Special Projects Manager and former Chief Financial Officer at Charles Darwin University (CDU), Ken Suter, has recently won the President’s Award in the 2021 NT Architecture Awards.
Mr Suter was awarded for his contribution to the Northern Territory’s architecture and design, including one of Darwin’s early green star buildings and many other buildings on CDU campuses.
He managed the establishment of the Higher Education Building in Alice Springs in 2005, followed by the CDU Chancellery on Casuarina Campus in 2009.
Mr Suter said constructing a building was about meeting the evolving needs of people in the CDU community.
“It’s not just building a building. It’s about creating a central place for people using it and building some presence for the campus,” Mr Suter said.
“For example, for the CDU Chancellery, we built an art gallery, a community room providing space for events. We also incorporated the Indonesian garden. So, it’s something that works for everybody.”
The Chancellery building is a three-storeyed administrative complex and was awarded top honours by the Australian Institute of Architects in 2010. It includes innovations such as energy savings through sensor-controlled lighting and air conditioning.
Mr Suter also oversaw the establishment of the Australian Centre for Indigenous Knowledge and Education, a $32 million project built in 2012.
It is a multi-faceted project comprising an iconic two-storeyed teaching complex of four buildings, employing sophisticated video-based facilities to deliver remote teaching.
The complex is one of the first green-star buildings in Darwin, which is a challenging target to achieve given Darwin’s extreme weather conditions.
“It is a hub for Indigenous education and activities, and it is a place that Indigenous people feel comfortable with,” Mr Suter said.
Mr Suter also managed the design and construction for the Northern Australia Centre for Oil and Gas in 2012, CDU’s Waterfront Campus and the Trades Training Facility in 2014.
The NT Architecture Awards is presented by the Australian Institute of Architects, the peak body for architecture in Australia.