Dynamic duo wins prize for best graduation work in global competition

14 February 2017

Architecture graduates, Jonathon Donnelly (BDesArch '10 MArch '15) and Jennifer McMaster (BDesArch '10 MArch '15), are among eight winners from a field of 385 graduation projects submitted for Archiprix International 2017.

The biennale competition, organised by CEPT University in Ahmedabad, India, recognises the best graduation projects received from universities across the world to showcase the next generation of top designers.

Donnelly’s and McMaster’s graduation work, MA|UA Museum of Architecture | Jørn Utzon Archive, made an exclusive shortlist of 23 projects picked by an international jury for the 2017 Hunter Douglas Archiprix Awards. Out of the nominees, the two University of Sydney graduates were one of eight prize winners announced at CEPT University on 10 February.

Donnelly and McMaster received the prize for their 2014 graduation work that imagines a museum of architecture and Jørn Utzon archive in Sydney. The archive is the backbone and basis upon which the new museum produces, curates and exhibits work. Expanding on Utzon’s ideals of counterpoint, the spaces pulse between solid and void, dark and light. The architectural approach of the design uses the past to enrich the present, and positions history as a cornerstone for new ideas evolve.

The Archiprix 2017 jury commented on the project: “The research shows a very profound understanding of the work of Jørn Utzon. The way form, space and light are deployed is not copied from Utzon, but is done in a way that uplifts and celebrates Utzon’s heritage in an entirely different language. All scales are addressed and the proposition is a beautifully made building. The wonderful panels show the designers are destined to become architects.”

In 2015 Donnelly and McMaster also earned the NSW Design Medal by the Australian Institute of Architects for their graduation project.

Since graduating, the dynamic duo have set up their own Sydney-based design practice, TRIAS, which is already producing international, award-winning designs for pop-up glamping and trekking cabins in Wales and Iceland.