Above image: The winners, judges and nominators at this year’s DARCH Horse Awards. Photography by Phuong Le
DARCH is the NSW Emerging Architects and Graduates Network (EmAGN) of the Australian Institute of Architects, representing emerging architects up to fifteen years from graduation. Established in 2005 to enable and encourage emerging architects to contribute to the profession through local initiatives and broader opportunities at a state and national level, it is a burgeoning platform with significant potential.
Their goals are clear: they wish to be more than just a young architects’ group, preferring instead to be a movement for change within the Institute, the profession, and the community at large. But beware: DARCH is not an acronym it’s a name. It’s a little unclear as to what the name derives from, but maybe it’s open to interpretation.
To date, DARCH has held forums about issues such as the working harbour, public commissions for emerging architects and communicating architectural ideas to the public. Their yearly calendar boasts a range of activities including talks, forums, competitions and exhibitions, seminars and workshops, tours and social gatherings, making effective use of social media and online platforms with an extensive mailing list.
Now in its third year, the amusingly titled DARCH Horse Awards celebrate contributions by non-architects – nominated by any Australian Institute of Architects member – in the pursuit of a high quality built environment. The aims of the awards are to engage a broader audience in discussion about the importance of architecture to the city, society, and culture. The awards recognise the input from affiliated professionals and encourage a spirit of generosity and collaboration.
The categories include: Government Authority, Builder, Client, Developer, Consultant, Specialist Contractor, and (the curiously vague in title) Urban Provocateur. However, as the discipline loses grip over what the title of ‘architect’ means and where the profession is located in the design process, it is an intriguing awards platform. Does it suggest architects are no longer the lead in the design? Should architects hold those around up while they themselves are no longer seen as integral but simply a service provider? Is it bridge building between the Institute and the construction aspects or a potentially debilitating reflection of where architects are in the construction process? It’s probably best seen in a positive sense and to put to one side any cynicism!
So, continuing DARCH’s association with Austral Bricks, the awards were again held at the company’s Sydney CBD Showroom on 27 November, 2014, with a high calibre jury consisting of Penny Fuller (Silvester Fuller), Tim Horton (Registrar, NSW Architects Registration Board) and Adam Haddow (SJB Architects).
DARCH Horse Awards 2014 Winners
GOVERNMENT AUTHORITY AWARD: Kati Westlake of Parramatta City Council
nominated by Hugo Moline of The Lot
DEVELOPER AWARD: George Karageorge of Stasia Pty Ltd
nominated by Angelo Candalepas of Candalepas Associates
CONSULTANT AWARD: Damian Hadley of Cantilever
nominated by Hannah Tribe of TRIBE Studio, Chris Rogers of TERROIR, Matt Day of Day Bukh [Joint nomination].
CONSULTANT AWARD: Stephen Choi
nominated by Mark Jones of Edminston Jones
CONSULTANT AWARD: Anthony Whealey
nominated by Shaun Carter of Carterwilliamson
CLIENT AWARD: Greg Barrett
nominated by Jim Koopman of AJ+C
BUILDER AWARD: David Lakes of Lochbuild
nominated by Tim Hastwell of JDH Architects
URBAN PROVOCATEUR AWARD: John O’Callaghan
Nominated by Jenna Rowe of TERROIR
SPECIAL JURY AWARD – ‘Pinnacle of Promise’: Urban Growth NSW
Nominated by the Jury
For more information visit www.darchhorseawards.com