24 November 2017

ABA’S Luke Wins Prestigious Student Award

Let it be known throughout the world that Luke van de Vorst – ABA’s clever architectural graduate – has won the annual Noel Robinson Architects Prize for QUT Masters of Architecture students! We are super proud of this guy. You can read more about him here.


So Luke, tell us about your winning entry…

The brief was to design workshop and exhibition spaces for artists incorporating the heritage tramway substation that’s located amongst fig trees in the gardens of Newstead House. The design approach was to respectfully contribute to what’s already there, and to be a welcome neighbour to the iconic Newstead House. My design would enable artists to work beneath dappled light in breezy spaces that open out and frame the landscape whilst visitors can enjoy the cafe with views to the river and Newstead House.

How did you develop your passion for architecture? 

I grew up in a very creative house on the Sunshine Coast Hinterland. My mother was an artist and my father a builder, who also made sculptures and furniture. So between the two influences it all came about. My mother would have paint and pencils laying about, so I would always be drawing or painting. My dad would show me nice pieces of construction, and he once gave me a fascinating book named Architecture Without Architects, which still inspires me today.

Tell us about your architectural experience so far…

I’ve worked during my entire course, and I also took a year off to work overseas in the Netherlands, where the opportunities were incredible. If someone was keen the take initiative on a project they were completely open to it. That’s something I’ve also found at ABA, which is really energising.

What was the highlight of your time at university? Other than your award!

I’ve had some great tutors. I love being around people who love teaching, who believe in you, and who get genuinely excited about your project. It keeps you working late at night because you want to prove that you are deserving of their faith. This semester I had an incredible tutor, Liz Brogden, and I couldn’t have asked for a better semester to finish my studies.

How have you found working at ABA whilst studying?

ABA has been incredibly supportive of my studies. The office is so engaged in design, and always open to me sharing my progress. Everyone in the office has given me incredible insight and suggestions and the project became so much richer because of it.

What currently inspires you and your work?

Rationalised design that’s pushed creatively. I’m inspired by space and light, air and landscaping that’s integrated into the building, and the creation of a dialogue with context that is respectful. Architecture that creates a sense of wellbeing.

What do you find to be most rewarding aspect of architecture as a profession?

Happy clients, and happy us. When the clients become excited, and start really getting involved in a constructive way, that’s when the magic happens. The fact that this all happens in our minds and then it is built is incredible. Also, the fact that there really isn’t a limit of where it can go. I feel like I’m really only scratching the surface of what’s possible, and I’m excited to have a whole life of exploring it further.

What advice would you give to other graduates or students of architecture ?

I’ve had some really dissatisfying results in the past, but I’ve continued to be really dedicated to Architecture, just because I really enjoy the process. This dedication has paid off as I’ve since had some really rewarding experiences. So I think that focusing on the process rather than the result is key.