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Centennial Park Chapel Complex by Geof Nairn Architects

Centennial Park Chapel Complex by Geof Nairn Architects
photo credit Design Inc

What's on SA

20 Aug Emerging Architects Prize Tour
29 Aug Co-opertition Steel Forum
5 Sep  Archispiel

Awards in South Australia

The Australian Institute of Architects' Architecture Awards program is a National Awards program. In the first instance, entries are submitted and judged in each State and Territory. The State level winners of named awards and architecture awards progress to become the national pool of entries for the Institute's National Architecture Awards.

Three tiers of recognition are given in each State and also at National level.


Named Awards

The highest accolade awarded in each category is a 'named award'. Each 'named award' bears the name of an architect whose contribution in a specialist area is still highly regarded. There is only one 'named award' in each category in any year at State level and only one 'named award' in each category in any year at National level.


Architecture Awards

Architecture Awards are awarded in each category to projects of excellence which demonstrate consummate architectural skill and contribute to the advancement of architecture in South Australia. More than one Architecture Award may be given in each category in any year at State and National level.



Commendations are awarded in each category to projects of special merit which demonstrate significant architectural skill. More than one Commendation may be given in each category in any year at State and National level.

Named Awards in South Australia

The Jack McConnell Award for Public Architecture

Jack McConnell (1913 – 2005) had a great influence on post-World War II architecture in Australia, and left his mark in the form of architectural excellence in many of his prestigious buildings both in South Australia and in other states.  Throughout his outstanding career – and his significant contribution to the architectural profession as National President in 1968-69, a Life Fellow, and a Gold Medalist in 1970.

The Dr John Mayfield Award for Educational Architecture 
Dr John Mayfield, PhD (Harvard) was a leader in education, as a teacher, inspector, administrator, author and instigator of ideas. He was recognised as being visionary, and yet realistically practical. He was involved in the planning and governance of public and private schools and in the design, financing and management of education buildings for more than 30 years. In that time he provided inspirational leadership, innovation and the sharing of ideas locally and internationally.

The John S Chappel Award for Residential Architecture Houses (New)

John Chappell commenced in architecture immediately following service in World War II.  He immediately became a leader in the introduction of contemporary architectural style, mainly in many individual residences for private clients.  His contribution to the promotion of contemporary residential architecture is also evident in the many years that he maintained a regular feature on the subject in the Sunday Mail.

The John Schenk Award for Residential Architecture Houses (Alterations and Additions)
John Schenk LFRAIA has an educational philosophy aimed at encouraging students to achieve their individual design and career goals with a particular interest in the practice of architecture, and maintains close links with the profession and the Australian Institute of Architects. John was Chair of the SA Chapter Education Committee and as an active member of the National Education Committee for many years. His teaching and research interests are in Practice Management, Studio, Housing and Urban Design.

The Newell Platten Award for Multiple Housing

Newell Platten strongly influenced housing design in South Australia throughout his long career. His partnership with Robert Dixon produced both individual and multiple residential projects, in a distinctive and often imitated style. Later, as Chief Design Architect, he enhanced the South Australian Housing Trusts reputation for quality public housing through effective advocacy, the establishment of new design standards and a range of exemplary projects.

The Keith Neighbour Award for Commercial Architecture
Keith Neighbour (1919 – 2011) was one of the first of the new breed of architects who shaped his own role as a Project Manager and entrepreneur. His practice completed work ranging over homes for the aged, hotels, motels, cinemas, drive-ins, service stations, hospitals, schools, and multi-storey office buildings, houses, churches and factories. Significantly he received an Order of Australia in 1992 for his services to architecture.

The David Saunders Award for Heritage
David Saunders was Professor of Architecture at the University of Adelaide from 1977 – 1986.  He made significant contributions to Australian architectural history, to appreciation of the heritage of Australia and to its conservation.

The Robert Dickson Award for Interior Architecture

Robert Dickson (1926 – 2014) was an outstanding South Australian architect.  The practice of Dickson and Platten produced many architecturally important buildings including Kathleen Lumley College (1969), the University of Adelaide’s Student Union (1967) and Salisbury Civic Centre (1972).

The Gavin Walkley Award for Urban Design

Gavin Walkley (1911 – 2005) was influential in architectural and environmental design education and professional organizations.  He was President of the Institutes of Architects, Town Planning and Landscape Architecture and was instrumental in establishing the Australian Institute of Urban Studies.

The Marjorie Simpson Award for Small Project Architecture

The first female life fellow of the SA Chapter, Marjorie Simpson (1924 – 2003) reinvigorated the Small Homes Service (later the Architects Advisory Service) in the late fifties being involved with the service for 25 years.  Marjorie was also a partner in Simpson and Simpson where they undertook a variety of work, from domestic to banks and retail.

The Derrick Kendrick Award for Sustainable Architecture

Derrick Kendrick pioneered teaching architecture students every aspect of building science with a strong focus on environmental concerns, specialising in the field of lighting and daylighting. During his 34 years teaching at the University of Adelaide, he established the Building Science laboratory for testing building materials, models for sun control testing using a solarscope, and colour, electric lighting and daylighting experiments. He was the Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Planning, and Head of the Department of Architecture at the university.

The Jack Cheesman Award for Enduring Architecture

Jack Cheesman (1905 - 1994) was an influential and progressive figure in South Australian architecture for more than 50 years. He championed modernist architecture and town planning and served with distinction on diverse national and local committees. Many of Adelaide’s leading 20th century architects were associated at some point with his practices, which produced many notable and enduring buildings.

State Prizes & Medals

Sir James Irwin President’s Medal
This award, which is funded by the late Sir James Irwin, recognises excellence in the contribution made to architecture. Over the years the medal has been awarded annually by the current SA Chapter President to individuals (mainly), partnerships and Government agencies.

View the list of past recipients.

The City of Adelaide Prize

The City of Adelaide Prize is a State category sponsored by the Adelaide City Council and presented by the SA Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects, which recognises and awards innovative built projects including public art and temporary contributions to public space that activate and enliven the City’s public spaces and engage with the community, including urban experiments such as recent SPLASH Adelaide Projects.

The People's Choice Awards
Each year the people of South Australia have the chance to vote for their favourite projects in the City of Adelaide Prize, supported by The Adelaide Review.