Membership Renewal and Subscription Reminder for 2015

Join Docomomo Australia now to participate in the local and international effort to discover, document and conserve architectural and landscaped sites of the Modern Movement across the 20th century in Australia and worldwide. Docomomo Australia is a volunteer group of architects, historians, conservationists and enthusiasts who all share a desire to raise awareness, appreciation and protection of Australia’s recent designed past for the present and future.Without a strong core of financial members, Docomomo Australia cannot pursue and grow its documentation and advocacy work or continue to be recognised as a voting international working party. With the financial assistance from membership fees we can continue to build our activities and digital forum.

 Join/Renew Here online now for 2015 with Secure Server System

Events, News

End of year talks with Melbourne film and book launch


“Save the date”: Docomomo Victoria end of year talks, drinks + film and book launch.

Monday 15th December, 6.00 pm, Walsh Street  – Boyd Foundation.

We are pleased to support a book launch (‘Gentle Modernist. The nine lives of Anatol Kaganby Simon Reeves)   and a film launch with screening (‘Melbourne International’ by Jacques Sheard).

FILM: Launch and screening: ‘Melbourne International’, Jacques Sheard
Melbourne International’
is a documentary by Melbourne film-maker Jacques Sheard which explores the emergence of ‘International Style’ corporate architecture in the city’s CBD from 1950 to the 1970’s. (Many Docomomo friends and members have also been interviewed in the making of the film.) Jacques Sheard is a Melbourne based filmmaker with a passion for the urban environment and built heritage.

BOOK: Launch also @ 6.00pm  ‘Gentle Modernist: The Nine Lives of Anatol Kagan’, Simon Reeves, Vivid Publishing
Melbourne-based architectural historian and heritage consultant Simon Reeves, who has been associated with DoCoMoMo for several years, had finally completed his book on mid-century modernist architect Anatol Kagan (1913-2009).   Born in Russia and trained in Berlin, Kagan migrated to Australia, via London, in 1939.  Initially based in Melbourne, he worked for various architects and government departments before opening his own architectural office in 1949.   Over the next decade, he undertook a range of commercial, educational and industrial projects, but became best known for his luxurious suburban houses, invariably designed for wealthy members of Melbourne’s thriving post-war Jewish community.  Moving to Sydney in 1960, Kagan was employed in the Department of Public Works, working on the design of schools and hospitals, until his retirement n 1973.  He spent the next three decades in retirement, indulging in a range of pastimes connected with architecture, planning, political activism, gardening, lecturing and translating.
Based on nearly five years of research, drawing from Kagan’s own reminiscences and extensive personal archive, as well as interviews with family, colleagues and clients, Reeves’ book vividly reconstructs the long and multi-layered life journey of the man who has been described as ‘the enigmatic Anatol Kagan’ and ‘the gentle socialist who dreamt of a better world’.

No tickets required – however please RSVP to Hannah Lewi  ( or Docomomo Australia ( There will be a modest donation requested on the night to cover expenses.


Melbourne Intl

Image from ‘Melbourne International’

Events, News

Exhibition/Sydney | Harry Seidler: Painting towards architecture + Seidler Open Houses


Sydney Living Museum

Harry Seidler: Painting Toward Architecture is the first major exhibition on the architect to showcase never-seen-before original artworks. The exhibition is opened at the Museum of Sydney until March 2015 exploring the designs and long-lasting collaborations Harry Seidler forged with the other names in art, architecture, design and engineering.

Through his work with  Frank Stella, Marcel Breuer, Josef Albers, Pier Luigi Nervi, Alexander Calder, Max Dupain and Lin Utzon, Seidler set a precedent for the multidisciplinary team approach – an idea that spawned a creative synthesis.

During the course of his life, he shaped the design of many of our most recognised buildings, including Australia Square, the MLC Centre and the radical Rose Seidler House, which is now one of Sydney Living Museums’ 12 cherished properties.

As well as celebrating his creative contributions, we will chart Seidler’s studies with Walter Gropius, Josef Albers and Marcel Breuer – before delving into his personal story.

Curated by Vladimir Belogolovsky of Intercontinental Curatorial Project and Dr Caroline Butler-Bowdon of Sydney Living Museums.

Harry Seidler Open Houses

Saturday 15 and Sunday 16 November 2014
To celebrate the exhibition Harry Seidler: Painting Toward Architecture we are opening several privately owned Seidler designed buildings to the general public for one weekend only.

Thanks to the generosity of the building owners, these exclusive tours give you the chance to experience the scale and diversity of Seidler’s work firsthand. Enjoy the drama of the Harry & Penelope Seidler House (1966–67) and the simplicity of the Tuck House (1952). And compare his early work in developing the compound of Rose Seidler House (1948–50), Julian Rose House (1949–50) and the Brian Seidler House (1949–51, formerly called Marcus Seidler House) with the high-rise living of the Cove (2003–04) and the Horizon (1990–98) apartment buildings.


Led by curators, owners and architects, including Penelope Seidler AM and principals at Seidler and Associates, these tours provide insights into how Harry Seidler shaped the way we live in Sydney.

Read the Full Text »

Conferences, News

Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific (CHCAP) seminar, Melbourne

Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific (CHCAP) seminar, Melbourne

The next CHCAP seminar at Deakin University will be a presentation by Dr Steven Cooke, Deakin University, on “Before Eichmann: Holocaust exhibitions and the ‘myth of silence’”.


Much recent work in the historiography of the Holocaust has challenged the ‘myth of silence’, the supposed post-war reticence of Holocaust survivors to speak about their traumatic experiences. A major focus of this work has been on examining the ‘sheer volume of talking, recording, writing, representation in various media, and publishing’ that went on in the two decades after the Second World War (Cesarani and Sundquist 2011: 10). However, little work to date has explored museum displays for what they can add to the reappraisal of this period.

This paper examines the origins, development and reception of two temporary exhibitions held in 1961; one in Melbourne, one in London, which both have as their focus the Warsaw Ghetto. Within the context of recent discussions on the role of emotion and affect in the engagement between museum exhibitions and viewer as a way to develop more collaborative and emancipatory museum practice, it explores the politics and poetics of the displays, particularly the use of photographs in the London exhibition, influenced by ideas of the ‘democratic surround’ pioneered by the Museum of Modern Art in New York (Turner 2013) and the role of survivors in the Melbourne exhibition. Through this I argue that the displays presaged more recent debates about exhibitions as affective spaces in an attempt to effect political and social change. It shows how representations of the Holocaust were shaped by both local concerns and an emerging global network of information, artefacts, people, and institutions involved in remembrance which adds to the nuanced reading that unsettles the established narratives of the development of post-war Holocaust memory in the UK and Australia.


Dr Steven Cooke is a cultural and historical geographer who has published widely on issues relating to the memorial landscapes of war and genocide, museums and national identity and maritime heritage and urban redevelopment. On arriving in Australia in 2002, he worked in the heritage sector for a number of years before moving to the Cultural Heritage Centre for Asia and the Pacific at Deakin University in February 2011. He is Course Director for the Cultural Heritage and Museum Studies programs at Deakin, and also an Honorary Research Fellow at Winchester University, UK.

Date: Wednesday 29 October 2014

Time: 5.30pm

Venue: Meeting Room 3, Deakin Prime, City Campus, 3/550 Bourke Street, Melbourne

DINNER: The seminar will be followed by dinner around 7.00 pm at a nearby restaurant. Please RSVP to Yamini Narayanan<> by email for dinner booking.

Email list: To be included in the CHCAP email newsletter distribution list, email Yamini Narayanan<>

FINAL 2014 CHCAP SEMINAR (26 November 2014):

  *   “The Historic Urban Landscape Approach: Finding a better way to manage change in the regional historic city of Ballarat”, Susan Fayad, Coordinator Heritage Strategy, City of Ballarat

Conferences, foreign, News

REHAB 2015 – Call for papers


REHAB 2015 – 2nd International Conference on Preservation, Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Historical Buildings and Structures: CALL FOR PAPERS

July 22-24, 2015 * Porto * Portugal

REHAB 2015 – 2nd International Conference on Preservation, Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Historic Buildings and Structures aims to proceed with the discussion on built heritage and the preservation of its legacy, establishing a settle of knowledge and experience from several parts of the world, that was established in the first edition of the event. The importance of conservation of historical constructions (built landscape, urban fabrics, buildings, and engineering works) are of utmost importance to preserve the cultural references of a community and was deeply discussed on March 2014, in Tomar.

Under the main topics of discussion, subjects of preservation and rehabilitation methodologies and technologies, as well the importance of the economic and social impacts of preservation practices are here covered as the main leading guidelines for the conference debate.

Furthermore, different communities’ scales (local, regional national or even worldwide) and authenticity interpretation raise different questions and approaches, and therefore different solutions that are worthily to study, to compare and to experience.

The sustainability approach is again covered, highlighting the importance of the commitment between heritage preservation and technical requirements related to its occupancy and use, such as energy efficiency or materials recovery.

Inclusivity is also an important aspect to be discussed as public historical sites and buildings need to be adapted to receive different kind of visitors (children, elderly or handicapped persons) and to establish an adequacy with the perceiving of the physical environment and information contents.

As a Special Chapter, Historical Centres are brought into a particular approach highlighting the complexity of their preservation, maintenance and rehabilitation. Historical urban fabrics raise unique problems of preservation and promotion, and have highlighted the needs of specific solutions to be applied.

Authors intending to submit papers to REHAB 2015 are encouraged to address one of the topics of the Conference by providing evidence on past experience and ongoing research work.

Further, REHAB 2015 will welcome papers and presentations on field work, case studies and theoretical approaches to historical buildings preservation and conservation.


Visit the conference website for full details about the conference scope, topics and submission procedures at:


Boyd House November Events: Open Day and Design Discussion


Open Day & Design Discussion

Monday 24 November  Design Discussion – Sean Godsell and Philip Goad:
MPavilion architect Sean Godsell and Professor Philip Goad of the University of Melbourne discuss the buildings Sean has selected for the Open Day as some of his favourite houses.

More details and bookings

Sunday 30 November 2014 – Five of Sean Godsell’s favourite houses

Architects can be inspired and influenced by many things including, their childhood homes, great buildings from previous generations, buildings designed by their teachers and mentors, and innovative buildings designed by their peers. How these influences are manifest in their own work depends on values, circumstances, intentions and the spirit of their own times.

Sean Godsell, one of Melbourne’s most awarded architects, has designed the inaugural MPavilion in Queen Victoria  Gardens. Sean has selected some of his favourite Melbourne houses for this Open Day. It will provide a rare opportunity to ponder the sources of the architect’s vision and design values – giving a unique insight into the MPavilion – a new addition to Melbourne’s parks.

This Open Day enables you to view and experience five inspiring houses, designed by some of Melbourne’s most influential architects.

More details and bookings

This Open Day and Design Discussion have been arranged in collaboration with the MPavilion project.

more at:


‘The Australian Ugliness’ Lunchtime Readings

In the spirit of general, generative conflict, MPavilion and the Robin Boyd Foundation present a lunchtime dip into The Australian Ugliness. Join us at midday each Monday to Saturday as a relay team of Melbourne architects and design fans reads aloud from Boyd’s caustic masterpiece for fifteen minutes—day by day, cover to cover—then stick around afterwards for some healthy disagreement in the gardens.
More details

foreign, News

Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age


Luigi Ghirri: Modena 1985, Cemetery by Aldo Rossi

Constructing Worlds: Photography and Architecture in the Modern Age

25 September 2014 – 11 January 2015
Barbican Centre, Art Gallery, London

Constructing Worlds brings together eighteen exceptional photographers from the 1930s to the present day who have changed the way we view architecture and perceive the world around us.

From the first skyscrapers in New York and decaying colonial structures in the Congo, to the glamorous suburban homes of post-war California, and the modern towers of Venezuela, we invite you on a global journey through 20th and 21st century architecture.

Featuring over 250 works, this exhibition highlights the power of photography to reveal hidden truths in our society.

Featured photographers: Berenice Abbott / Iwan Baan / Bernd and Hilla Becher / Hélène Binet / Walker Evans / Luigi Ghirri / Andreas Gursky / Lucien Hervé / Nadav Kander / Luisa Lambri / Simon Norfolk / Bas Princen / Ed Ruscha / Stephen Shore / Julius Shulman / Thomas Struth / Hiroshi Sugimoto / Guy Tillim
Also includes the work of architects: Le Corbusier / Frank Lloyd Wright / Minoru Yamasaki / Luis Barragán / Aldo Rossi / Pierre Koenig / Charles and Ray Eames / Daniel Libeskind.

foreign, News

Cathedrals of Culture


A film project in 3D about the soul of buildings

^ parts documentary by six acclaimed filmmakers
Premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival 2014, Berlinale Special

ACMI – from 28 October  to 11 November

“If buildings could talk, what would they say about us?”
CATHEDRALS OF CULTURE offers six startling responses. This 3D film project about the soul of buildings allows six iconic and very different buildings to speak for themselves, examining human life from the unblinking perspective of a man-made structure. Six acclaimed filmmakers bring their own visual style and artistic approach to the project. Buildings, they show us, are material manifestations of human thought and action: the Berlin Philharmonic, an icon of modernity; the National Library of Russia, a kingdom of thoughts; Halden Prison, the world’s most humane prison; the Salk Institute, an institute for breakthrough science; the Oslo Opera House, a futuristic symbiosis of art and life; and the Centre Pompidou, a modern culture machine. CATHEDRALS OF CULTURE explores how each of these landmarks reflects our culture and guards our collective memory.

News, talk

Talk / Sydney | A Forgerer’s Progress: The Life of Frances Greenway

Screen Shot 2014-10-21 at 11.13.45 pm

Australia ICOMOS / DOCOMOMO Sydney Talk Series, 23 October

presented by Alasdair McGregor

Sentenced to death for forgery, then granted an eleventh-hour reprieve, Greenway was transported to New South Wales in 1814. He was talented, versatile and well trained, confident in his own abilities; but he was also cocksure, hotheaded and tactless. He argued with his superiors and fostered his own inevitable and sad demise, yet within the space of a single eventful decade he etched an urbane face on prominent parts of early Sydney, helping to drag a ramshackle convict garrison out from the murky shadow of shame and banishment and into the gathering light of civic decorum. As Australia’s first government architect he had dreamt of a city the equal of any in architectural beauty and refinement, a city of cathedrals and grand public buildings, broad avenues, generous squares and flowering gardens.


Alasdair McGregor is a graduate in architecture from the University of New South Wales, but much of his career has been spent as a writer and painter. He is the author, co-author or editor of nine books, reflecting a broad range of interests covering natural history and the environment, biography, architecture and design, and the history of exploration.

Members of the public are welcome!

Time & Date: Thursday 23 October 2014, 5.30 for 6.00pm start
Cost: Members $10, non-members $15 payable at the door. Wine and nibbles will be provided.
Venue: GML Heritage, 78 George Street, Redfern
RSVP: email Caitlin Dircks<> or call (02) 9319 4811. RSVP is essential as places are limited.

Download the AICOMOS-DOCOMOMO TALKS 2014 – No. 8<> flyer.

Buildings at Risk

Brisbane: Gibson’s Cultural Centre at risk


Help to safeguard the buildings of Robin Gibson at the Queensland Cultural Centre.

A new Government Master Plan, released days after his death earlier this year, proposes a myriad of commercially-driven alterations and additions that will irrevocably alter the buildings both internally and externally.

Additionally the Master Plan proposes the construction of a pair of 30 storey towers over the site.

This is not about preservation, as he was not opposed to buildings evolving according to their changing needs, but the opposition to insensitive and inappropriate changes, primarily for commercial gain.
The good news is that the Australian Institute of Architects (Queensland Chapter) has made an application for the Queensland Cultural Centre (Robin Gibson Buildings ) to be included in the Queensland Heritage Register.
Listing the Complex may provide some protection from these proposed changes.
However it is vitally important to reinforce the application by making submissions of support to the Department of Environment and Heritage Protection (DEHP). Submissions are considered by the DEHP when making their assessment and by the Queensland Heritage Council when making its decision.
We have until Friday September 19 to make these submissions. You can help by signing and sending the submission letter below by email to
Please send this on to as many contacts as possible or posting it on your website and facebook pages. This is the cultural well-being of Brisbane at stake and everyone can make a difference.
If you would like to see the full copy of the Heritage Register Application giving more detail on the Criteria click here to view.
Many thanks for your support.
Tina Gibson, Architect
Related article : The Brisbane Times: