The Inaugural Dean's Lecture was held on 30 April at the University Club. The Lecture ‘Breathing Architecture for the 21st Century' was presented by Richard Hassell, Founding Director of WOHA in Singapore and Adjunct Professor of Architecture at UWA.
Over 200 alumni and guests of the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Visual Arts attended the Lecture including The Honourable John Day, MLA, Minister for Planning; Culture and the Arts; Science and Innovation, and Mayor Alannah MacTiernan, Mayor of the City of Vincent. The lecture introduction was given by Dean of the Faculty, Winthrop Professor Simon Anderson.
Trained in Architecture at UWA in the 1980s, Richard founded the practice WOHA in Singapore in 1994 with Wong Mun Summ after working for 5 years in the practice of another Singapore-based UWA Architecture graduate, Kerry Hill AO.
WOHA are world leaders in areas of architectural practice that are the current central foci of professional attention in Australia today. Their work is highly environmentally responsive in that each project seeks to get the most benefit from its particular climatic and geographic zone. In this area their work in developing naturally cooled and ventilated high-rise apartment buildings, has attracted enormous international attention.
Their work in developing new residential building typologies for both private and public clients has shown that high density living, so needed to reduce the energy consumption of urban environments, can be both highly efficient and highly liveable. In the area of public transport provision, the other great necessity in the quest to reduce the carbon footprint of cities, WOHA have made major contributions to the design of transport infrastructure in the form of their remarkable mass-transit stations.
Lastly, WOHA's significance for Western Australia extends beyond the design and delivery of multi-award winning buildings. Richard through his work with the Building & Construction Authority of Singapore, Singapore Institute of Architects and DesignSingapore has been instrumental in transforming Singapore into the creative and design capital of Southeast Asia through both policy and procurement innovation and the active promotion of design excellence.
WOHA's work is located throughout Asia and has won 143 major architecture awards. As well as apartments and mass transit stations it includes private houses, luxury resorts and large-scale public buildings. No two buildings look the same: each project is a specific response to the potential of the brief and the site. The architecture demonstrates a profound awareness of local context and tradition, as well as an ongoing exploration of contemporary architectural forms and ideas, thus creating a unique fusion of practicality and invention.