Architecture competitions are an industry reality. They aid in increasing motivation and innovation when bidding for a project and encourage an ‘only the best’ architectural ideology.
However, according the South Australian architecture sector, they are experiencing a different kind of competition – one that is expected to challenge SA architects unlike ever before.
President of the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) of South Australia, Nick Tridente, has commented on the increased demand for interstate ‘star’ architects in the state and the pressure this is now putting on local professionals.
“It becomes a requirement in order to win the bid,” says Tridente. “I understand fully why these people go to … star architects but … there’s another opportunity here to cross-pollinate”.
One such interstate architectural firm who has become synonymous with SA developments is John Wardle. The Melbourne-based firm has led major works undertaken at the University of South Australia and remains in high demand – their latest project with a price tag of $82.5 million.
However, the AIA South Australian president states that his issue does not lie with the Melbourne-based architects, but the general lack of opportunities for SA architects in community-based developments.
“I’ve got no issue with John Wardle … My issue is there may be other opportunities to facilitate the SA community within the profession,” says Tridente.
There is a growing solution to this issue though – and is perhaps the reason behind John Wardle’s enduring popularity in SA – home-based collaboration.
“John is one example where local practices have partnered with a national design architect, we didn’t force them to do that … often they believe it gives them the edge they want,” says state government architect Benjamin Hewett.
Collaboration in any sector is reaping rewards and is a continuously trending ‘buzz’ word this year. In sharing architectural knowledge throughout the various state sectors in Australia, interstate competition will not be so fierce and the value of Australia architecture can be measured as a whole, rather than state by state.