Murdoch University home to world’s best academic building

Boola Katitjin1 (860 x 480 px)

Winning a global architecture competition is no mean feat when your competitors include some of the world’s most notable academic institutions and designers.

But Murdoch University’s Boola Katitjin has done just that, taking out the Higher Education and Research category at the World Architecture Festival in Singapore today.

It was the pinnacle of recognition for the building’s architects Lyons with Silver Thomas Hanley, The Fulcrum Agency, Officer Woods Architects (WA), and Aspect Studios.

Principal architect Carey Lyon pitched live to judges yesterday, competing with 14 other shortlisted buildings from around the world including the Centre for Computing and Data Sciences at Boston University, Printing House Square at Trinity College Dublin, and the John A. Paulson Centre at New York University.

Mr Lyon said the judging process was a deeply rewarding experience.

“It was absolutely fascinating seeing Boola Katitjin alongside major higher education projects from all over the world and to watch major global architects pitching the ideas behind them, so we were pretty happy and humbled that the jury thought a project in Perth was the worthy winner,” he said.

“It feels great to have many years of work, and massive contributions from our design team, the project’s engineers Aurecon, construction team from Multiplex, and Murdoch’s leaders, recognised in this way - it’s a credit to all involved.”

The global accolade caps off a year of recognition for Boola Katitjin, having won the top honour at the WA Architecture Awards in June, followed by prizes for educational and sustainable architecture at the national awards in November.

Earlier this week engineers Aurecon claimed Project of the Year at the Engineers Australia Excellence Awards, after winning WA’s top industry honour in September, and last month Boola Katitjin won the Award for Excellence in Timber Products (Engineered Wood Product) and the People’s Choice category at the Australian Timber Design Awards.

Murdoch University Vice Chancellor Professor Andrew Deeks said the international recognition demonstrated the significance the global community place on environmental responsibility.

Boola Katitijin is the embodiment of Murdoch’s three strategic themes: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion; First Nations; and Sustainability, and this award demonstrates that the rest of the world shares our values."

Mr Lyon said leadership in sustainability would have been an important factor in the in the jury’s decision.

“To have a student environment that is at a global leadership level for a decarbonised world is a huge achievement and a testament to Murdoch - everyone involved in the project can feel they have contributed to something that is a global benchmark,” he said.

Professor Deeks said he deeply appreciated the efforts of Boola Katitjin’s architects, engineers, and everyone involved in creating the best higher education building in the world at Murdoch.

“At Murdoch University we are changing the higher education landscape, truly living our values, and showing others that when you push boundaries, strive, and develop, great things can be achieved,” he said.

What does the future of design look like, for our individual health and for the planet? 

Learn how the world's best academic building Boola Katitjin came to life in The Spaces that Shape Us, presented by the World Green Building Council and produced by BBC StoryWorks Commercial Productions.

Posted on:

1 Dec 2023

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