Danish duo head to Australia for architecture residency

Johannes Molander Pedersen and Morten Rask Gregersen, founders of NORD Architects in Denmark, will visit Australia as the next international architects to participate in the Droga Architect in Residence program.

As joint recipients of this Australian Institute of Architects Foundation initiative, Pedersen and Gregersen will alternate in the residency between February and May, with an overlap in late March, providing an opportunity to present a joint public lecture at Sydney Opera House.

Since establishing NORD in 2002, the partners have received wide acclaim for their outstanding body of work – as practising architects, urbanists, academics, exhibitors, lecturers and engaging in public debate.

During their residency they will investigate and exchange knowledge within what they define as ‘collective impact’, demonstrating how the process of developing architecture and urban areas can commit participants from different sectors along a common agenda.  By engaging coalitions and relations they aim to create new alliances between the public, civic and private sectors. Architecture will be the common denominator, suggesting solutions to societal challenges, while strengthening communities.

‘Architecture has the ability to activate and combine knowledge from various professional fields and localities into something concrete and tangible. Additionally, the intricate process of developing architecture or an urban scheme holds the potential to become a structured form of collaboration that engages users and citizens to innovate the public realm,’ Pedersen said.

While in Australia the NORD partners will also supervise student workshops at UTS Sydney, and present lectures scheduled in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane. Their report on their ‘research by design’ residency project will be available online towards the end of April.

The Droga Architect in Residence is the first residency program of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere and is awarded to distinguished architects based outside Australia whose architectural initiatives contribute to the development of the built environment, resulting in public and social benefits for communities around the world.

For more information about the Droga Architect in Residence program and event updates visit

For more information about NORD visit

Note to Editors:

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27 September  (Financial Review)

Droga VerandahWhen Daniel Droga moved into a dilapidated warehouse in Foster Street in Sydney’s Surry Hills, his neighbourhood included a tattoo parlour, an illegal brothel and a retailer of Chinese herbs. There were no cafes, let alone any specialising in single-roast beans and bearded baristas.

It was 1992 and the inner-Sydney suburb was still a good decade off becoming the groovy hub that it is today.

Entrepreneurial by nature, Droga – who went on to found hedge fund BlueLake Partners – had soon hatched a plan with friends to buy the building and refurbish it, with each taking one of the five floors. In scoping out the project they realised the council would allow them to build a two-level penthouse of sorts on the roof. They commissioned rising architectural stars Neil Durbach and Camilla Block to design the warehouse conversion and the penthouse, which became known as the Droga Apartment. The apartment won two top architecture awards: the Wilkinson award in 1997, from the NSW chapter of the Aus-tralian Institute of Architects, and the Robin Boyd award in 1998, the top gong for residential developments nationwide.

Now, however, the Droga Apartment is set for a new life. Daniel Droga and Australian Institute of Architects Chief Executive, David Parken, hope to adopt from the art world not only the residency concept but also the idea that philanthropic support can be raised for activities aimed at giving design – in the broadest sense – a more central place in Australian life.

Read full article from Australian Financial Review on 27th September 2013 at


13 September, 2013

Australia announces inaugural international architect residency program

The Australian Institute of Architects is pleased to announce its inaugural architecture in residence program, known as the Australian Institute of Architects Droga Architect in Residence (the residency).

Scheduled to begin in 2014, this will be the first residency program of its kind in the Southern Hemisphere. The residency is open to architects, based outside Australia, whose architectural initiatives contribute to the development of the built environment, resulting in public and social benefits for communities around the world.

Australian Institute of Architects CEO David Parken said the residency was unique in concept and reflected the Institute’s vision of architecture as fundamental to Australian culture.

‘It reinforces the Institute’s ongoing commitment to supporting and communicating the value of architecture for our communities.  The Residency will encourage the exploration of new approaches, the exchange of ideas, international collaboration and cross fertilisation,’ he said.

‘Applications are now being sought from prominent architects who can contribute to this vision, and the program will in turn offer them an excellent opportunity to engage with the Australian public and architectural community on their specific area of expertise through a series of seminars and associated events,’ Mr Parken said.

The residency will be awarded to architects, who exemplify the highest standard of excellence in architectural design, research and practice.

Architects undertaking the residency will stay at The Droga Apartment, the award-winning warehouse space generously offered to the Institute for use as an architect residency, by cultural philanthropist Daniel Droga.

Winner of the Robin Boyd Award for Residential Architecture at the National Architecture Awards, and the Wilkinson Award for Residential Architecture at the NSW Architecture Awards, both in 1998, the Durbach Block designed warehouse apartment is located in the heart of Sydney’s vibrant CBD.

Online registrations for the residency will open on Monday 16 September 2013 with applications closing on Monday 14 October 2013.

To register and for full details of the residency program visit The successful applicant will receive flights to and from Australia, provided a stipend, and be hosted in the Droga Apartment for a period of 2-3 months.  The timing and duration of the residency is flexible and can be negotiated with the Institute.

For all enquiries contact: Mandy O’Bryan, Philanthropy Manager, Australian Institute of Architects. P: + 61 (2) 9246 4055