Victoria was nominated for the award by her tutors at the Melbourne School of Design, Alan Pert and Gini Lee, for her thesis project ‘Surface Tension, Blueprints for observing contamination in the Sydney Harbour Estuary’. Her nomination was one of 147 considered by this year’s prestigious panel of judges which included David Gloster, Don Gray, Nicky Watson, Pareen D’Avoine, Jonathan Hale and Jennifer Bonner.
In addition to assessing how the entries demonstrate proficiency in all aspects of the design process and in critical writing, the judges were asked to consider the level of architectural and intellectual ambition and innovation.
Sydney Harbour is one of Australia’s most biodiverse estuaries but it is also one of its most contaminated. Redundant wharves, shipyards and water-bound infrastructure, some up to 200 years old, define a highly modified and dilapidated shoreline. Victoria’s thesis presents a survey of three specific sites of post-industrial instability in the harbour and explores opportunities for retrofitting them as marine observation stations, each one monitoring a different aspect of the endangered marine environment.
Victoria said: "I'm incredibly honoured to have received this award. It has been a wonderful surprise for me to take part in the historic President's Medal celebrations and to have been welcomed so warmly by the RIBA in London."
Victoria moved back to her native city earlier this year and joined our Sydney studio in late October. She is currently working in the master planning team.
The President’s Medal Exhibition featuring Victoria’s work opens at the RIBA on December 4 before it embarks on a UK and international tour. The President's Medals were established in 1836; they are RIBA’s oldest awards and widely regarded as the most prestigious prizes in architectural education globally.