Julie Stout, the first woman to receive New Zealand architecture’s highest honour, is awarded the 2021 Gold Medal

Woman in Gold: Architect Julie Stout has been named the Te Kāhui Whaihanga New Zealand Institute of Architects 2021 Gold Medallist, the highest honour for architecture in Aotearoa. 

Julie Stout, photography by Rebekah Robinson

The educator, activist and ambassador has achieved an exceptional body of built work in her career which spans almost 40 years, including Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery, Heke Street House, and Fishman House which was awarded Home of the Year in 2009. 

The Gold Medal is awarded to architects who have made an outstanding contribution to their practice, the profession and the community in Aotearoa. 

Heke Street House, photography by Simon Devitt


“I am deeply honoured that the profession, which has given me so much, has recognised my mahi and my career in this way. Architecture has influenced my life, my loves, my work and my hopes for future generations in so many ways,” says Julie. 

Stout is the first woman to receive the award, which has honoured architects who have made an outstanding contribution to the advancement of architecture in Aotearoa, since 1999. 

“I am sure that in the very near future, we will look back and say, ‘Why did that take so long?’ and that being a woman architect winning the Gold Medal is not unusual.”

Te Uru Waitākere Contemporary Gallery, photography by Patrick Reynolds

Te Kāhui Whaihanga President Judi Keith-Brown says Stout is a “unique and worthy” recipient of the Gold Medal.

“As a practitioner, she has always been true to herself, while being willing to share her time and knowledge with others. Her brave and relentless advocacy for a better urban environment is a generous gift to the people of Tāmaki Makaurau.

“The Gold Medal honours the breadth of Julie’s work and recognises that her practice, education and advocacy has played a critical role in uplifting the profession of architecture in Aotearoa.”

Fishman House, photography by Patrick Reynolds

As a highly skilled and experienced architect, as well as a teacher, mentor and activist, Julie Stout has set a new precedent for the Gold Medal. Throughout her career, she has shown what is possible when architecture is placed at the heart of a life’s work, and as a tool to change the world for the better.



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