architecture president prize awarded to carly barrett and paul rossen
Carly Barrett and Paul Rossen have been awarded the 2024 Australian Institute of Architects WA President’s Prize. Left to right: Carly Barrett, Paul Rossen, Sandy Anghie. Image: Supplied.
  • The President's Prize recognises the contribution of an individual towards the advancement of architecture, in a significant way, other than through design and practice.
  • Open House Perth was founded by Carly Barrett and has seen nearly half a million people attend the event since its inception.
  • Paul Rossen has mentored architecture graduates in preparation for their registration exams for over three decades.

The 2024 Australian Institute of Architects WA President’s Prize recipients have been announced, with the founder of Open House Perth, Carly Barrett, and esteemed Western Australian architect mentor, Paul Rossen, named as the winners.

Announced ahead of this year’s WA Architecture Awards, the President’s Prize is a recognition of an individual’s contribution to the advancement of architecture in a significant way – other than through design and practice.

Carly Barrett – Open House Perth

Open House Perth has been an opportunity for members of the public to appreciate incredible spaces, with AIA WA Chapter President, Sandy Anghie, celebrating the impact the event has had on hundreds of thousands:

“Carly had the foresight to recognise that not everyone understands architectural plans and drawings, but everyone can understand great spaces.”

Sandy Anghie, AIA WA

“Since the first Open House Perth event in 2012, the organisation has seen over 460,000 visitors to hundreds of destinations across the City and beyond – harnessing the support of around 1,000 volunteers over this time, to deliver this feel good event, helping to promote great design.

“Open House Perth has helped people to see what’s possible. It’s given visitors unprecedented access to architect designed homes and other sites, opening their eyes to architecture and design. Just one example was the opening of the Frank House by Iwan Iwanoff, with over one thousand visitors in the space of just a few hours,” said Anghie.

carly barrett open house perth wins 2024 australian institute of architecture wa presidents prize
This year’s AIA WA President’s Prize was awarded to Carly Barrett. Left to right: Sandy Anghie, Carly Barrett. Image: Supplied

The event was founded by Barrett in 2011, with the support of her then employer Hassell.

Some of Barrett’s favourite Open House spaces have been smaller homes.

“Exploding Shed House by David Weir, House A by Kate Fitzgerald, and Orange Avenue and Hope Street by vittinoAshe. These projects show you don’t need lots of space. Personally, I live in a 100 sqm house on a 200 sqm lot with my husband, child and dog – and for many years my house was also the Open House headquarters,” said Barrett.

Paul Rossen – mentor and tutor to architecture graduates

The President’s Prize was also awarded to Paul Rossen, the director of Parry and Rosenthal Architects whom is known in the architecture community for his immense efforts over 35 years in mentoring and tutoring architecture graduates in preparation for their registration exams.

The title of “architect” is protected by law and can only be used by people who have completed undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in architecture, have then gained and documented relevant experience across all facets of project delivery over several years, and finally completed detailed registration exams.

Anghie celebrated the long-standing impact that Rossen has had since for over three decades:

“Paul started his registration tutorial series in 1990, on his return from London. He had seen the culture of knowledge sharing there and identified the need for it here in Perth,” said Anghie.

“Since 1990, Paul has mentored over 1,000 architects through registration.”

Sandy Anghie, AIA WA

“So many architects are grateful for Paul’s generosity – selflessly giving up his evenings to hold tutorial groups to ensure young architects are well prepared, to give them their best chance possible of successfully completing their registration exams,” said Anghie.

“Through his thoughtful mentoring and tutoring, Paul has contributed to the development of generations of architects.”

paul rossen wins 2024 australian institute of architecture wa presidents prize
This year’s AIA WA President’s Prize was awarded to Paul Rossen. Left to right: Paul Rossen, Sandy Anghie. Image: Supplied

Mentorship is a vital part of fostering the next generation of architects, with Rossen noting:

“It provides for the continuation of the profession and the betterment of our community.

“While the procurement of built works like most things is subject to the push and pull of legal, economic, technological, environmental and cultural changes, the underlying work of architects is more important than ever, as the importance of our built environment is realised,” said Rossen.

2024 WA Architecture Awards fast approaching

To be held towards the start of June, the award spans multiple categories that recognise excellence in architecture, including:

  1. Public Architecture
  2. Commercial Architecture
  3. Educational Architecture
  4. Interior Architecture
  5. Heritage
  6. Residential Architecture  – Houses (New)
  7. Residential Architecture – Houses (Alternations and Additions)
  8. Residential Architecture – Multiple Housing
  9. Small Project Architecture
  10. Urban Design
  11. Sustainable Architecture
  12. Enduring Architecture, and more.

In the running are outstanding examples of infill, with Anghie noting this year’s multi-residential and medium density projects set a new bar.

“We need to change the way we plan for housing. We can’t keep building out. We need to create capacity for more infill, providing alternate, denser forms of housing while maintaining urban canopy,” said Anghie.

“Architects have led the way in innovative apartment design across Perth for decades – and the State Government’s new Medium Density Code now provides even more options for well designed, sustainable infill.”

Sandy Anghie, AIA WA

What consumers believe they need is increasingly misaligned with the reality of household sizes, which are noticeably shrinking.

This year’s entrants include beautiful examples of smaller homes, such as the 102 square metre Peta’s House by Mt Eyk, and Ioppolo by vittinoAshe.

“WA architects demonstrate how beautiful homes with a smaller footprint can be achieved with environmentally sensitive designs, prioritising quality of space over quantity and making the most of gardens.

“With diminishing household sizes and a supply crisis, we can definitely do with a greater supply of smaller homes and greater housing choice,” said Anghie.

Also up for grabs is the Peoples’ Choice Awards, with members of the public casting a vote for their favourite home in the Alterations and Additions or Multiple Housing project categories.

The 2024 WA Architecture Awards will be held on Friday 7 June.

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