Richard Johnson (architect)

Richard Anthony Johnson AO, MBE (born 1946, in Sydney) is an Australian architect best known as the creator of some of the Australian most important and iconic cultural buildings and spaces of the twentieth century.[1][2]

Richard Anthony Johnson

Alma materUniversity of New South Wales, University College London
AwardsRAIA Gold Medal
PracticeJohnson Pilton Walker
BuildingsNational Portrait Gallery in Canberra
ProjectsMuseum of Sydney
DesignNational Gallery of Victoria - Redevelopment Masterplan

Academic career

Johnson graduated in 1969 with first class honours in Architecture from the University of New South Wales and a Master of Philosophy in Town Planning from the University College London in 1977. He has held several academic positions including Adjunct Professor of Architecture, at the University of NSW between 1999 and 2008; and a Professor of Practice/Architectural Studies, at the University of NSW since 2008.

Professional associations include appointment as a Life Fellow of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects in 2011; a Fellow of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects in 2005; an Associate of the Design Institute of Australia; an Associate of the Japan Institute of Architects; and a Registered Architect in the State of New South Wales.[2]

Professional experience

  • 1969 - 1985 Principal Architect, Department of Housing and Construction
  • 1985 - 2000 Director, Denton Corker Marshall Pty Ltd

In 2001, the Sydney-based Directors of DCM, Richard Johnson, Adrian Pilton and Jeff Walker de-merged the Sydney office from the group and renamed the office Johnson Pilton Walker Pty Ltd - a multi-design disciplinary firm which is currently working on a wide range of projects in Australia, China and New Zealand. Kiong Lee, Paul van Ratingen and Graeme Dix joined the practice as Directors.

  • 2000 – present Director, Johnson Pilton Walker Pty Ltd.


Some of Johnson's major projects have included:.[1]

  • Australian Pavilion - Expo '74 in Spokane (USA)

- as assistant to James Maccormick.


Johnson was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in 1976 for Public Service in the field of architecture[1] and in 2012 was appointed Life Governor of the Art Gallery of New South Wales.

In 2014 Johnson was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) "for distinguished service to architecture, particularly the design of iconic Australian public buildings, to the visual arts and the museum and galleries sector, and to professional associations."

RAIA Gold Medal

Richard Johnson was awarded the RAIA Gold Medal by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects on 13 March 2008.[3] The RAIA National President Alec Tzannes said the medal recognised Johnson’s "executed work of exceptional merit, and his outstanding contribution to the development of the profession in Australia".[4]


  1. "Background Biography". Australian Institute of Architects. Retrieved 28 September 2010.
  2. Weirick, James; Frith, Stephen; Reinmuth, Gerard (1 March 2008). "Richard Johnson – 2008 RAIA Gold Medallist". Architecture Australia. Australian Institute of Architects. 97 (2). Retrieved 27 August 2018 via ArchitectureAU.
  3. Farrelly, Elizabeth (14 March 2008). "Quiet achiever wins architecture's top award". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 5 November 2010.
  4. Australian Institute of Architects - Gold Medal. Retrieved 28 September 2010
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