- Article by Online Editor
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The IDEA Gold Medal is the most prestigious award at the Interior Design Excellence Awards and is awarded in recognition of a distinguished contribution to the design industry over the course of a career.
With over 30 years’ experience in the industry and as Bates Smart’s only interior design director, Jeff Copolov is one of the country’s most revered design figures. A composed and meticulous leader, he has steered the interior design of some of the practice’s most noteworthy projects and is the deserving recipient of the 2013 IDEA Gold Medal.
During his time at Bates Smart, Copolov has been responsible for many of Australia’s most iconic projects and has received numerous awards and accolades. Among the dozens of outstanding projects are Crown Metropol Hotel, Crown Promenade Hotel, Media House Melbourne, Clayton Utz Sydney, Freshwater Place, The Melburnian apartments in Melbourne and the Australian Embassy in Berlin.
To talk about grand projects and fail to mention the new Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, however, would be unforgivable. This project has been universally recognised for its outstanding interior and the creation of a new benchmark in hospital design. To date, the project has received 34 awards. Copolov was at the helm of the project’s interiors and it is due to his skills that the design was so successfully embraced and implemented. No mean feat when one comprehends the scale of the undertaking and the multiple groups of stakeholders involved: Bates Smart, in joint venture with Billard Leece Partnership and HKS international advisers, worked with their client Lend Lease, the Government, the Royal Children’s Hospital and more than 70 user groups.
Throughout the 30 years of Jeff Copolov’s career, there has been much hard work sustained by a passion and commitment to produce design that makes a difference. He has honed his craft well and, today, he can reflect on a body of work that matters. Copolov is honoured to receive accolades from his peers, but says the real satisfaction comes from over-delivering on a client brief and knowing that good design has improved the lives of those who work or live within the walls of each project.
The IDEA Gold Medal was introduced to Inside magazine’s IDEA program in 2010 as an important new award acknowledging lifetime contributions made to the Australian design industry by the country’s leading design luminaries. This year the Gold Medal was presented by The Balvenie. The award for 2010 was presented to Sue Carr, founder and director of Carr Design Group, to Janne Faulkner AM from Nexus Designs in 2011, and to Paul Hecker and Hamish Guthrie, the duo behind interior design practice Hecker Guthrie, in 2012.