Laura Harding

B Science (Architecture), University of Sydney
B Architecture, University of Sydney

Laura joined Hill Thalis in 1996, completing her Architecture Degree at Sydney University in 1998. During her nineteen years with the practice she has worked on a diverse range of architectural and urban projects.

Barangaroo Laura was the project urban designer for Hill Thalis’ winning entry in the International design competition for East Darling Harbour/Barangaroo.

Studios 54. A tiny tower in Surry Hills that asks – what can four apartments and a shop add the to the life and vitality of the city? This project was completed in 2014 and won the Aaron Bolot award for multiple housing in NSW and a National AIA award for Multiple Housing in 2015.

Lennox Bridge Portals A contemporary intervention in a state listed heritage item – that explores strategies of continuity and distinction in the relationship between the past and present. This project won both State and National AIA awards, in the categories of Adaptive Reuse and Urban Design, in 2016.

Little Bay Master Plan A 13 hectare residential subdivision on the former UNSW site adjacent the Prince Henry Hospital. The plan reconnects the site to the surrounding urban area, preserving important site features in a system of memorable parks and landscaped spaces.

Substation No. 175 The conversion of a decommissioned substation to a cafe + 2 apartments in Surry Hills. This project received a Commendation in the Multiple Housing category of the 2005 NSW Chapter, RAIA Awards and the 2005 Master Builders Award for Adaptive Reuse.

Horizon House Design, documentation and construction stages for a coastal house with a form that underscores the datum of the horizon and makes a place of respite from aggressive coastal weather conditions. Horizon House was shortlisted in the Habitus House of the Year Awards in 2018.

Mountainside House. A holiday house on a beautiful South Coast mountainside that subtly orients itself to a series of landscape elements with multiple long and cross axes that can be opened and closed within the building.

Laura regularly participates in design juries at Sydney University, University of Technology, Sydney and the University of NSW. She taught in the third year architectural design programme at the University of NSW from 2006 to 2012.

Laura’s architectural writing is regularly published in Architecture Australia (the official magazine of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects). She served as a Contributing Editor from 2006 – 2012. She has contributed to Architecture Review Australia, Landscape Architecture Australia, Monument Magazine and Houses Magazine. She has also had reviews published in The Saturday Paper and The Guardian Australia. She was awarded the Adrian Ashton Prize for architectural criticism in 2013.

Laura regularly contributes to events that build awareness of architecture in our broader national culture. She was a member of the jury for the Public Architecture and Urban Design categories of the NSW Chapter Australian Institute of Architects Awards in 2011. In 2018, she was part of a panel exploring Ethics in an age of excess at the Sydney Architecture Festival.

In 2019 she delivered an address at the National Architecture Conference – Collective Agency titled Protocol Failure that explored the competing tensions in the expression of public and private development in our cities. She also delivered a keynote address at the Sydney Architecture Festival on the Value of Affordable Housing – arguing for architects to lead the framing of a broader conception of the value of housing so that society is able to recognise, and realise, its full social value.

With Adam Haddow, Laura also co-curated of the Architecture Symposium at the NSW Art Gallery in September, 2019, which promoted responsive urbanism – and explored the role of architecture in responding to, and defending, the city’s inherent complexity.