The Australian Institute of Architects announced the 2019 National Prizes at the National Architecture Conference in Melbourne.
The Institute’s highest honour, the Gold Medal, was awarded to Santa Monica-based Australian expatriates Hank Koning and Julie Eizenberg of Koning Eizenberg Architecture.
The jury said in its citation that “Through their affordable housing, education and civic projects, Julie and Hank have tirelessly fought to improve the situation of these typically underprivileged communities.”
The pair have performed this service not only through architectural commissions, but also through education and advocacy. Eizenberg has taught and lectured at Yale, Harvard, MIT, UCLA, SCI-Arc, Tulane University and the University of Melbourne.
“Julie and Hank have continuously sought to change the nature of the world they are pitching in. They do this by actively challenging the planning process through their engagement with authorities and the community to make better outcomes than the existing regulations and methods have typically allowed.
“In this way, the legacy of their projects lies not just in the bricks and mortar of the buildings themselves, but also in the hearts and minds of all those involved in making sure the lessons learnt extend beyond the property boundaries.”
The practice has been the recipient of a staggering inventory of awards from both Australian and American peak bodies. Among these are the Jørn Utzon Award for International Architecture for the Pico Branch Library, the American Institute of Architects’ Los Angeles Gold Medal, and a Chicago Athenaeum American Architecture Award for the Belmar Apartments.
Elsewhere in the 2019 National Prizes, comedian Tim Ross is awarded the National President’s Prize for his advocacy as “one of our industry’s most passionate activists and champions,” and the Institute’s new national president Helen Lochhead is awarded the Paul Whitman Leadership in Gender Equity Prize for her “contribution to education, research, advocacy, policy development and community engagement.”
The winners of the 2019 National Prizes are:
Gold Medal – Hank Koning and Julie Eizenberg of Koning Eizenberg Architecture.
National President’s Prize – Tim Ross
Paula Whitman Leadership in Gender Equity Prize – Helen Lochhead
Leadership in Sustainability Prize – Cooperative Research Centre for Low Carbon Living
Neville Quarry Prize for Architectural Education – Vivian Mitsogianni
BlueScope Steel Glenn Murcutt Student Prize – Sobi Slingsby
Student Prize for the Advancement of Architecture – Bobbie Bayley and Owen Kelly