NSW Architecture Awards


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Join us to celebrate this year’s outstanding achievements in design excellence at the 2018 NSW Architecture Awards ceremony, the night of nights for architecture in New South Wales.


Individual ticket:$250
Table of ten:

Event details

Date: Friday 6 July
Venue: The Venue, 55 Doody St Alexandria NSW 2015
 6.30pm –Midnight

Dress code: After Five/Cocktail

This year’s highlights include:

  • An Exhibition of all 2018 entries
  • The inaugural award of the NSW Architecture Medallion, presented to the best entry across all categories

Guests will enjoy pre-dinner drinks and canapés followed by a three-course meal served with matched wines during the awards ceremony. Music and drinks service will see the celebrations continue until midnight.

The Awards

The following prestigious awards will be announced on the night:

  • NSW Architecture Medallion for the best entry across all categories
  • Sulman Medal for Public Architecture
  • William E Kemp Award for Educational Architecture
  • Wilkinson Award for Residential Architecture (New)
  • Hugh and Eva Buhrich Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions)
  • Aaron Bolot Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing
  • Sir Arthur G Stephenson Award for Commercial Architecture
  • Greenway Award for Heritage
  • John Verge Award for Interior Architecture
  • Lloyd Rees Award for Urban Design
  • Robert Woodward Award for Small Project Architecture
  • Milo Dunphy Award for Sustainable Architecture
  • COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture
  • Enduring Architecture Award

Awards and Commendations will be also awarded for each category.

Winners of the following prizes will also be announced:

NSW Premier’s Prize
The Prize (established 1997) is awarded by the NSW Premier from a shortlist of projects selected by the NSW Government Architect to a project that distinguishes itself for social merit and that has managed to achieve a higher result that goes beyond the project itself.  
City of Sydney Lord Mayor’s Prize for Design Excellence
The City of Sydney Lord Mayor’s Prize is awarded to a project that improves the quality of the public domain through architectural or urban design excellence.
Blacket Prize
Established 1984, the Prize is awarded to a project situated in country New South Wales that promotes design excellence in a regional context. This Prize was named for the 19 Century architect Edmund Blacket, whose picturesque Gothic Revival style churches can still be found in many country towns. This regional prize is awarded to a project situated in the area encompassed by the Newcastle & Country Divisions. It is judged by Jury Chairs in consultation with Country and Newcastle Division Committees.
Marion Mahony Griffin Prize – sponsored by Bespoke Careers 
Named for the pioneering woman architect, Marion Mahony Griffin, this prize was established to acknowledge a distinctive body of work by a female architect for their contribution to architectural education, journalism, research, theory, professional practice, or built architectural work. 
David Lindner Prize 
The Prize is named in memory of the architect David Lindner who disappeared whilst travelling in Iran in 1993. Initiated by David Lindner’s family to honour his memory, the Prize aims to inspire graduates and emerging architects to engage in important and challenging design issues involving the public realm through a funded body of research.
Emerging Architect Prize – sponsored by AWS
The 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. Winners at the Chapter level proceed to be considered for the National Emerging Architects Prize.
NSW President’s Prize
This prize is awarded at the discretion of the NSW Chapter President and is given to an individual who has made a substantial contribution to the profession of architecture.


Jurors for the 2018 NSW Architecture Awards have been selected and we are pleased to announce the Institute members nominated to review award entries next year. Selected exclusively from the call for expressions of interest, the NSW Awards Committee has chosen 18 members from across the state to form six independent category juries.



Chair of Juries 
Peter Mould 

Public Architecture / Educational Architecture 
• Marissa Looby, Government Architect NSW (Jury Chair)

• Ross Bonthorne AM, Ross Bonthorne Architect 
• Andrew Cortese, Grimshaw
Commercial Architecture / Interior Architecture
• Annabel Lahz, lahznimmo Architects (Jury Chair)

• Simon Lincoln, Make   
• David Hirst, Mirvac Design 
Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions) / Houses (New)
• Heidi Pronk, Mackenzie Pronk Architects (Jury Chair)

• Michael Holt, Government Architect NSW
• Michael Tawa, Michael Tawa Architect
• Tina Engelen, CO-AP
Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing / Urban Design
• Graham Jahn AM, City of Sydney (Jury Chair)

• Alicia Pozniak, Government Architect NSW
• Matthew Allen, Bates Smart Architects 
• Michelle Tabet, Left Bank Co 
Heritage / Small Project Architecture
• Imogene Tudor, Sam Crawford Architects (Jury Chair)

• Duncan Sanby, Utz Sanby Architects
• Matthew Devine, Matt Devine & Co
Sustainability Expert
• Andrew Bagnall, A G Coombs 
Enduring Architecture   

Jurors for both the Newcastle and NSW 2018 Architecture Awards are nominated by the Awards & Prizes Committee taking into account the EOI submitted in last five years. 
The deadline to submit an EOI for the 2018 Awards was Friday 24 November 2017. For more information and details of how to submit please click here


NSW Architecture Awards process

The Australian Institute of Architects Awards program offers an opportunity for public and peer recognition of the innovative work of NSW architects. The program also provides the Institute with a valuable mechanism to promote architects and architecture within NSW, across Australia and internationally.

NSW Selection Process

  1. The relevant jury reviews all entries in their category.
  2. All entries are required to present their project in a public forum – Presentation to Juries.
  3. After presentations have occurred, the relevant jury select the projects that they wish to visit.
  4. Selected projects are visited for 20 minutes only.
  5. The site visits are coordinated by the Awards & Prizes Officer but arranged by the architect with their client.
  6. The architect and/or client are required to be on site.
  7. If the project is located in regional NSW a majority of jurors will attend the site visit.
  8. After site visits are completed the relevant jury determines a shortlist.
  9. Following further deliberation, the relevant jury recommends projects for awards from the shortlist, and prepares the relevant citations.

Core Criteria

To ensure an equitable basis upon which entries can be judged, jury decisions are guided by a uniform set of criteria called the ‘Core Criteria’.

The Core Criteria are as follows:

  • Conceptual framework: underlying principles, values, core ideas and philosophy
  • Public & cultural benefits: amenity and concepts contributing to the public domain
  • Relationship of built form to context: concepts engaged with new and pre-existing conditions
  • Program resolution: functional performance assessed against the brief
  • Integration of allied disciplines: contribution of others, including engineers, landscape architects, artists and other specialists to achieve the outcome
  • Cost/value outcome: effectiveness of decisions related to financial issues
  • Sustainability: benefit to the environment through design
  • Response to client & user needs: additional benefits interpreted from the brief, serving the client or users and the community.

Read the Awards, Prizes and Honours Policy for more information about the Awards Program.

By entering into the NSW Architecture Awards and therefore the National Architecture Awards program, you give yourself, your firm and your staff the opportunity to be judged for the work you are proud of, the issues you stand for and to show your peers what you have been working on.  It can be an important contributor to your membership in the architectural community, and also offer milestones in your career – whether as an emerging architect, small firm or as a member of a larger project team.

NSW Prizes are either awarded to relevant entries in the Awards submission pool, or are presented following an open call for independent nominations each year. Prizes open for nomination include the Marion Mahony Griffin Prize, David Lindner Prize, Emerging Architect Prize, City of Sydney Lord Mayor’s Prize for Design Excellence, Blacket Prize, NSW President’s Prize and NSW Premier’s Prize. Please see the Prizes page for more information.

Online entries for the 2018 NSW Architecture Awards were open from 6 December 2017 to 2 March 2018.

Important Guidance Documents

How to Enter

Before starting an entry, members are strongly advised to read through the 2018 National Architecture Awards Entry Handbook and Awards Policy, which includes all relevant requirements for both state and national awards.
It is important that you familiarise yourself with the National Awards Policy and Entry Handbook before starting your submission. There have been a few changes this year, including:

  • Entrants must be a financial Institute Member for the duration of the year in which the award is given (see the Membership page for information on joining the Institute. A+ Members receive 10% discount on entry fees).
  • The use of Bluescope Steel products is a criterion for the COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture. 
  • Changes to the additional compulsory entry materials (A2 Boards with one single portrait image clearly indicating the entry number, entry name and category to be ordered via Big Image ).

Online Entry: Awards submissions are made via an online entry system, and supplemented with additional entry materials. Entries are required to include a selection of digital images, drawings and plans which are also submitted via the online system. Online entries should be completed, paid and submitted before the closing date.

Copyright and consent forms

Copyright and consent forms are now to be filled out and uploaded as part of your entry. Therefore, it is important that you have confirmed the project attribution at the beginning of the process and ensured all authors have given you their consent.

General tips to get your online entry started:

1. Contact details: The first time you use the online entry system, it will prompt you to register as a User. Please note that the address entered here will receive the automated emails from the system to do with this entry and the online entry system (eg. notifications of entry submitted, payment pending, etc.). The contact for the project entry (whether an Institute Member or not) should register as the User, and also provide their details in the Contact Details section of the form. There will be another opportunity within the form to provide the Member’s email address for approval of the submission. If you have registered before in previous awards programs, you will not need to re-register. Please use your previous log in details. 

2. Email addresses: Please refrain from providing generic email addresses for your entry (for example: admin@ or enquiries@, etc.). Communications often go missing if these inboxes are not well-monitored, so it is preferred if you provide a direct email address.

3. Photography: If you haven’t already, organise a photographer to take photos of your project straight away in order to avoid missing the submission deadline in your Chapter (check closing dates here). 

4. Project attribution: Confirm the name of your project and practice attribution with all contributing authors before you begin your submission. 

5. Deadlines: We are not accepting any late submissions for the 2018 Awards program, so familiarise yourself with all Chapter submission deadlines early and get started on your submission.

6. Hero image: Choose your hero image, and upload this first to the entry system. *NB: Your hero image should be landscape orientation, and will be used in all promotional material for your project.

7. Browser: Do not use Internet Explorer to complete your submission, as it is no longer supported by Microsoft. Other browsers we recommend include Google Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. 

Additional compulsory entry materials: In addition to their online entry, entrants must produce a display board.
The art work for the display board should be provided to Big Image by the 2 of March 2018. This A2 exhibition board will be used for consideration by the jury. The A2 Boards must include one single portrait image only, either a high-resolution hero or detail photograph with no border to be ordered via Big Image (NB. the Institute has negotiated a competitive print rate for members which includes also delivery).

Please note: Each individual entry is expected to be accompanied by its own presentation board and digital presentation, even where the same project has been entered into multiple categories (e.g. 2 category entries = 2 exhibition boards and 2 digital Presentations). This allows us to feature your project in multiple categories in future exhibitions, and helps us in preparing the jury presentation days.

Entry Fees

  • Standard Entry fee: $700 ex. GST
  • A+ Membership discount (10%): $630 ex. GST
  • Payments are to be made via the online entry system. 

Key Dates 2018

  • Entries open (via online entry system): Wednesday 6 December 2017
  • Entries Close: Friday 2 March 2018 (submitted online by 11.59PM AEDT)
  • Additional entry materials: The art work for the display board should be provided to Big Image by Friday 2 March 2018 
  • Presentation to jury days: 9-13 April 2018 (date & format TBA – Individual presentation date and time will be provided asap following the Awards submission deadline).
  • Jury site visits: 7-11 May 2018 (Applicants notified individually if visit is requested by the jury)
  • NSW Awards Presentation Evening: Friday 6 July 2018


Award Categories and Prizes

  • Category 1: Public Architecture. Chapter named award: the Sulman Medal for Public Architecture.
  • Category 2: Educational Architecture. Chapter named award: the William E Kemp Award for Educational Architecture.
  • Category 3: Residential Architecture – Houses New. Chapter named award: the Wilkinson Award for Residential Architecture (New).
  • Category 4: Residential Architecture – Houses Alterations and Additions. Chapter named award: the Hugh and Eva Buhrich Award for Residential Architecture – Houses (Alterations and Additions).
  • Category 5: Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing. Chapter named award: the Aaron Bolot Award for Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing.
  • Category 6: Commercial Architecture. Chapter named award: the Sir Arthur G. Stephenson Award for Commercial Architecture.
  • Category 7: Heritage – Creative Adaptation and Conservation. Chapter named award: the Greenway Award for Heritage.
  • Category 8: Interior Architecture. Chapter named award: the John Verge Award for Interior Architecture.
  • Category 9: Urban Design. Chapter named award: the Lloyd Rees Award for Urban Design.
  • Category 10: Small Project Architecture. Chapter named award: the Robert Woodward Award for Small Project Architecture.
  • Category 11: Sustainable Architecture – Awards are conferred after considering all entries across all categories. Chapter named award: the Milo Dunphy Award for Sustainable Architecture.
  • Category 12: Enduring Architecture – Members are not able to enter this category directly (refer to paragraph 2.1.3 and 2.1.5 in the 2018 National Architecture Awards Entry Handbook).
  • Category 13:  International Architecture. 
    This award acknowledges the work of Institute members resident outside Australia and local members undertaking commissions overseas. All members wishing to submit entries for the International Architecture Award should refer to 7.3 INTERNATIONAL CHAPTER AWARDS in the Awards Entry Handbook for full details. All enquiries should be directed to international@architecture.com.au.
  • Category A1: COLORBOND® Award for Steel Architecture – Awards are conferred after considering all entries across all categories.

For detailed explanations of each entry category please refer to the 2018 National Architecture Awards Entry Handbook.


To enter the National Architecture Awards, entrants must be a registered architect and Institute member. Entrants must be registered in the state or territory of entry, and be a principal of the practice who is an owner, or a formal licensee of the copyright in the work being entered. Where the entrant is a formal licensee (does not own the copyright), the entry must be accompanied by a written agreement from the copyright owner stating that the work may be entered for an award.

To be eligible, projects must have reached practical completion by 31 December in the year preceding the year of judging. Projects are to be entered in the Chapter or Region where they are located, not where the entrant or practice is located. Entrants who have carried out projects outside of Australia may enter those projects in the International category.

Entries may be judged at the National Awards level only once. Therefore, any project that has previously been awarded a Named Award or Architecture Award are not not eligible for any future awards program, except where the award was given for Sustainable Architecture. Projects awarded a Commendation are eligible for future award programs.

For full eligibility criteria please refer to the 2018 Awards Entry Handbook and the Awards Policy.


Presentation to Juries
913 April 2018,  9am to 5pm, 
Tusculum Auditorium, 3 Manning Street, Potts Point

Entrants will be required to present to juries on a nominated date. The format of the presentation MUST be:

  • 5 minutes for Residential Architecture – Houses category only;
  • 10 minutes for all other categories;
  • saved with the  entry number and project name specified in the filename (i.e 1808pinkhouse);
  • submitted in either PDF or PowerPoint format (.pptx);
  • up to 300dpi standard resolution and saved in a manageable size;
  • limited video content is permitted, entrants are encouraged to use the presentation to maximise face to face time with the Jury;

Each individual entry is expected to be accompanied by its own digital presentation, even where the same project has been entered into multiple categories (e.g. 2 category entries = 2 digital Presentations). This allows us to feature your project in multiple categories in future exhibitions, and helps us in preparing the jury presentation days. 

MON 9 APRIL Public Architecture and Educational Architecture
TUE 10 APRIL Residential Architecture –
Houses (Alterations and Additions) and Houses New
WED 11 APRIL Commercial Architecture and Interior Architecture
THUR 12 APRIL Commercial Architecture

Heritage and Small Project Architecture

FRI 13 APRIL Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing and Urban Design

Sulman Medal – History

The NSW Chapter of the Institute of Architects introduced its first design award in 1932. 

The Sulman Medal was named for the English-trained architect Sir John Sulman who had been working in NSW since the 1880s.
Sulman was a passionate advocate of town planning and the Medal which commemorates his work was intended to be for a building of exceptional merit that contributed to the streetscape. 

For over three decades the type of building given the award cycled between five classes:

  1. Public and Monumental – Government Buildings, Town Halls, Art Galleries, Railway Stations &  Hospitals &c
  2. Educational and Ecclesiastical – Schools, Churches, Convents &c
  3. Commercial & Industrial – Office Buildings, Warehouses, Factories &c
  4. Recreational – Theaters, Sporting Buildings &c
  5. Domestic & Residential – Homes, &c.

In addition Australian buildings were eligible for awards given by the Royal British Institute of Architects (RIBA).  

The Sulman Medal became a vehicle for the introduction of new architectural ideas, and the award to Harry Seidler for the Rose Seidler House in 1951 caused a controversy that was reported across the country.

In 1958-1960 the cycling through building types for the annual Sulman Medal was abandoned, and buildings of all classes could be entered each year.



For all enquiries relating to the NSW Architecture Awards please contact the NSW Awards & Prizes Officer or call 02 9246 4013.