- Study at Deakin
- Campus life
- Industry and community
- About Deakin
IMAGINE a hotel in Cairns that has been designed to provide a natural escape from the heat, without the use of air conditioning. That is exactly what Deakin University graduate Cassie Southon did to win two prestigious architecture awards.
Ms Southon shared with Scott Eldridge the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA) Graduate Prize for the School of Architecture and Building, 2006, after she designed a hotel that minimised the need for energy-consuming air conditioning systems. She also received the Peddle Thorp Award for Design Excellence at the awards ceremony.
The awards are valuable commendations as Ms Southon, who completed her five-year Bachelor of Arts (Architecture)/Bachelor Architecture last year. She designed the Verandah Hotel in Cairns, in which the building’s shape, materials, ventilation and orientation were designed to keep the hotel naturally cool as her graduating design project.
Now working for a leading Australian architecture firm, Paul Uhlmann Architects, in Coolangatta, QLD, she will continue designing environmentally sustainable buildings.
“I want to focus on designing buildings that minimise the use of energy, and that are responsive to their natural environment," she said.
“For my thesis I aimed to design a public building in a warm climate that didn’t use too much air conditioning. It is important that buildings are a part of the larger environment."
Ms Southon said that while she was surprised to win the graduate awards, she has worked hard during her course. During her university holidays, she worked for an architecture firm, Sedunary Lake and Partners Architects, in her home town of Bairnsdale.
“I never expected to win awards like these, but I put a lot of hard work in, and it’s really nice to receive this recognition," she said.
She said she appreciated the practical and theoretical knowledge she gained at Deakin University, which set her on a path to employment when she graduated.