Woods Bagot

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Woods Bagot
Practice information
Founded1869 (1869)
LocationLondon, Adelaide, New York, Shanghai, Dubai, Sydney
Significant works and honors
  • Architects Journal AJ100 International Practice of the Year Award 2009
  • AIA Award for International Architecture 2009

Woods Bagot is a global architectural and consulting practice founded in Australia. It specialises in the design and planning of buildings across a wide variety of sectors and disciplines, including aviation and transport, education, science and health, lifestyle, sport and the workplace.

Known originally for its work at the University of Adelaide, Woods Bagot expanded its horizons throughout the 20th century and is now established worldwide, with studios in five regions: Asia, Australia, Europe, the Middle East and North America. In 2015, the firm was named as one of the world's ten largest architechture firms in Building Design magazine's World Architecture 100 list;[1] having been named as the 2009 Architects' Journal AJ100 International Practice of the Year Award.[2]


Woods Bagot's origins date back to 1869, when architect Edward John Woods was commissioned to improve and expand the design of St. Peter's Cathedral in Adelaide.[3] In 1905 he joined forces with another prominent local architect, Walter Bagot, after many years' successful private practice. Woods retired from the practice in 1913;[4] Bagot was subsequently joined by noted architect Louis Laybourne-Smith in 1917[5] and James Campbell Irwin, later Lord Mayor of Adelaide, in 1930.[6][7] The firm was incorporated as Woods Bagot Architects in 1975 and as Woods Bagot Pty Ltd in 1987.

Architectural style[edit]

The design of the Adelaide Convention Centre's West Building echoes the local geology
SAHMRI 'pine cone' detail

Inevitably for a firm with whose history spans more than a century, Woods Bagot has embraced a wide variety of architectural styles since its inception. Early Australian buildings such as Bonython Hall were built in the classical Gothic style popular at the time, but the firm's steady expansion into Asia, Europe and North America was accompanied by a corresponding shift in style and approach that embraced a variety of modern and progressive themes.

The firm's latest work is often inspired by the natural world. The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute (SAHMRI) building's exterior surface is inspired by a pine cone, for example, with a so-called 'living skin' designed for optimal passive solar performance.[8] A new extension to the Adelaide Convention Centre, designed in association with American architect Larry Oltmanns, references local geological forms, in particular the distinctive colours and stratification of the South Australian landscape.[9]

Some recent designs have focused on philosophical as well as environmental and geological themes. The design of the Nan Tien Institute in Wollongong, New South Wales, reflects Buddhist teaching principles, specifically avoiding hierarchical components and providing a neutral environment free of materialism and excess. A new bridge and plaza connecting the Institute to the nearby Nan Tien Temple complex has been designed as a practical, mixed-use focus point for community gatherings, as well as a notable development in its own right.[10] Outside Australia, the Cubism-inspired Cubus, a 25-storey retail tower completed in Hong Kong in 2011, is equipped with geometric lighting panels that emulate the shapes and forms of ice cubes.[11]

Notable projects[edit]

SAHMRI building, Adelaide
1 William Street, Brisbane
Ham Yard Hotel courtyard, London

Woods Bagot has designed some landmark buildings throughout South East Asia including the following major architectural projects:

Completed Project name Location Award Notes
2017 Adelaide Convention Centre redevelopment Adelaide, South Australia
National Australia Bank building Melbourne Docklands
1 William Street, Brisbane Brisbane, Queensland
Greenland Centre Sydney, New South Wales
2013 SAHMRI building Adelaide, South Australia
Ham Yard Hotel London, United Kingdom
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre Melbourne (joint venture with NH Architecture)
Student Learning Center, Cornell University School of Hotel Administration New York, USA
Wynyard Walk Sydney, New South Wales
Eccleston Square Hotel London, United Kingdom
Qatar Science & Technology Park Doha, Qatar
  • The AIA Award for International Architecture (2009)
World Trade Center Bhubaneswar Odisha, India
College of the North Atlantic Doha, Qatar
Nan Tien Institute and Cultural Centre Wollongong, New South Wales
Cubus Hong Kong
Delhi One Noida, India
Wanxiang Century Centre Hangzhou, China
Ningbo Youth Culture Plaza Ningbo, China
Wanda Plaza Kunming, China
One Shelley Street Sydney, New South Wales
The Ivy, George Street Sydney, New South Wales
1931 National War Memorial Adelaide, South Australia
1932 Barr Smith Library, University of Adelaide Adelaide, South Australia
1936 Bonython Hall, University of Adelaide Adelaide, South Australia

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rule, Dan. "Melbourne's Woods Bagot listed among world's top 10 architectural firms". Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 7 April 2015.
  2. ^ Roberts, Jeff (15 June 2009). "Woods Bagot wins esteemed prize". ConstructionWeek Online. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  3. ^ "About Us - Architects". St Peter's Cathedral, Diocese of Adelaide, South Australia. Archived from the original on 4 March 2015. Retrieved 30 June 2015.
  4. ^ "Advertising". The Advertiser (Adelaide, SA : 1889 - 1931). Adelaide, SA: National Library of Australia. 12 July 1915. p. 2. Retrieved 19 March 2012.
  5. ^ Woods Bagot Collection, Architecture Museum, University of South Australia
  6. ^ J. C. Irwin, Smith, Louis Laybourne (1880-1965), Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 11, Melbourne University Press, 1988, pp 656-657.
  7. ^ Bridget Jolly, Irwin, Sir James Campbell (1906-1990), Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 17, Melbourne University Press, pp 576-577.
  8. ^ Wang, Lucy. "SAHMRI's Striking Pinecone-Inspired "Living Skin" Uses Passive Solar Design in Australia". Inhabitat. Retrieved 12 May 2015.
  9. ^ "Expansion 2017". Adelaide Convention Centre. Retrieved 27 August 2015.
  10. ^ Johnson, Nathan (21 May 2014). "Buddhist philosophy inspires Woods Bagot design for Nan Tien Bridge and Plaza in Wollongong". Nan Tien Institute. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  11. ^ "Woods Bagot breaks the ice". World Architecture News. 31 January 2011. Retrieved 29 May 2015.
  12. ^ "Australian Institute of Architects 2009 National Architecture Awards". Australian Institute of Architects. 29 October 2009. Retrieved 18 March 2010.
  13. ^ "AIA 2009 Architecture Awards announced". Australian Design Review. 29 October 2009. Retrieved 21 September 2015.

External links[edit]