The 2012 Australian Achievement in Architecture Award

The 2012 Australian Achievement in Architecture Award

The 2012 Australian Achievement in Architecture Awards (AAAA) were presented at a dinner at the Adelaide Zoo on 21 March 2012. The awards acknowledge individuals within the industry who contribute significantly to Australian architecture, particularly in the areas of innovative design, research and development, dedication to the profession and community involvement.

The highest honour bestowed by the Institute, the Gold Medal, was presented to Lawrence Nield.

The jury for the Gold Medal in 2012 was made up of Brian Zulaikha, Lindsay Clare, Jennifer Taylor, Keith Cottier and Abbie Gavin. The jury noted that Mr Nield’s output over 45 years had been ”prolific” and his ”broad and principled approach to architecture reveals an uncommon understanding of our history and the arts”.

Brian Zulaikha, the president of the Australian Institute of Architects, presented the 2012 Gold Medal for Architecture, to Lawrence Nield. Zulaikha said he was proud to announce Lawrence Nield as the 2012 recipient of the prestigious accolade. Lawrence is a true world citizen: his work spans eight countries. Nevertheless “his local work uses a broad and principled approach to architecture that reveals an uncommon understanding of our history, the arts and other intellectual achievements, and his projects draw on a diverse range of architectural interests and studies,” Zulaikha said.

overseas passenger terminal, sydney -1988

To read the AAAA 2012 jury’s citation and more about Lawrence Nield please follow on here ..

2012 Jury citation

Lawrence Nield has made an outstanding contribution to architecture for over forty-five years. His career combines a prolific and continued output of significant architecture and urban design projects with services to the Australian Institute of Architects and academic and teaching achievements, including a distinguished list of writings and publications.

Lawrence graduated with honours from the University of Sydney in 1963 and completed a master’s degree at Cambridge in 1968 under the tutelage of Sir Leslie Martin and Joseph Rykwert. His thesis “The Superstructure of the Greek Doric Temple” developed his strong understanding of typology and classicism. The influence of Colin St John Wilson (also at Cambridge), combined with a strong commitment to modernism, has defined an approach to design as a framework for human activity and occupation, wherein the consequence and “substance of architecture is more important than form.”

Lawrence’s broad and principled approach to architecture reveals an uncommon understanding of our history and the arts, among other intellectual achievements. His projects draw on a diverse range of architectural interests. He has undertaken commissions in eight countries and his works are formed by the uniqueness of each project’s context, function and occupation. They demonstrate his conviction that the architectural solution must “strengthen and sustain culture.” He is an active proponent of better cities, with a major interest in the “global phenomenon of the tall building and its adaption to the Asian-Pacific context.” He recently completed his involvement as masterplanner for Victoria Harbour in Melbourne’s Docklands.

On his return to Australia, Lawrence worked with McConnel Smith and Johnson until 1975, when he established the practice Lawrence Nield and Partners. In 1997 he was a founding principal of Bligh Voller Nield. These practices have produced challenging work that explores new concepts and they have consistently received RAIA and Institute state and national awards, demonstrating Lawrence’s ability as a designer and as a strategic leader or facilitator in creating works of the highest standard. He continues to practise as Studio Nield with his wife Andrea, whom he supported in establishing Emergency Architects Australia in 2005. Lawrence also served as president of the NSW Chapter Council from 1986 to 1988 and played a key role in establishing the chapter at Tusculum.

After graduating from Cambridge he worked in London with Yorke, Rosenberg and Mardall, an experience that led to his interest in hospital design. He believes that hospitals should be “temples of care” rather than “temples of waiting,” and his early work in hospital planning was both visionary and pragmatic, as with the Mount Druitt Hospital, 1982. His innovative designs have been highly influential in the development of health planning in Australia and Asia, notably Hong Kong, where he has been engaged in major studies for health facilities.

Lawrence has also contributed widely to design and strategies for sports playing facilities, having been appointed in 1994 the head of masterplanning for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, and through his involvement in numerous international projects including the planning of four Olympic Games sites. Throughout his career he has also provided leadership in the design of educational facilities, through numerous important university buildings since the pioneering David Maddison Clinical Sciences Building, School of Medicine, University of Newcastle, in 1981.

Lawrence received the 1988 RAIA National Civic Design Award (in association with the NSW Government Architect) for the Overseas Passenger Terminal Sydney, the 1997 RAIA National Sir Zelman Cowen Award (in association with John Mainwaring and Associates) for the University of the Sunshine Coast Library, the 2000 RAIA NSW Sir John Sulman Medal for the Sydney Olympic Park Tennis Centre, a 2007 RIBA International Award for the L5 Building at the University of New South Wales (with Andrew Cortese) and the Architectural Society of China’s Grand Architectural Creation Award 2009 for the Beijing Olympic Tennis Centre, among many awarded projects.

Lawrence was a professor of architecture at the University of Sydney, from 1992 to 1996, followed by adjunct professorships at the University of New South Wales, the University of Technology, Sydney and the University of Sydney, and at present is a professor of architecture at the University of Newcastle.

Architecture has also benefited from the keen intellect evident in his extensive, nationally and internationally published works and writings. Among his literary offerings are significant contributions to Celebrating Chandigarh, edited by Jaspreet Takhar and Changing Hospital Design, edited by Sunand Prasad; the founding of the critical journal Content while at the University of Sydney and his joint authorship of its publication Skyplane; his role as a contributing editor to the Oxford Companion to Architecture; and his continuing studies concerning the fundamental nature of urban form.

His stated aspiration is for architecture to provide support and background for cultural and social activity, maintaining that “without cultural meaning and recognition architecture is just a commodity.” He argues for environmental leadership in architecture and personally has shown true leadership through his consistent and passionate advocacy for this humanist role for the profession.

The Australian Institute of Architects recognizes and honours Lawrence Nield as the 2012 recipient of the Gold Medal.

Lawrence Nield and the 2008 Beijing Tennis Centre

About Lawrence Nield

An urban design architecture and sports planning enthusiast, Lawrence Nield has seen his fair share of the world, working in Australia and New Zealand, Greece, China, Vietnam, Italy, France and Britain.

Having been appointed head of masterplanning for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games in 1994, he designed five venues in 2004 Athens, and five venues and for the Beijing Olympic Games. He worked on the Paris Olympic bid for 2012 Games for which he was made ‘le Chevalier de l’ordre des l’Arts et Lettres’ by the French Republic. The Architectural Society of China honoured him the “Grand Architectural Creation Award’ after the Olympic Games. Nield was the Professor of Architecture at the University of Sydney from 1992-1996, and is now a visiting Professor at the University of NSW.

He founded the firm Lawrence Nield & Partners in 1976, which merged with Bligh Voller in 1998 to form Bligh Voller Nield,

His designs have won numerous awards, including the RAIA Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Buildings in 1997 for University of the Sunshine Coast Library, the Sulman Award and the RIBA International Award. He is the author the Australian and New Zealand section of the ‘Oxford Companion to Architecture’ and co –author of the ‘Changing Hospital Architecture’ and ‘City Spaces: art and design’

In the video below – Lawrence Nield discusses the impact of skyscrapers in a city space, on the culture and society. He illustrates building that were built for form and not substance and reason behind these builds

About Studio Nield

Lawrence Nield was a founding principal of Bligh Voller Nield, a leading architectural practice.

Lawrence Nield headed up the master planning team for the main site of the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games at Homebush Bay. He designed the Olympic Tennis Centre and the Broadcast Centre. Bligh Voller Nield, with Lobb, was the architect for the Olympic (now ANZ) Stadium. He was involved in the planning and design of the Athens 2004, Beijing 2008 and London 2012 Olympic Games. In Beijing, he designed the tennis and rowing centre and, in London, part of the Olympic Village.

Lawrence Nield started Studio Nield in 2008 to give specialist high-level consultancy advice on major sport and health development.

Studio Nield has been advising the Hong Kong Government and the State Governments in Australia.

He has won major architectural awards in Australia and China and is a Professor at the University of Newcastle. At Newcastle, he is researching the car-less city. Cities, he says seldom develop in conformance with a plan but are a collage of major projects leading to new physical and social infrastructure developments. Hallmark events as major projects have a great impact on modernisation, sustainability and amenity of cities. Barcelona, Sydney and Athens have been very positively influenced by their Games. Major events provide great short and long-term opportunities

About BVN

From humble beginnings in Toowoomba in 1926, BVN has grown to become one of Australia’s biggest and well known architectural firms. With over 85 years experience, BVN Architecture is widely acknowledged for creative, award-winning design.

Bligh Voller Nield was established during 1997 to 1999 with the merger of Bligh Voller Architects, Lawrence Nield and Partners Australia, Grose Bradley and Pels Innes Neilson and Kosloff.

In 2009, Bligh Voller Nield became BVN Architecture.

BVN Architecture is one of the largest architectural practices in Australia with offices located in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne with project offices in Canberra, Auckland and London. The firm has been extremely successful since the early 2000s designing many landmark buildings in Australia and sport facilities for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games, 2008 Beijing Olympic Games and 2012 London Olympic Games.

BVN 2008 Lawrence Nield retirement dinner

Lawrence Nield Retirement Dinner
03 November 2008

Glam and glitter aplenty were on show at the Sydney Opera House as the friends and colleagues of Lawrence gathered for his Retirement Dinner on 3 November. The evening commenced with cocktails in the Opera Theatre Northern Foyer followed by dinner attended by over 150 guests. Entertaining valedictory addresses were presented by Joseph Rykwert, Xing Ruan and Graham Bligh, with Lawrence’s address touching on numerous stories and the many friends and collaborators from his exemplary academic and professional career. BVN wishes Lawrence congratulations on this great life milestone and, together with Andrea, best wishes for their new future direction.


The 2012 Australian Achievement in Architecture Awards

Gold Medal for Architecture – Lawrence Nield
National President’s Prize – Lucy Turnbull
William J. Mitchell International Committee Prize – John Andrews
Neville Quarry Architectural Education Prize – winner: Shane Murray, commendation: David O’Brien
Emerging Architect Prize – Kelly Rattigan
Leadership in Sustainability Prize – Rob Adams and the City Design Division
Student Prize for the Advancement of Architecture – Samuel Jeyaseelan
Dulux Study Tour – James Coombe, Anna Maskiell, Emily Ouston, Shaun Carter and Weian Lim
Colorbond Steel Student Biennale – winner: Adrian Kenyon, commendations: Hannah Robertson, Christopher Trotta and Tor Dahl

Share your thoughts