Australian Gold Medal to John Wardle

John Hill
9. May 2020
Tanderrum Bridge, with NADAAA (Photo © Kristoffer Paulsen)

The Australian Institute of Architects has selected John Wardle as the 2020 recipient of the Gold Medal, the institute's highest honor.

John Wardle Architects was established in Melbourne in 1986. The firm has worked on projects from the scale of installations, pavilions, and single-family houses to large-scale institutional and commercial buildings. Consistent across the work, per the five-member jury*, is "the design of buildings that function well and please hand and eye." The jury also commended Wardle's "iterative design process" as "an exemplar for students of architecture." In addition to his practice, Wardle is an adjunct professor at the School of Art, Architecture and Design, University of South Australia.

Melbourne School of Design, with NADAAA (Photo © John Horner)

Professor Helen Lochhead, chair of the jury, said this about Wardle's work:
"His outstanding contribution to architecture is wide-ranging and enduring, with his work having a lasting influence in shaping our profession. ... John 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. John’s works celebrate both individual craft and the broader production processes of making a building, making him the consummate architects' architect."

"Somewhere Other" at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale (Photo: John Hill/World-Architects)
*The 2020 Gold Medal jury:

  • Helen Lochhead (Chair) – National President, Australian Institute of Architects | Dean, UNSW Built Environment
  • Clare Cousins – Immediate Past President, Australian Institute of Architects | Director, Clare Cousins Architects
  • Geoffrey London – Professor of Architecture, University of Western Australia
  • Peter Elliott – 2017 Gold Medallist | Principal, Peter Elliott Architecture and Urban Design
  • Wendy Lewin – Principal, Wendy Lewin Architect

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