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Above image: Richard Graham Thorp’s work at the revamped Auckland Art Gallery. Photography by John Gollings
Australian architect Richard Graham Thorp, the celebrated designer of Canberra’s New Parliament House, has been appointed as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). He was honoured in the 2015 Australia Day Honours List for significant service to architecture, particularly through the development of major public projects, and to professional organisations.
Thorp, a former director of architects at Mitchell Giurgola & Thorp and later Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp, famously won the New Parliament House design competition while practising with MGT in New York. At $1.1 billion, the project was the largest architectural commission in Australia at the time. As project architect, Thorp was recognised by the Australian Institute of Architects with a Sir Zelman Cohen Award for Public Architecture in 1989 and an Enduring Award in 2013.
Thorp received his architecture degree from the University of Melbourne, and has since been instrumental in several major projects including the Max Webber Library in Blacktown, and the Concourse in Chatswood. Thorp’s Auckland Art Gallery addition was the winner of the Jørn Utzon Award for international architecture at the 2012 National Architecture Awards, the 2012 NZIA Architecture Medal, and World Building of the Year at the 2013 World Architecture Festival.
After more than 40 years doing major public projects, Thorp retired from active practice in 2009 but still serves as a project consultant to his firm. Thorp currently serves as President of the New South Wales Architects Registration Board and the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia.