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We've made it through another exciting and eventful year. For ABP, the biggest news of 2013 was the commencement of our new building's construction. The project team, supporters, donors, alumni and staff have been instrumental in ensuring the success of the project to date and we are confident that with your continued support we will reach our goal and launch a revolutionary centre for built environment education and research in early 2015.

This year also saw numerous well deserved successes across our community of talented students, alumni and staff.

We hope 2013 has been as rewarding for you and wish you and yours' a safe and relaxing holiday season.


One of the most powerful aspects of our new Faculty building will be its pedagogic value. Not only will students gain knowledge in studios and lectures, the building itself is purposefully designed to 'teach' students about the complex functions and performance of a world-class education and research centre.

Watch the latest in our series of new building video updates and see how students are already learning from the new building and gaining unique access to industry expertise and knowledge. This video follows ABP students enrolled in the 'Project Planning Studio' -  the capstone subject in the Bachelor of Environment's Construction major.


Not only is the ABP new building project an opportunity for the Faculty to reflect its commitment to excellence and innovation in design education, it is a rare chance for students and alumni to engage with a significant project. 

Danny Truong, a Bachelor of Environments graduate, joined John Wardle Architects in early 2013 and was immediately set the task of creating the zinc screens which line the North, West and East elevations. Danny speaks here about the challenge of constructing the perforated panels which are a key element of our new building's efficiency and design.


Alan Pert, Director of Melbourne School of Design, has seen big success back in his hometown of Glasgow, where is practice, NORD was awarded one of the most prestigious architecture accolades in the country. WASPS South Block, which houses NORD, and provides affordable studios to artists, charities and social and creative businesses, was awarded the RIAS Andrew Doolan Best Building in Scotland Award.

NORD have been described as the 'surprise' winner but as one judge explained, ‘This building delivers to its users, to the local economy and to the creative industries in spades. The architects, with the most modest of budgets, have taken an unloved Edwardian city block and transformed it into a superbly attractive and welcoming new focus for invention, innovation and creativity, buzzing with energy. This is an extraordinary architectural achievement.’

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A giant white plastic dome made out of 945 IKEA bins and pierced with strappy green plants currently dominates the courtyard at NGV International. Titled Bin Dome, its creator Rory Hyde provides a witty, irridescent moment in Melbourne Now, an exhibition celebrating the current art, design and architectural practices in our creative city. This ambitious show, which opened in November, encompasses 600 events and exhibits by 25 curators and 200 artists, architects and designers of fashion, jewellery and objects.

Rory, who ran studios at the Melbourne School of Design this year, is about to take up a new role in London as the V&A Museum's  first curator of contemporary architecture and urbanism. This exciting position will give him the chance to explore ideas presented in his award-winning book Future Practice: Conversations from the Edge of Architecture. Featuring interviews with top designers, historians and architects, the book received a 2013 AIA Award in the media category, the judges noting that Hyde had ''illuminated a whole world outside the traditional''.

Visit Rory Hyde's 'Bin Dome' and other design installations at NGV International and NGV Australia until March 23, 2014.


A Celebration of his Life on the Occasion of his 80th Birthday

The late George Tibbits was one of many colourful “renaissance” men to have worked at this Faculty over the years. George was a noted architectural historian, who produced (among other works) a study of campus architecture written with Philip Goad and published in 2003, now sadly out of print. He was a leading light in the 70s and 80s campaign to save Carlton, thanks to whose efforts many splendid streetscapes were preserved.

On Thursday November 7 a capacity crowd of family and friends, led by his widow Dr Dianne Tibbits (B.Sc, 1963) and his daughter Lucy Tibbits (B.PD, 1993 & B.Arch (Hons), 1996) filled the upper levels of the Ian Potter Museum of Art to remember George and to launch the George Tibbits Fund, with a goal of raising $150,000 to support the Faculty’s new building, and in doing so to name a studio in the building for this remarkable man.

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Our academics never disappoint in delivering high quality research and teaching that contributes to education, practice and policy across the built environment disciplines. Over the past six weeks we were brimming with pride as a number of ABP staff were recognised with industry awards for their work.

Andrew Saniga recieved the Australian Institute of Architects' Victoria Medal for Landscape Architecture for his book, Landscape Architecture Australia. This is the first time the accolade was bestowed for a research project.

Robert Crawford was awarded an MBM Research and Teaching Award in the AIQS Infinite Value Award. Robert was nominated by Dr Ajibade Aibinu.

Alan March was given a Planning Excellence Award for Cutting Edge Research and Teaching, for his book, The Democratic Plan: Analysis and Diagnosis. The Award was presented by the Planning Institute of Australia.

Ken Woodman and Ben Cleveland won a Council of Educational Facility Planners International Victorian Chapter award for an educational planning and design project at Catholic College Woodonga.


The Holcim Awards is a global competition that recognizes innovative projects and future-oriented concepts on regional and international levels. The competition, conducted by the Holcim Foundation, seeks projects that expand conventional notions about sustainable building and also balance environmental, social and economic performance.  Projects must also exemplify architectural excellence and a high degree of transferability. A total of USD 2 million in prize money is awarded in each three-year cycle.

The University of Melbourne recently became a ‘partner university’ to the Holcim Foundation (alongside MIT, Tongi University, University of San Paolo, Tsinghua University and others) and is the only partner university in Australia. This collaboration will see us support Holcim through academic engagement, public events and student opportunities, to advance sustainable construction concepts and projects. 

ABP will hold a reception at the University on the evening of Thursday 30 January, 2014, hosted by Donald Bates, to provide background on the Foundation and Holcim Awards. If you are interested in attending this event, please email: abp-events@unimelb.edu.au.

The Holcim Awards competition is open for entries now and closes for registration on March 24, 2014.  Visit the Holcim Foundation website for full details.

Find out more


Judy Turner, Director of Advancement
Well, this may sound disloyal, but I really find Sydney one of the most exciting cities in the world! The harbour gives off such a sense of history, of combined grunge and aspiration, of mystery, beauty and possibility, that Circular Quay and environs is the Australian space par excellence, for me.  It  has everything –  including the amazing Opera House where I had the privilege to spend some time when I was working for the Ballet.

Here in Melbourne I absolutely love the Eureka Tower in Southgate. I like the way it calls to you from many different parts of our town, when you are swimming laps on a summer morning at MSAC, or walking home from Port Melbourne on a rainy night and its head is sitting in the clouds, like a shy tall girl at the school dance. Best of all is the way, at a certain time of night from a special point on the edge of Albert Park Lake, you can see the building talking to the sun.