Last Friday night saw the architects of WA celebrate and pay tribute to a myriad of excellent new buildings and projects which have been completed in WA over the last 12 months. It’s always a brilliant exhibition of the talents of WA architecture firms, and an acknowledgment that we don’t create built works in a vacuum – none of the exceptional buildings up for awards happen without exceptional clients, talented consultants and amazing builders.

Perth Stadium by Hassell, Cox and HKS cleaned up (including taking out building of the year with the George Temple Poole Prize), Palassis Architects’ Cadogan Song School in the CBD was a stand out, not to mention beautiful projects by VittonoAshe, IPH, Craige Steere Architects and a bunch more.

The best part is that all the award winners and all the entrants are on show at Garden City, Booragoon until the 20th of July, so you can get a look at all of the quality projects being produced in and around WA – homes, renovations, schools, interior design, parks and bars – the lot! Check out the details here: https://www.gardencity.com.au/what-s-on/wa-architecture-awards-exhibition

I was also lucky enough to be asked to present the Emerging Architect Prize to this year’s winner, Katherine Ashe. This is an award presented to an ‘up and coming’ architect who is doing excellent work across a range of areas, and Katherine was a worthy winner. The transcript of my introduction speech and the jury’s citation for Katherine:

Thank you Matthew and thanks to Architectural Window Systems for continuing to support this Award, both in WA and across the country. It’s no small undertaking and it is so valuable to the next generation of architects that a partner of AWS’s calibre shows such huge support for the work that they do.

I am very pleased to be invited tonight to announce this year’s Emerging Architect Award. Current recipient Michael Gay sends his apologies as he cannot be present tonight. 

This Award is an important part of the Australian architectural landscape. It not only recognises individuals for their contribution to the profession, it highlights the varied pathways and architecture disciplines through which young architects can make their impact.  

As our profession assesses the challenges which will affect us and our work in the rapidly approaching future, we can benefit from looking to the new architects and the emerging practices. New ways of thinking and operating, new attitudes towards engaging the public and educating the next generation, re-thinking sometimes stale approaches as they seek to redefine what and who architecture is good for. 

This Award acknowledges these actions across practice, education, design excellence and community involvement, and tonight’s winner excels in all departments. 

It is with the greatest of pleasure that I present the 2018 Emerging Architect Award to Katherine Ashe. 

The jury’s citation:

Katherine Ashe is a most deserving winner of the Emerging Architect Award for 2018. 

Katherine has enjoyed great success as a practicing architect, innovative educator and scholar. She is clearly excellent in all of her professional endeavors. Through her practice, Vittino Ashe, Katherine is producing buildings and designs that are thoughtful, propositional and ingeniously crafted. 

Katherine’s teaching and supervision is highly valued by her students and peers and she is, through her involvement in the academy and profession, a leader of her peer group and a mentor for younger and emerging architects.  

Leading by example, Katherine manages to combine a broad range of contributions to architecture and also extends the reach of architecture by her work in and for community organisations. She is a progressive advocate for architecture and its role in society.

Congratulations Katherine and congratulations to all the winners and entrants for turning out such superlative work. If you want to see the kind of good work that architects can produce when given the opportunity, head down to Garden City over the next couple of weeks and have a look – you’ll never look at a building the same again.

DW