Installation view of John Wardle’s <em>Perspectives on a flat surface</em> 2016 on display as part of the <em>Melbourne Now</em> exhibition at The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia, Melbourne from 24 March – 20 August 2023. Image: Sean Fennessy

John Wardle Architects

John Wardle Architects
(est. 1986, Melbourne)

Established in 1986, John Wardle Architects (JWA) is an architectural practice whose work typically spans domestic dwellings, university buildings, museums and large-scale commercial projects. Founder and partner John Wardle is also passionate about the practice’s broader pursuits extending outside the traditional realm of architecture – from jewellery to ceramics to furniture and visual art.

Perspectives on a flat surface, 2016, is a tapestry designed by John Wardle Architects and woven by Chris Cochius, Pamela Joyce, Jennifer Sharpe and Cheryl Thornton at the Australian Tapestry Workshop in Melbourne. Inspired by the work of sixteenth-century Italian architects and artists Andrea Palladio and Vincenzo Scamozzi, the design references the exaggerated perspectives seen in Palladio’s 1585 Teatro Olimpico building in Vicenza, Northern Italy, and Scamozzi’s trompe l’oeil street scenes. Through its shifting perspectives, the resulting tapestry elicits varying tones of orange that culminate in a striking, bright yellow light. Perspectives on a flat surface was the winner of the Australian Tapestry Workshop’s inaugural 2015 Tapestry Design Prize for Architects. With the support of Judith Neilson AM, the design was translated into tapestry and subsequently gifted to the NGV Collection.

With a team of approximately 100 design professionals, JWA places an emphasis on collaborative work – where each project brings together creative, technical and strategic contributions from a diverse range of architects and interior designers. With studios in Melbourne and Sydney, JWA is a highly awarded practice. In 2018, JWA received National AIA Awards for Educational Architecture and Interior Architecture; the RIBA Award for International Excellence; and the Dezeen Award for Best House Interior. The practice has twice been recognised with the prestigious Sir Zelman Cowen Award for best public building in Australia, in 2002 and 2006, and has also twice received Robin Boyd Awards for best residential project in Australia. In 2020, JWA won the New South Wales Architecture Medallion for Phoenix Central Park, which was completed with Durbach Block Jaggers. JWA has also won two Victorian Architecture Medals.