(L–R): Howard Raggatt, Stephen Ashton and Ian McDougall. Image: John Gollings

ARM Architecture has won the Australian Institute of Architects’ most prestigious award, the Gold Medal, at the Australian Achievement in Architecture Awards.

The practice was referred to by AIA national president Jon Clements as a “leader, influencer, provocateur, culture builder and disseminator of ideas” for close to 30 years, “and at the core of the practice are three outstanding architects who have created some of the most extraordinary buildings in the short post-colonial history of this country”.

Stephen Ashton, Howard Raggatt and Ian McDougall established the practice in 1988 and it has grown to be on of Australia’s most iconic practices.

An AIA statement said the practice was known for “contemporary, often daring, sometimes controversial designs”.

They are known for works including Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance, which won the Sir Zelman Cowen Award for Public Architecture last year; the Perth Arena; RMIT’s Storey Hall and Melbourne’s Recital Hall.

The Shrine of Remembrance – Galleries of Remembrance. Image: John Gollings

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“We’ve always been interested in architecture that tells stories about our lives, about our cities,” Mr McDougall said. “It is humbling to have our ideas acknowledged in this way.”

The Gold Medal jury was composed of Mr Clements, immediate past president David Karotkin, Alice Hampson, Annabel Lahz and Professor Carey Lyon.

Previous recipients of the Gold Medal include Glenn Murcutt, Jørn Utzon, Brit Andresen, Harry Seidler and Robin Boyd.

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