The Australian Institute of Architects, on March 18, recognized the couple’s 31-year body of work with the Gold Medal. The Clares are the first husband and wife to receive the nation’s top architectural prize and Kerry is the second Australian woman to receive the award in its 50-year history. The ceremony took place in the Gallery of Modern Art in Brisbane, a multi-award winning building designed by the Clare’s practice, Architectus, a 200- person firm with offices in Auckland, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney.
In addition to their work in sustainable, low-impact housing, the Clares have a large range of work in Queensland, particularly the Sunshine Coast, and New South Wales , including Sydney. Their sub-tropical houses are modest, lightweight structures bathed in natural light and passively cooled. Their Goet House and Thrupp and Summers House received national attention when built in the mid-1980s and were viewed as forging new ground in environmental design.
In awarding the prize, The Australian Institute of Architects National President Melinda Dodson said the Gold Medal jury believes the Clares “have made an enormous contribution to the achievement of architecture and particularly sustainable architecture during their careers” and were widely recognized for their “strongly held believe that good design and sustainable design were intrinsically linked.”
Awarded annually since 1960, the Gold Medal is the architectural profession’s highest accolade and recognizes distinguished service by architects who have designed or executed buildings of high merit, or who have produced works of distinction resulting in the advancement of architecture. Recent past recipients include high-profile architects such as Richard Johnson, Kerry Hill, Glenn Murcutt, Jørn Utzon, Gregory Burgess, Keith Cottier, Brit Andresen and Peter Corrigan.