The University of Newcastle hosts five Architects In Residence all of whom have been awarded the prestigious Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) Gold Medal. This is the highest honour awarded to Australian architects, recognising:

  • distinguished service in the design or execution of buildings of merit
  • produced work of great distinction to promote or facilitate the knowledge of architecture
  • work which has endowed the profession of architecture in an exceptional or distinguished way as to merit the award.

In 2011 the University of Newcastle appointed five of Australia’s leading architects as Architects In Residence. These practicing architects are fully involved in design teaching at all levels in the school to inspire UON students. They are studio teachers in both the Bachelor and Masters degrees and are also specialist mentors for students at UON.

These five distinguished architects are behind prestigious projects such as the Sydney Opera House, Olympic villages in Sydney, Athens, London and Beijing and the Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art. They also work on significant university buildings, apartments and houses.

Peter Stutchbury winner of the 2015 AIA Gold Medal

P Stutchbury_ Outcrop House 06

Renowned for his innovative approach to sustainability and design, Peter Stutchbury’s firm has won an unprecedented 41 AIA awards. An alumni of the University of Newcastle, Stutchbury has lived and worked in a range of countries across Australia, Asia, Europe and Africa.

Stutchbury’s work is diverse and collaborative and includes the University of Newcastle’s Design Faculty (in association with EJE Architects) and Birabahn Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Centre, in association with fellow Architect in Residence, Richard Leplastrier.

In 2003, Stutchbury became the first architect to win both National Architecture Awards for Residential and Public Buildings, repeating this in 2005. In 1999, he won the overall National Metal Industries award for Excellence and in 2000 and 2008 The Australian Timber Award. In 2006, Stutchbury was runner-up in the “Innovative Architectures – Design and Sustainability” award in Italy and in 2008 his firm won the International ‘Living Steel’ Competition for extreme climate housing in Russia. Peter has exhibited work across Australia, Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, France, New Zealand, South Africa, Namibia, USA and Slovenia and at the Venice Architecture Biennale.

Richard Leplastrier, 1999 AIA Gold Medalist


Leplastrier worked on the Sydney Opera House with Jorn Utzon and in 2015 was awarded a RIBA International Fellowship by the Royal Institute of British Architects.

Richard Leplastrier was made an Officer of the Order of Australia, in the 2011 Queen’s Birthday Honours, “for distinguished service to architecture, particularly through the application of environmentally sensitive design, and as an educator and mentor”.

Leplastrier ‘s enduring design research contribution explores minimal architectural intrusion into complex Australian ecologies, drawing inspiration from Australia’s unique environs. Over 45 years of practice, he has focused his research on the essentials of living, the origins of human settlement, and archetypal patterns of human behaviour.

Lawrence Nield (Studio Nield) winner of the 2012 AIA Gold Medal

photography: John Gollings

photography: John Gollings

Nield was awarded the Gold Medal on the basis of his prolific contribution to architecture, urban design, academic teaching and significant publications. His body of work includes commissions in eight countries, involvement in the planning of three Olympics, the design of a number of Olympic buildings, the redevelopment of the Circular Quay Passenger Terminal and a significant contribution to the design of hospitals and health buildings.

Nield’s work on urban design is prolific and well-recognised. He has a special interest in public buildings and has been involved in the architecture of four Olympic Games. Nield was head of master planning for the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games – and designed the extraordinary Beijing Tennis Centre for the 2008 Olympic Games.

Kerry and Lindsay Clare (Clare Design) winners of the 2010 AIA Gold Medal


Husband and wife team Kerry and Lindsay Clare have a distinguished body of work that includes the Brisbane Gallery of Modern Art, Wesley House, Brisbane, UNSW Student Housing and the University of the Sunshine Coast Chancellery.

The Clares produce buildings that are beautiful, climatically responsive, low-impact, and environmentally sensitive. However, central to the Clares’ approach, is the Modernist idea that the design of each building must proceed anew from a rational analysis of functional, technical, structural and social criteria. This research is not just a matter of balancing competing criteria but is driven by a central intention to incorporate climatically responsive, low-impact environmental control systems.

Given contemporary awareness of climate change, this same environmental impulse propels many other architects. Yet an historical perspective shows that the Clares innovated this position throughout their public and private commissions well before this trend.

The University of Newcastle’s (UON) Architecture and Built Environment discipline has debuted at number 40 in the world and 6th in Australia in the 2015 QS World University Rankings by Subject list.