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Competition winner announced for new landmark building

John Wardle Architects and Office dA have been named the winners of the competition to design the landmark new Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning site at the University of Melbourne.

The building will include dedicated spaces for research into sustainable precinct design and performance, along with lecture theatres, a library, exhibition, and specialist workshop spaces.  It will accommodate students enrolled in the Bachelor of Environments, one of the degrees formed under the Melbourne Model, and in the Melbourne School of Design as well as provide offices for staff of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning.

The competition jury noted the quality of the partnership between Melbourne based John Wardle Architects and Boston based practice Office dA. The Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, Professor Tom Kvan, says their scheme showed a strong understanding of educational, environmental, and social issues in a design that would generate excitement for all staff and students.  “The winning design showed a detailed understanding of the teaching and research activities of the Faculty and the potential for contribution to research across the campus.” 

Short listed entrants had to address four key issues central to the project: Built Pedagogy, The Academic Environment, The Design Studio, and The Living Building.  In evaluating the presentations, the Jury focused on demonstrated capacity to work with the University to achieve our aspirations, a focus on design quality. The Jury, which consisted of noted architects Odile Decq (Paris) and Peter Elliott  (Melbourne), the Vice Chancellor Professor Glyn Davis and Professor Tom Kvan, were highly impressed by the presentations given by all six short listed practices, and noted the broad range of design responses and variety of innovative approaches to research and education.

The John Wardle Architects and Office dA submission was selected out of 133 submissions from 15 countries. Six entrants were then selected to proceed to competition stage, with each paid to develop a conceptual response to the key issues of the brief. The competition was endorsed by the Australian Institute of Architects.  Presentation boards summarising the response from each of these entrants will be on display in the Wunderlich Gallery at the Parkville campus throughout September.  Further information on the architectural design competition is on the Faculty’s website at


View a collection of images in the online gallery from John Wardle Architects and Office dA.


Exhibition: Wunderlich Gallery

Wednesday 1st - 30th September 2009


Opening Times:

Monday to Thursday 9am - 8pm

Friday 9am - 6pm


Please Note: No Photography of displays permitted
The University extends its appreciation to all those who submitted an expression of interest, and in particular the six shortlisted finalists, for their substantial efforts. The University also wishes to thank external Jury members Odile Decq and Peter Elliott for their assistance in making the final selection.

To arrange interviews with Professor Tom Kvan, contact:

T: 03 8344 5865 M: 0427 383 474 E:

For more information:

David Scott (Media Unit): T: +613 83440561 M: 0409 024 230 E:


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