Sacha Parkinson: Winner of the 2014 Architects Medallion
Master of Architecture (Honours Class 1) 2013 graduate Sacha Parkinson has won the NSW Architects Registration Board 2014 Architects Medallion for her impressive portfolio of projects completed during her Masters degree including residential high-rise masterplanning and her final year project.
The Architects Medallion is an annual award to a graduate who has achieved distinction in a particular subject area and generally throughout their course, and is the highest accolade for an architecture graduate in NSW.
Sacha expressed her appreciation on receiving the award at a ceremony at Sydney Opera House: "When the award was announced it was overwhelming and lovely to receive the recognition for my work, particularly within the sails of the Opera House. Studying at the University of Newcastle was an excellent launching platform for my career and I highly value my experience there".
Sacha's dedication and outstanding ability were also recognised in 2013 when she received three other significant awards: the Australian Institute of Architects NSW Chapter Construction and Practice Prize; the Dean's Medal in Architecture and Built Environment; and the University Medal in Architecture.
The recipient of the Parker Fellowship Commendation in 2010, Sacha travelled across America over six weeks visiting the majority of architect Frank Gehry's body of work and studying Gehry's design process through sketching.
The annual Parker Fellowship is the most valuable scholarship available to architecture students in Australia, enabling the recipient to undertake a personally significant program of international travel and experience global architecture. The scholarship is awarded to the student who shows the greatest potential to benefit from the opportunity to engage with and be influenced by the world's most significant architecture.
Sacha's final year design proposal was for a Natural History Illustration School and Museum located on Ash Island, Hexham. The design culminated in a series of architectural interventions that were strategically placed across the island responding to the subtle layers of the dynamic ecosystem.
The entire scheme explored the notion of threshold spaces drawing attention to the complex layers of the landscape. An individual's journey across the island was designed to facilitate a deeper understanding and appreciation for the unique natural environment that is readily dismissed by society as a swamp land and riddled with mosquitoes.
One intervention utilises the existing mesh boardwalk across the freshwater wetland to minimise the building footprint impact. A series of flexible spaces were designed along the corridor allowing illustrations to be displayed alongside framed views of the wetland and its inhabitants.
Sacha is currently owner-building her first home near Dungog with her fiancé and working in Newcastle with dwp|suters architects.