Honorary Doctorate (April 2001)
Gabriel Poole was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in April 2001 in recognition of his major lifetime contribution to the architectural profession.
Gabriel Poole’s experiences of living and working on the Sunshine Coast have defined his style of architecture. That style has responded to the general environment, the climate and the landscapes of the area in distinctive and deeply sympathetic way that is aesthetically stunning and challenging.
He has defined the bases of a Sunshine Coast style of architecture that has profoundly influenced the work of others who followed him, and they together have contributed to the international focus that has been given to a distinctive Sunshine Coast architectural ‘school’. The seeds he has sown in that team also pervade this University’s architecture and planning.
During the 1960s, Gabriel established his practice on the Sunshine Coast. He has pursued his architecture with a passion and an individuality that has elevated him to the status of one of the finest exponents of his profession.
His distinguished lifetime contribution to Australian architecture was recognised in 1998 by the award of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects ‘Gold Medal’.
This followed a long list of awards, citations, commendations and prizes spanning most of his professional life.
Whilst the world admires his massive and distinctive contribution, it is ironically, on the Sunshine Coast, that he has had too little recognition especially beyond Noosa. But the explanation for that lies not in the man and his work. His professional lifetime has been a fight for local acknowledgement amongst exponents and purchasers of mind-numbing building mediocrity.
One commentator has said of him:
‘The profession has failed to control aesthetics and on the whole, has succumbed to client fads, fancies or the ‘greed and gain’ motivating forces of commerce.
‘Had architects had the perspicacity, they might well have been the contemporary medics of new built environments instead of paid slaves and designers of “Monumental Follies”…
‘A few architects in the three countries I know best, Australia, Canada and USA, however, have the right genes, and have a symbiotic relationship with their particular environment. Gabriel Poole is one of these.’
The book ‘Local Heroes’ is an outline and pictorial representation of the work of the Sunshine Coast School and Gabriel Poole is justifiably often referred to as the ‘father’ of that Sunshine Coast School of Architecture.