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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    The Honourable Anna Bligh


    The Honourable Anna Bligh

    Tuesday, July 22, 2008


    Premier Anna Bligh today appointed leading architect Philip Follent to the role of Queensland Government Architect.

    The respected architect will provide expert advice to the Government on contemporary design and heritage issues when he takes up his new position on September 1.

    Mr Follent is currently Gold Coast City architect and is well known for his commitment to environmentally sustainable development

    In five years as Gold Coast City architect the Macintosh Island Bridge, the five star green rated Elanora Library and the Tugun desal plant were among the many projects he oversaw.

    However, Mr Follent cites the modest Elephant Rock café at Currumbin as one of his best designs.

    The position was previously held by Professor Michael Keniger, Queensland’s first Government Architect, who steps down after six years to concentrate on his role as Deputy Vice Chancellor (Academic) at UQ.

    “I’m delighted that Mr Follent will now bring his unique blend of architectural advocacy and environmental awareness to the role of Queensland Government Architect,” said the Premier.

    “He will provide expert advice to the Queensland Government on built environment, urban design and heritage issues.”

    The Premier said that a major element of the role was ensuring Queensland’s unique architectural heritage is respected and enhanced.

    In 1989 Mr Follent was one of the youngest architects elevated to the position of Fellow of the profession’s peak body, the Royal Australian Institute of Architects.

    Last year the RAIA awarded him Life Fellowship in further recognition of his exceptional contribution to architecture.

    Mr Follent is involved in environmental issues and previously held the presidency of a local environmental organisation, Friends of Currumbin, for six years.

    Premier Anna Bligh said Mr Follent’s new role will include supporting a high-standard, innovative design for Government buildings, as well as encouraging opportunities for regional architects and the further development of regional design.

    Mr Follent said he saw his new role as an exciting opportunity.

    “I am very excited to be appointed Government Architect at a time when communities have raised expectations of the value of design,” Mr Follent said.

    “Architecture is about creating spaces for people and we mustn’t forget that. Often the modest places in a city are the places that people gravitate to and remember.

    “I also plan on travelling extensively throughout the state to demonstrate a whole-of-Government commitment to achieving design excellence.

    “This will incorporate not only fine architecture, but also impressive engineering projects in water, transport and energy.”

    Outgoing Government Architect Professor Keniger said he was sure Mr Follent would continue to encourage all major players to embrace the need for architecture and urban design of the highest quality.

    “No doubt Philip’s appointment to this influential, whole-of-Government role will be widely applauded and welcomed by his fellow professionals around the State,” he said.

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