2017 GOLD MEDAL CITATION
The 2017 Gold Medal, the Australian Institute of Architects highest honour, is awarded to Peter Elliott AM LFRAIA. The Gold Medal recognises distinguished service by architects who have designed or executed buildings of high merit, produced work of great distinction resulting in the advancement of architecture or endowed the profession of architecture in a distinguished manner. Remarkably, Peter Elliot has excelled in all these areas through his consistent practice of architecture in the public interest over many years.
Peter has made an exceptional contribution to the profession as a highly regarded and awarded architect, as a scholar with a long involvement in design teaching, and as an active and valued participant in support of the profession through the Institute, government, and in the broader community. A clear focus, gentle tenacity, integrity, and generosity of spirit underpin Peter’s approach to life and practice.
Best known for his capacity to navigate the complexities of public commissions with diplomacy and tact while ensuring the highest design standards are sustained, his work extends beyond architecture into the realm of landscape and urban design. Peter has completed an impressive and diverse range of projects throughout Melbourne, large and small, in his own right and also in association with others. Notable projects include Victoria University Law School, Deer Park by-pass, Melbourne Grammar Memorial Hall, and numerous buildings and urban spaces for the RMIT city campus. His focus on public, educational and urban projects of exceptional quality is evidenced by his achievements in the state and national architecture awards programs, with almost annual acknowledgement since the 1970s. In all, he has been recognised with in excess of 40 Institute Awards and received over 20 other industry awards. Peter has also served the profession extensively through membership of jury panels within the awards program.
Peter has participated frequently in exhibitions accompanied by the work of other named and distinguished peers: he has lectured frequently both within and outside the profession: he has authored an extensive series of articles on contemporary architectural design and philosophy while being recognised as a leading practitioner. His recent publication “Episodic Urbanism’ characteristically focuses on a place rather than his practice, yet this story of a twenty year transformation of RMIT’s inner Melbourne campus demonstrates an insightful and sensitive understanding of urban transformation at its best.
His work has been widely published and he has been a finalist in major architectural competitions. Peter’s contribution to architecture and public housing was recognised in being awarded an Order of Australia at the unusually early age of 37. He has extended his professional career into advice to government, secondary and tertiary education institutions, the arts and local government organisations, particularly through urban design and conservation advice, where he has made a valued contribution.
Peter Elliott’s leadership also encompasses his extensive role as a teacher. He commenced teaching in 1974 at The University of Melbourne and later at the RMIT University, where he served as an Adjunct Professor from 1994 to 2000. Peter is currently a Senior Research Fellow and Adjunct Professor at Monash University Department of Architecture. His teaching both in the Schools of Architecture and within his own studio has influenced and encouraged numerous students, many of whom are now practicing in their own right and are a testament to his interest in the profession. His passion for the education of architects and upholding the standards of the profession extends to serving on the University of Melbourne’s Department of Architecture and Building, Architecture Advisory Board (1985 to 1988) and the Architect’s Registration Board, as AACA examiner in Architectural Practice.
Peter’s intelligence, humanity and humility has endeared him to many in the profession, and earned him the highest respect within government and the community. The breadth and depth of his intrepretation of the human experience of the city provides an exemplary model for architectural practice. Peter Elliot is a most worthy recipient of the Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal by his exceptional contribution through design, to architectural education, leadership within the profession, and promotion of architecture within the community.