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International Prizes


The International Chapter supports two Prizes which recognise significant contributions to architecture internationally. These prizes are offered annually, on an alternating basis:


William J Mitchell International Chapter Prize

Established 2012 The William J. Mitchell International Chapter Prize is awarded in recognition of a significant contribution to architecture internationally. It is primarily intended to enhance the profile of Australian architecture internationally and the profile and career of the winner. From 2016, it is awarded biennially in every even year (2016, 2018, 2020, etc.).

The prize is named to commemorate architect Bill Mitchell, who made a significant contribution to the profession both in Australia and internationally.

Eligibility for the Prize is defined as of any nationality; based in Australia or overseas; an architect or allied professional; an Institute member or not; and an individual (preferred) or a group, but not a project. The full criteria and procedure will be advertised at the next call for entries.

More information about Bill Mitchell is published on this Wikipedia link.

2018 Dr Liu Thai Ker FRAIA, Morrow

The William J. Mitchell International Chapter Prize is awarded bi-annually in recognition of a significant contribution by an Australia-linked practitioner to architecture globally. In 2018 the International Chapter has selected Dr Liu Thai Ker FRAIA to receive this important acknowledgement.

Dr Liu was born in Malaysia but grew up and practises in Singapore where he was influential in the conceptualisation and implementation of the urban structure and landscape the city-state. Dr Liu received a Bachelors degree in architecture from the University of New South Wales in 1962, and a Masters in City Planning from Yale in 1965. UNSW later awarded him an honorary Doctorate (1995). In Singapore, he received the Public Administration Medal in 1976 and a Singapore Institute of Architects Gold Medal, among other prizes.

Returning to Singapore from his overseas studies (and work with I.M.Pei) he joined the Housing Development Board (1969-1989), the government builder of affordable housing for sale to citizens. He quickly rose from Head of its Design and Research Section, via Chief Architect to Chief Executive. He re-directed the HDB’s approach from large-scale estates (which had replaced scattered ‘kampongs’) to self-sufficient new-towns of Garden City inspiration. A Unite type apartment model was tailored to the tropics by single loading open access corridors for better cross ventilation and activating the pilotied-base as a venue for cultural activities; weddings and wakes.

From 1989 until 1992 Dr Liu headed the Urban Redevelopment Authority, revising the conceptual master plan for the island and promoting the conservation of the City’s heritage and early modern buildings. He then joined private practice as a Director of RSP Architects, Planners and Engineers, and, in 2017, founded his firm, Morrow. In the last 25 years, Dr Liu has served as a planning advisor for many municipal governments in China, and master planned more than 30 cities worldwide. His approach is ‘scientific’ with an emphasis on evidence-based provisioning of basic amenities, transport and accommodation but an aspiration to thus enable intellectual and cultural life.

It is with great pleasure, that the International Chapter awards the William J. Mitchell Prize to the ‘Architect of Modern Singapore’, Dr Liu Thai Ker.

2016 Brian Burr

The William J. Mitchell International Chapter Prize is awarded annually in recognition of a significant contribution to architecture internationally. It is primarily intended to enhance the profile of Australian architecture internationally and the profile and career of the winner. This year the International Chapter has selected Brian Burr as an exemplary recipient of the prize.

Within the discipline of architecture there are few with comparable talent and discipline as the architectural renderer Brian Burr.

With a fine eye, steady hand, and attention to accuracy and detail, Mr. Burr creates drawings breathtaking in their draftsman-ship as well as their beauty. While photo-realistic computer-generated drawings dominate the architectural profession, Mr. Burr has remained resolutely steadfast in his belief that pencil, eye and hand reign supreme when visualising the built environment, present and future, and has subsequently and rightly earned the respect of every architect, in Australia and Internationally, who has had the pleasure of working with him.

After graduating from the University of Melbourne in 1963  Mr. Burr worked in numerous cities around the world, including a few years in his hometown of Melbourne. However, New York City is where Mr. Burr has primarily practiced and honed his craft. And, over some forty and more years as a New Yorker, Mr. Burr established himself as a highly respected and sought after architectural renderer for a significant and diverse group of international practitioners—all unified by their respect for his artistic ability as well as his personal camaraderie.

Mr. Burr has readily built-upon and continued the legacy and lineage of an elite group of gifted‎ architectural artists.

With such exceptional talent and credentials, the International Chapter considered Brian Burr a worthy recipient, given its mission and objectives, of the William J. Mitchell International Chapter Prize.

2015 Louise Cox

The William J. Mitchell International Committee Prize is awarded annually in recognition of a significant contribution to architecture internationally. It is primarily intended to enhance the profile of Australian architecture internationally and the profile and career of the winner. This year the International Area Committee has selected Louise Cox as an exemplary recipient of the prize.

Cox completed her Bachelor of Architecture at the University of Sydney in 1963 and commenced work experience with Peddle Thorp & Walker. This was followed by a two-year period working in London for Chamberlin, Powell and Bon, where she gained experience in health architecture.

Cox completed a Diploma in Town and Country Planning in 1971, also at the University of Sydney. She emerged as a strong individual and leader, elected as the first female National President of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects for the 1994–95 term. In 1990, she became aware of opportunities to contribute to international architecture culture through the International Union of Architects (UIA) congress in Montreal. This led to further involvement with the UIA following her appointment as a councillor for Region IV (Asia and Oceania) in 1996 and her subsequent role as UIA vice-president for Region IV in 2002.

Cox’s voice in the UIA and her international pursuits led to her election as President of the UIA from 2008 to 2011. She played a key role in the development of the UNESCO-UIA Charter for Architectural Education, the associated Education Policy Paper, the UNESCO-UIA Validation System and the UN-HABITAT World Urban Campaign. In her typical commitment to tasks at hand, Cox based herself in Paris for her presidential term.

She was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2014 for her contributions to architecture, and in 2011 France’s then Minister of Culture and Communication, Frédéric Mitterrand, invested her with the rank of Chevalier d’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, one of the highest honorary distinctions granted by the French Republic.

Cox has been described as forthright and formidable, but this committee recognizes her generous and wonderful spirit that makes her presence memorable and compelling. The committee celebrates this worthy recipient of the William J. Mitchell International Committee Prize.

2014 Haig Beck & Jackie Cooper

The William J. Mitchell International Committee Prize is awarded annually to honour Australians who have made a significant contribution to the profession, study or advancement of architecture beyond our shores. The committee has selected Haig Beck and Jackie Cooper as worthy recipients of the 2014 prize.

For nearly forty years, Beck and Cooper have collaborated as architectural editors, critics, writers and publishers, and through this work they have raised awareness and opinions of architecture both nationally and internationally. Working first on Architectural Design in London in 1976, they went on to launch International Architect in 1979 and then, in 1996, UME – a vehicle for presenting the drawings architects make to build their designs (usually the working drawings) and, through them, eliciting cultural and critical commentary. As well as writing and publishing UME, they have collaborated on map guides, articles, chapters and books on architecture. Among the books they have co-authored is the monograph Glenn Murcutt: A Singular Architectural Practice.

Jackie Cooper was born in London in 1950 and raised in Australia. She studied communications at the Polytechnic of Central London and worked in the Architectural Association School of Architecture communications unit, led by Dennis Crompton, until 1979.

Haig Beck was born in Brisbane in 1944. He studied architecture at Queensland Institute of Technology and at the Architectural Association School of Architecture, London. He was assistant technical editor on the Architects’ Journal from 1970–71, before becoming joint editor and subsequently sole editor of Architectural Design in 1976 and 1977–79 respectively. He launched International Architect with Cooper in 1979, promoting discourse on regionalism, national identity and cultural continuity in architecture, before returning to Australia in 1986. He was a professor and head of school at the University of Melbourne from 1993–96.

Beck and Cooper see architectural magazines as a crucial intermediary step in the progression of ideas from hypotheses to theories to built demonstrations. They foster and direct architectural research through the act of editing and publishing, selecting architectural works and texts, writing critiques and promoting theoretical propositions and practical outcomes. The International Area Committee applauds and congratulates the recipients of the William J. Mitchell International Committee Prize.

2013 John Gollings

The William J Mitchell prize is named in recognition of the late Bill Mitchell, Horsham born former Dean of Architecture and Planning at MIT. The Prize seeks to honour individuals who, like Bill, have made a significant contribution to the profession, study or advancement of architecture beyond Australian shores.

The celebration of architecture through photography has been central to the professional life of John Gollings. The Australian Institute of Architects International Area Committee (IAC) has selected John to receive the William J Mitchell Prize for 2013 for his amazing contribution in his recording of architecture and the documentation of historical cultural sites of the Asian region with his unique view.

John studied architecture at Melbourne University, and through his developed interest and skill in photography, began work as a freelance advertising specialist in fashion in 1967. The emergence of his architectural contemporaries provided the opportunity for an increasing work load of architectural photography whilst maintaining his work for leading graphic designers and advertising agencies, bringing his craft to his original discipline that he observed “lacked either a point of view or the ability to express it”.
John’s work became characterised by his strong formal composition with a didactic and wider contextual view point. His creative approach to subject matter and light marked his unique and recognisable imagery.

John has taught in many institutions and has lectured on architecture and urban outcomes. He has documented the ancient Hindu capital of South India, Vijayanagara with Dr George Michell and Dr John Fritz over a period of thirty years and has recently photographed the major temples of Cambodia, Laos and Thailand for a guide book. John has published many books that cover architecture, life, and art and has exhibited extensively both nationally and internationally, and received major awards and grants that celebrate his work over the last forty years.

In 2010 John was appointed as Co-Director with Ivan Rijavek for the Australian Pavilion of the Venice Biennale with an exhibition titled “Now and When”. The exhibition represented new paradigms for the city of the future, in 3D, juxtaposed with the current condition of Australian cities photographed from a helicopter. This exhibition continues to interest and amaze as it travels to many major cities of Asia.

A recent monograph, “Beautiful Ugly”, written by Joe Rollo, chronicles John’s contemporary architectural journey and illustrates the emergence of his view and technique.
John has received Masters of Architecture from RMIT following his work on “Virtual Architecture” and has been awarded an Honarary Fellowship of the Australian Institute of Architects.

John’s work is held in collections in major galleries both nationally and internationally, and he continues to bring his personal view to the celebration of architecture.

The International Area Committee commends this worthy recipient of the William J Mitchell Prize.

2012 John Andrews

The William J. Mitchell Prize is named in recognition of the late Bill Mitchell, Horsham-born former Dean of Architecture and Planning at MIT. The Prize seeks to honour Australians who, like Mitchell, have made a significant contribution to the profession, study or advancement of architecture beyond our shores.

 For his original and influential work across three continents, and his commitment to the design of innovative workplaces and educational environments, the International Area Committee is delighted to present John Andrews AO LFRAIA with the inaugural William J. Mitchell Prize in 2012. After graduating with a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Sydney, Andrews moved to North America, where he completed a Masters degree at Harvard in 1958. Arriving in Toronto on the back of short-listing in a competition for the new city hall, he soon established his own practice. His early work, including his breakthrough design for Scarborough College (featured on the cover of the Canadian issue of Time Magazine), was much influenced by his post-graduate education under Sert, and the contemporary work of Louis Kahn.

 In 1962 he became Chairman of the University of Toronto’s program in Architecture, remaining in the position for five years. Before re-establishing a presence in Sydney in the early seventies, Andrews built several projects that defined the ‘brutalist’ style including the Miami Seaport Passenger Terminal (1970) Kent State University School of Art (1972) and Gund Hall at the Harvard Graduate School of Design (1972). Andrews’ work on campus buildings is perhaps his greatest contribution to architecture, complexes of departments ranged along internal streets of mediated climate becoming an oft-copied typology.

A variation of the model was used by Andrews in his own design of the Cameron Offices in Belconnen (1973-76), a structurally expressive building composed around linear landscaped courtyards. The outstanding architecture of this building, and his iconic King George (American Express) Tower in Sydney (1976) contributed to his recognition by the Institute of Architects with the Gold Medal in 1980.


The International Chapter Emerging Architect Prize

To be launched in 2019, The International Chapter Emerging Architect Prize recognises an emerging architect or architectural collaboration’s contribution to architectural practice, education, design excellence and community involvement that advances the profession’s standing in the public arena. A new prize, it will be launched in early 2019 and awarded biennially, in each odd year (2019, 2021, 2023 etc.). Further details will be available by the end of 2018.