Philip Thalis, 2024 Australian Institute of Architects’ Gold Medalist

This year, the Australian Institute of Architects’ highest honour, the Gold Medal, has been awarded to Philip Thalis. Thalis, founding principal of Hill Thalis Architecture and Urban Projects, has been recognized for his outstanding contribution to architecture and urban design over more than 30 years.

His career includes a broad spectrum of projects, public lectures, conference presentations, and teaching roles as well as traditional architectural practice. His book "Public Sydney: Drawing the City," co-authored with Peter John Cantrill, showcases his deep knowledge of Sydney’s architecture and urban history.

Thalis’s work highlights the importance of research in architectural practice, focusing on precinct planning, urban design, typology, heritage, and advocacy. His holistic design sensibility underscores the need for critical urban planning in Australia’s growing cities.

 Projects like Linking Canberra to the Lake, the Escarpment Boardwalk, and Lennox Bridge at Parramatta exemplify his ability to create public spaces that foster connectivity and enhance the relationship between people and their environments. Thalis’s approach shows how higher-density living can enhance the public realm, addressing contemporary challenges like housing affordability and the climate crisis.

 His dedication to integrating architectural excellence with public engagement has seen him grow into a leading figure in design, embodying the role of the architect as a public intellectual and a catalyst for positive change in urban environments.