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Decade of design at Abedian School of Architecture

Abedian School of Architecture - 10 Year Anniversary

Bond University has celebrated the 10th anniversary of the opening of the Abedian School of Architecture building that helped redefine the Gold Coast's architectural character.

During a commemorative event at the school, Vice Chancellor and President Tim Brailsford recounted the journey that led to the creation of the cathedral-like building.

It came about through the need to house the university’s school of architecture, established in 2011.

Sir Peter Cook and Gavin Robotham of CRAB Studio won an international design competition, producing a visionary concept that captivated the Patron of the school Soheil Abedian AM.

“We knew it was going to be a bit of a challenge with a London-based architect, a locally-based builder, an engineering firm that was very technical, and an extremely tight budget,” Professor Brailsford said.

“When Sir Peter flew out from London, we were all very nervous about him walking in here, and whether or not we had delivered on his vision.

“I could just tell that he was impressed. People were trying to talk to him but he was saying, ‘No, no, I want to inspect it by myself’. And he was very happy.”

The Abedian School of Architecture.

Professor Brailsford said the building was constructed without government funding and with the ambition of one day housing one of the best architecture schools in the world.

“The architecture of the Gold Coast has been criticised over the years, and to establish what was a visionary school - a school with the potential to transform architectural education in this country – that was pretty gutsy,” he said.

Several key figures involved in the construction of the school attended the 10th-anniversary function, including Dr. Abedian, his wife Anne Abedian, and Judy Brinsmead AM, Chairman of the builder ADCO.

Dr Abedian, the Sunland Group founder, explained the genesis of the building which he helped bring to life with a generous financial contribution.

“We are in a city that has a lot of development but our city didn’t have an eye to judge what is good architecture. Therefore we should have a school of architecture,” he said.

“I am so proud to have started this with Bond University and now I am working with graduate architects in our office.”

Students at the school are taught by leading practitioners and academics in a studio setting which emulates a contemporary architecture office environment.

Three of the school’s most successful alumni spoke at the 10th anniversary event.

Interior of the building. 

Megan King (Class of 2015, Bachelor of Architectural Studies and Master of Architecture) is based in Byron Bay designing multimillion-dollar mansions and commercial projects.

Scott Deppeler (Class of 2012, Bachelor of Architectural Studies and Master of Architecture) is the lead architect of 76 and 50-storey towers in Surfers Paradise.

Kelsey Godwin-Smith (Class of 2014, Bachelor of Architectural Studies) has led hospital and school construction projects totalling almost $1 billion.

All of them are still aged in their 20s.

Most of the Bond University’s distinctive sandstone campus was designed by leading Australian architect Daryl Jackson and his business partner Robin Dyke.

The Chancellery, library, and the Arch were designed by Pritzker Prize winner Arata Isozaki.

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