APEC countries meant that Australian architects faced a complicated application process – sometimes involving examinations and requiring a period of residency to be professionally recognized. Often, Australian architects could only work overseas if allied with a domestically registered architect.
The Register will aid mobility of architects between APEC countries by developing mutually recognized skills and qualifications – substantially reducing the time and red tape required to meet the traditional regulatory requirements for registration. On behalf of the RAIA, I applaud the move, and acknowledge the collaboration with the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia to achieve this outcome which will benefit both architects and their clients in all APEC countries.
BOB NATION FRAIA
NATIONAL PRESIDENT RAIA