NSW Student Architecture Awards

2018 NSW Student Architecture Awards EXHIBITION, 5–16 March 2018
at Tusculum, Monday to Friday, 10am–5.30

The NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects announced last Friday 2 March the winners in its revamped 2018 NSW Student Architecture Awards, recognising the best student work completed in the last year from the four accredited schools of architecture in NSW.

NSW Graduate Medal
supported by Mirvac Design

Beneath the Surface: Taking the Waters in Moree Andrew Hannah-Davies | The University of Newcastle

Beneath The Surface, Taking in the Waters in Moree by Andrew Hannah-Davies takes us on a social, physical and ethereal journey of healing. It is a bold demolition of the old, cleansing away the negative karma of the past via the acknowledgement of that past, and a poetic reconstruction of the new. It is an imaginative, passionate, response in its use of iconography, collective memory, physicality, materiality, form and landscape.  It creates a highly transcendent, experiential narrative through the use of drawings, models, animation and text that communicates the author’s intensity of feeling and conceptual framework. Social injustice and commentary are not the sole generator of the project but so too is a desire to demonstrate how the built environment has the potential to create new relationships, foster community and rejuvenate society spiritually as well as physically.

NSW Undergraduate Medal
supported by Bates Smart

Between Anchors Connie He | The University of Sydney

Between Anchors is a project rich in complexities which are distilled into an architectural proposition of captivating beauty. It has reimagined The Domain as a landscape for discussion, display and performance by celebrating the non-linear and favouring playful discovery. Through rigorous analysis and explorations of threshold, boundary, programme and materiality, a choreographed landscape unfolds to reveal a collection of analytical and interpretive architectural encounters. Stumble upon performers and be entertained on warm concrete bleachers in the winter sun. Take to the stage at Threshold 2.6.1F and become a lunchtime comedian. Meander through the Permanent Art Space and be mesmerised by shifting skies rolling over the truncated volumes of the galleries. Careful consideration of siting in conjunction with programmatic and spatial intersections generates a taxonomy of architectural propositions which encapsulate the nuances of site and public experience. The proposal has not been overwhelmed by the open-ended parameters of site; instead Between Anchors introduces a built scale most suitable for the given programme. Its strength lies not in its monumentality but in its ability to entertain and entice patrons through subtlety and the unexpected. Between Anchors skilfully addresses a spatially complex brief with elegance and rigour – a well deserved NSW Undergraduate Medal winner.

NSW Undergraduate Medal – Commendation

Bodies/Ground Miriam Osburn | The University of Sydney

The jury was greatly impressed by Osburn’s intricate approach to the design and to the site. Masterful consideration was given to both the spatial experience of the user as well as the balance between program requirements and impact to the site and broader surroundings. Her understated approach to the design of this public building enthralled the judges, while her communication and presentation of her design and its ideas were very clear and captivating. Well done.

NSW Undergraduate Medal – Commendation

Jazz Garden Brennan Clody | The University of Sydney

The Jazz Garden demonstrates an architectural language that is sophisticated and well researched. Various influences are drawn into the research process, including; Jørn Utzon’s Kingo Houses, the structure and counterpoint of Jazz, and the performance potential, both symbolic and actual, of architecture itself. Through various forms of mapping, the research has taken a journey along an abstract narrative that has informed the final outcome and form, without losing sight of the starting point. In the final proposal we can see; the ghost of Utzon in the approach to materiality and sensitive treatment of site, the spirit of Jazz in the playful disruption of elements, and the hand of the designer in the well-mannered realization of the whole.

NSW Architectural Communication Award
supported by Rothelowman

Jazz Garden Brennan Clody | The University of Sydney

A complex and layered design process was communicated in a remarkably simple and unpretentious manner that allowed the depth of thought and resolution in the design to shine through. This was a very complete and consistent presentation; from verbal presentation through to sketches, drawings, model and delightful black and white vignettes that captured the poetics of space. The drawings were textured and nuanced, with careful consideration of what to show, and what to leave out. The design process was well described and was pulled together as a narrative with minimal but relevant text. The verbal presentation in particular was professional and wellrehearsed, showing us the importance of using the ‘performance’ to capture the jury’s attention.

NSW Architectural Technologies Award
supported by Turner

Reh-zophora Melinda Barbagallo & Francesca Capicchioni | University of Technology Sydney

Reh-zophora by Melinda Barbagallo and Francesca Capicchioni embraces technological innovation as a means to shift society towards more sustaining and sustainable futures. Located at the mouth of the Prosperine River adjacent to the Great Barrier Reef, the project targets the problem of eutrophication through the extraction, treatment and repurposing of algae for food and medicine. Through a detailed investigation of systems for harvesting and filtering algae, and an interrogation of the aesthetic opportunities of their display, technology and architecture are combined in a performative landscape of mechanical pillars. A complex system of column typologies and variations address the various functional requirements of algae treatment, water catchment and bird habitat, while simultaneously offering diverse experiences for human habitation. The manipulation of the ground plane as a (literally) fluid terrain variously expands and contracts the territory available for occupation by different species throughout the day. The deliberate blurring of technological and natural landscapes is echoed in the overlaying of finely detailed technical drawings with washes of muted colour. This is an alluring project, that skillfully synthesises conceptual and technical ambitions in an articulate and refined architectural proposition.


The University of New South Wales
supported by fjmt

  • James Masman – Graduate of the Year (Master’s program)
  • William Maynard – Graduate of the Year (Bachelor’s program)
  • Mengying Li – History & Theory Prize
  • Jason Cheung – Construction & Practice Prize

The University of Technology Sydney
supported by Crone

  • Eric Ye – Graduate of the Year (Master’s program) 
  • Michael Northey – Graduate of the Year (Bachelor’s program)
  • Michael Bennett – History & Theory Prize
  • Rhiannon Brownbill – Construction & Practice Prize

The University of Newcastle
supported by EJE architecture       

  • Andrew Hannah Davies – Graduate of the Year (Master’s Program)
  • Arhem Ashton – Graduate of the Year (Bachelor’s Program)          
  • Eliza Maartensz – History & Theory Prize
  • Sabrina Wan Muhammad Kamal – Construction & Practice Prize

The University of Sydney
supported by Jacobs

  • Mr Kingsley May – Graduate of the Year (Master’s program)                             
  • Mr Luke Hannaford – Graduate of the Year (Bachelor’s program)
  • Mr Ben Charlton – History & Theory Prize
  • Miss Emily Flanagan – Construction & Practice Prize

2018 NSW Student Architecture Awards Jury:

  • Andrew Nimmo (Jury Chair) – NSW Chapter President
  • Ceridwen Owen – University of Tasmania
  • Michael Wiener – Mirvac Design
  • Emmy Omagari – Bates Smart
  • Phuong Le – co-chair of the NSW Emerging Architects + Graduates Network

2018 NSW Student Architecture Awards – Program Partners

  • NSW Graduate Medal: Mirvac Design
  • NSW Undergraduate Medal: Bates Smart
  • NSW Architectural Communication Award: Rothelowman
  • NSW Architectural Technologies Award: Turner
  • NSW University Prizes: Crone (UTS); EJE Architecture (University of Newcastle); FJMT (UNSW); Jacobs (University of Sydney)



NSW Student Architecture Awards – General overview

The NSW Graduate & Student Awards program was established in 2010 coinciding with the introduction of the Bachelor of Architecture and Master of Architecture degrees. The aim of the program is to promote the skills of architecture students in NSW.

Once your project has been nominated, submit your entry on our online awards platform (open from 6 December 2017 to 31 January 2018).

Important Guidance Documents

Nominations for the 2018 NSW Student Architecture Awards closed on the 31 of January 2017, nominations for the 2019 NSW Student Architecture Awards will open in December 2018.

Please note that only projects nominated by an accredited School of Architecture in NSW (UNSW, University of Sydney, University of Newcastle and UTS Sydney) can be entered with the aim to be judged for the:

  • NSW Graduate Medal (best graduate project);
  • NSW Undergraduate Medal (best undergraduate project).

All projects will also be judged for the:

  • NSW Architectural Communication Award;
  • NSW Architectural Technologies Award.

The Awards include University nominated prizes to students from each NSW School of Architecture.
Each university will nominate the most outstanding student in four areas for a prize that will be presented at the Awards Night.
The process is at the discretion of the respective university but is generally understood as relating to students with the highest weighted average mark in each category:

  • Graduate of the Year (Bachelor’s program);
  • Graduate of the Year (Master’s program);
  • History & Theory Prize to the student with the highest aggregate mark;
  • Construction & Practice Prize to the student with the highest aggregate mark.

In 2018, the NSW Student Architecture Awards will include the following changes from previous years:

  • NSW Graduate Medal and NSW Undergraduate Medal 
    each university can now nominate respectively up to five undergraduate projects and five graduate projects (previously they could nominate only up to three).
  • NSW Architectural Communication Award and NSW Architectural Technologies Award
    all nominated projects submitted for the NSW Graduate Medal and NSW Undergraduate Medal will be considered (previously only graduate projects were judged).
Winners will be announced in early March at the NSW 2018 Student Architecture Awards Night. 
All nominees for the Awards are required to submit their work, which will be exhibited at Tusculum as part of the annual NSW Student Architecture Awards Exhibition.

 Key dates

  • Online entries open: 6 December 2017
  • Online entries close: 31 January 2018
  • Submission of additional material: 13 February 2018
  • Presentation to Juries: 20 February 2018 (TBC)
  • NSW Student Architecture Awards Night: Friday 2 March 2018
  • 2018 NSW Student Architecture Awards EXHIBITION, 5–16 March 2018
    at Tusculum, Monday to Friday, 10am–5.30pm


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