News, talk

Talk / Recycled Heritage / Bare Ruin’d Choirs

Dates: Tuesday, August 12, 2014 – 19:00
Location:  Harold White Theatre, Level 2, 757 Swanston Street


Edward Hollis will discuss the potential of bare ruin’d choirs; exploring how ruins – at the first glance, relics of failed pasts – can be recycled to provoke and provide settings for debates about their, and our, future, using St. Peter’s Seminary Kilmahew, Scotland as a case study.

Edward Hollis is one of a number of leading experts working with Scottish arts charity, the NVA on an ambitious public scheme to rescue and reinvigorate St Peter’s Kilmahew – the world renowned former estate and 20th century religious college complex that sits shrouded in beautiful woodland near the Firth of Clyde in west Scotland. Our own Professor Alan Pert, Director of Melbourne School of Design and Professor Gini Lee, Elisabeth Murdoch Chair of Landscape Architecture, are also involved in the project.

Mr Hollis is an architect, writer and Deputy Director of Research, Edinburgh College of Art at the University of Edinburgh. Using a holistic approach, Hollis will consider ruins in the context of the built environment as a continuous process of ruination, recycling and renewal.

He sums up his view using Shakespeare’s Sonnet LXXIII

That time of year thou mayst in me behold
When yellow leaves, or none, or few, do hang
Upon those boughs which shake against the cold,
Bare ruined choirs, where late the sweet birds sang.
In me thou see’st the twilight of such day
As after sunset fadeth in the west;
Which by and by black night doth take away,
Death’s second self, that seals up all in rest. 
In me thou see’st the glowing of such fire,
That on the ashes of his youth doth lie,
As the death-bed, whereon it must expire,
Consumed with that which it was nourish’d by.
This thou perceiv’st, which makes thy love more strong,
To love that well, which thou must leave ere long


Shakespeare’s Sonnet LXXIII begins with a double metaphor. The ageing poet compares himself to the autumn of the year. He then compares the autumnal trees themselves to the ‘bare ruin’d choirs’ of abbey churches whose dereliction when he was writing was only a few decades after the Dissolution of the Monasteries.

This is an account of a ‘bare ruin’d choir’ which, as the subtle alteration in tone in the ninth line suggests, contains all the promise of a glowing fire. This case study will explore how ruins – at the first glance, relics of failed pasts – can be recycled to provoke and provide settings for debates about their, and our future.

The sonnet ends with an injunction ‘to love that well, which thou must leave ere long’; and the story that this case study describes is an experiment in caring for the ephemeral and the liminal. This is, therefore, not just an argument about ruins, but about our approach to the built environment as a totality, which is a continuous process of ruination, recycling, and renewal.

Edward Hollis studied Architecture at Cambridge and Edinburgh Universities. For the subsequent six years he practiced as an Architect in Sri Lanka and then in the practice of Richard Murphy, well known for his radical recyclings of ancient and historic buildings in and around Edinburgh.

In 1999, Edward Hollis began lecturing in Interior Architecture at Napier University, Edinburgh, working with students both in the design studio and in more theoretical disciplines. In 2004, he moved to Edinburgh College of Art, where he is now deputy director of research.

Working with follies and ruins in Sri Lanka, with modern interventions to historic buildings in Scotland, and in the notoriously slippery discipline of Interiors, has focussed Edward’s research and theoretical thinking on the notion of time, story, and building, and the ways in which all of them are recycled.

Edward Hollis is currently working on a number of research projects. His first book, ‘The Secret Lives of Buildings’: a collection folk tale stories about mythical buildings was published in 2009; and ‘The Memory Palace: a book of lost Interiors’ in 2013.He is currently involved with plans to revive the ruins of Gillespie Kidd and Coia’s seminary at Cardross in Scotland.



News, talk

TALK Sydney | Learning to Manage World Heritage


Case Study: George Town World Heritage area in Penang, Malaysia

Talk No. 5 of the 2014 Sydney Talk Series, will consider some of challenges facing the George Town World Heritage area in Penang, Malaysia, and some of the measures that the local community has already implemented.  It will describe recent initiatives supported by AusHeritage to enhance local heritage expertise in managing future development at highly significant sites in George Town, and how these outcomes will influence the future development of George Town in the 21st century. Speaker: Peter Romey   Peter Romey is a Partner at Godden Mackay Logan.  He is also Deputy Chair and on the Board of AusHeritage, a network of cultural heritage management organisations, established by the Australian Government in 1996.  AusHeritage aims to facilitate the engagement of Australian heritage practitioners and organisations in Asia.  In 2011 and 2012, Peter undertook a number of AusHeritage workshops in George Town, Penang, in Malaysia, in cooperation with the George Town World Heritage office.  More recently, he was engaged in presenting a series of workshops to enhance the heritage management skills of local officials and practitioners in Taipei and Kinmen, Taiwan. Members of the public are welcome!  Time & Date: Thursday 31st July 2014, 5.30pm for 6.00pm start. Cost: Members $10, non-members $15 payable at the door.  Wine and nibbles will be provided. Venue: G M L Heritage, 78 George Street, Redfern, NSW, 2016. RSVP: Miss Jane Vernon or 02 9319 4811. RSVP is essential as places are limited.    DOCOMOMO NSW CHAPTER ICOMOS_Peter Romey TALK 2014


Exhibition | Modernism in Queensland

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 11.48.29 am

Building modern Queensland 1945–75

9 July — 12 October

State Library of Queensland Cultural Precinct South Bank

Hot Modernism unearths the stories of Queensland’s mid-century architecture.

This moment in our history, inspired by a new way of thinking about sub-tropical living, brought a wave of fresh ideas, design and debate to the Queensland landscape. From the rolling expanse of the Riverside Expressway, to soaring concrete structures like the Torbreck apartment building, and houses explicitly tailored to our unique climate and lifestyle, this period of development paved the way for modern Queensland. See Queensland through new eyes in this immersive exhibition, featuring a full-scale re-creation of the 1957 Jacobi House, 3D models, and historical drawings. Then drop by the interactive Design our city space where you can build a Brisbane of the future.t in our history, inspired by a new way of thinking about sub-tropical living, brought a wave of fresh ideas, design andFrom the rolling expanse of the Riverside

Modernism in Queensland

1945–75 saw a dramatic transformation of the Queensland landscape.

Seeking a fresh start following the tragedy of World War Two, communities began to question tradition in search of modern and ‘better’ ways of living.

Inspired by global movements in modernist art and architecture, and mass production ideals, new architecture embraced simplified line, colour and style.

Eclectic nineteenth century neighbourhoods with their traditional timbered houses made way for mass produced cottages, high rise towers, multistorey car parks, community pools, expressways and shopping complexes.

Modified to meet the requirements of the state’s tropical and subtropical climates, the international flavour of modernism was tempered by a renewed interest in local practices and devices such as the verandah, the elevated house, and building with natural timbers.

As a result, a new approach to building and living — the ‘twentieth-century subtropical’ — quietly emerged in modern Queensland.

Expressway, to soaring concrete structures like the Torbreck apartment building, and houses explicitly tailored to our unique climate and lifestyle, this period of development paved the way for modern Queensland.

See Queensland through new eyes in this immersive exhibition, featuring a full-scale re-creation of the 1957 Jacobi House, 3D models, and historical drawings. Then drop by the interactive Design our city space where you can build a Brisbane of the future.

News, talk

Discussions / Architectural Photography / Sievers Project

Robin Boyd Foundation

Interior of Robin Boyd House, Walsh St, South Yarra. Courtesy of Robin Boyd Foundation.

Robin Boyd Foundation and CCP present

Architectural Photography, then and now

Wednesday 30 July 2014, 6—8pm

In collaboration with CCP, The Robin Boyd Foundation presents a series of discussions on themes inspired byThe Sievers Project. Currently exhibiting at CCP, early career artists, working across media from photography through to installation, have responded in diverse ways to renowned Australian photographer Wolfgang Sievers (1913—2007), icon of 20th century Australian photography. In the first session panelists will address changing fashions in architectural photography since Wolfgang Sievers and the second panel will investigate the process of commissioning in architecture, photography and contemporary design.Architectural Photography, then and now will be presented at Walsh Street, the house that architect Robin Boyddesigned for his own family in 1957. Now the home of the Robin Boyd Foundation, Walsh Street is an exemplar of modernist Australian architecture. The Nature of Commissioning will be presented on Wednesday 27 August 2014, 6—8pm. Architectural Photography, then and now

Architectural Photography, then and now

Wednesday 30 July 2014, 6—8pm Robin Boyd Foundation, 290 Walsh St, South Yarra Price: $40 public, $30 RBF / CCP members, $10 students Limited space, bookings essential. Book here > Architectural photography has changed dramatically since Wolfgang Sievers. A diverse panel, comprising photographer, curator, academic and critic will address not only links between changing fashions in architecture and photography but also the impact of architectural photography on the way buildings are brought into the public imagination.


Associate Dean, Graduate Research, MADA (Monash University Art Design & Architecture)


Photographer Renowned architectural photographer, John Gollings specialises in photos of cities, buildings and landscapes often from an aerial perspective. Gollings latest project is “Every high rise on the Queensland Gold Coast”. He was co-creative director of the Australian Pavilion at the 12th Venice Architecture Biennale, and recently completed a guidebook to Khmer temples in South East Asia.


Exhibitions Curator, State Library of Victoria Eve Sainsbury is responsible for curating the ongoing exhibitions Mirror of the World and The Changing Face of Victoria. In 2011 she curated As Modern as Tomorrow, photographers in post-war Melbourne, the Library’s first major exhibition of mid-century photography, which included works from the Wolfgang Sievers collection.


Lecturer in the Architecture Program at RMIT University Christine Phillips is a director of the Melbourne-based practice, OpenHAUS; a lecturer at RMIT University; a freelance writer and co-host of RRR’s weekly radio show, ‘The Architects’.


Editorial Director, Architecture Media In 2010 and 2013 Cameron Bruhn curated Australia’s contribution to the London Festival of Architecture. Previously he was editor of Architecture Media publications Artichoke and Landscape Architecture Australia. Bruhn is an active contributor to design culture through writing and editing, as well as participating on award juries and undertaking sessional teaching.

Images (top to bottom, left to right): Interior of Robin Boyd House, Walsh St, South Yarra. Courtesy of Robin Boyd Foundation; Wolfgang Sievers Comalco Aluminium Used in the Construction of the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Architect Roy Grounds 1968 (detail), National Library of Australia, Wolfgang Sievers Photographic Archive; John Gollings (detail).

Ticket prices: 

Robin Boyd Foundation Friends and CCP Members $30.00
Public $40.00
Students $10.00


This is a ticketed event. Seating is limited.  To book seats   CLICK HERE    Bookings will be confirmed by a Tax Receipt issued by return email. Tickets will NOT be issued. The names of those who have booked will be placed onto a door register and checked upon arrival at Walsh Street for the event.


sources: CCP /
Boy Foundation/


FILM Melbourne | Unsung Heroes

23 Jul | Unsung Heroes (short series)


Guest speaker: Justine Clark, editor, writer, researcher, advocate and critic

Archiculture, 2013, 25.34mins, Dir. David Krantz and Ian Harris

“Archiculture” takes a thoughtful, yet critical look at the architectural studio. The film offers a unique glimpse into the world of studio-based, design education through the eyes of a group of students finishing their final design projects. Interviews with leading professionals, historians and educators help create crucial dialogue around the key issues faced by this unique teaching methodology and the built environment these future architects will create.

Image above courtesy of Archiculture

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Modernism Prize | 2014 World Monuments Fund / Preservation

Zonnestraal Sanatorium, Netherlands, 2010   Hizuchi Elementary School, Japan,  2012

Established in 2008, the World Monuments Fund/Knoll Modernism Prize is awarded biennially for an innovative architectural or design solution that has preserved or enhanced a modern landmark or group of landmarks.

The first of its kind, the award acknowledges the growing threats—neglect, deterioration, or even demolition—now facing significant works of modernism, and recognizes the architects and designers who help ensure their rejuvenation and long-term survival. Its purpose is to raise public awareness of the influential role modernism plays in our architectural heritage, and recognize modern buildings as sustainable structures with viable futures.

The prize is awarded in recognition of completed (built) work, and may be awarded for an individual project or a body of work. The award consists of $10,000 and a limited-edition Mies van der Rohe–designed Barcelona chair, created by Knoll in honor of the award. The prize is awarded to the designer, architect, or firm responsible for the work.

An independent jury comprising professionals from the fields of architecture, architectural conservation, journalism, and related fields selects the winner. The jury is chaired by Barry Bergdoll, the Meyer Schapiro Professor of Art History and Archaeology at Columbia University, and Acting Chief Curator of Architecture and Design, Museum of Modern Art.


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Events, News

13th International Docomomo Conference | Seoul 24-27.9.2014

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Title The 13th International Docomomo Conference Seoul 2014
Theme Expansion and Conflict
Date September 24~27, 2014
Venue National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
Hosted by Docomomo International
Organized by International Docomomo Conference Seoul 2014 Organizing Committee
Language English and Korean (Simultaneous interpretation will be provided.)

Program 2014:



Doco Tours

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News, NSW, talk

TALK Icomos/4 – St Vincent’s Redfern: Erasing History




St Vincent’s Redfern: Erasing History

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Exhibition: Mid-Century Modern Australian Furniture Design


Mid-Century Modern Australian Furniture Design

The Ian Potter Centre: NGV Australia at Federation Square | Level 3

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FILM Melbourne: Oil Rocks: City Above the Sea | 18 June


Dado Film Society @ Robin Boyd House | Walsh Street | 18 June |  7pm.

Oil Rocks: City Above the Sea

2009, Dir. Marc Wolfensberger , 52 mins, Russian/Azerbaijani/French with English subtitles

Guest Speaker: Peter Raisbeck
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News, Other events

Exhibition | Australian Iconic Houses


The dining table is positioned on a raised area with the kitchen adjacent, accessed to the right of the table behind the bank of cabinets. The wall hanging is a piece of carpet.

Iconic Australian Houses: an exhibition by Karen McCartney, at Museum of Sydney (April – August 2014), is a behind-the-scenes exploration of 29 of the most important Australian homes of the past 60 years. Beginning in the 1950s with the works of a new breed of Australian architects, and culminating in key works from some of Australia’s contemporary masters.


1. Harry Seidler– Rose Seidler House, NSW 1950

2. Peter Muller – The Audette House, NSW 1953

3. Roy Grounds – The Grounds House, VIC 1954

4. Peter McIntrye – Butterfly house, VIC 1955

5. Russell Jack – The Jack House, NSW 1957

6. Robin Boyd – The Walsh Street House, VIC 1958

7. McGlashan Everist – Grimwade House, VIC 1960

  1. Enrico Taglietti – The Dingle House, ACT 1965
  2. Neville Gruzman – The Rosenburg/Hills House, NSW 1966

10. Bruce Rickard – Marshall House, NSW 1967

11. Hugh Buhrich – The Buhrich House, NSW 1972

12. Ian McKay – Lobster Bay, NSW 1972

13. Richard Leplastrier – Palm House, NSW 1973 – 1975

14. Glenn Murcutt – Kempsey House, NSW 1974 – 1975, 1980

15. Iwan Iwanoff – Kessell House, WA 1975

16. Ian Collins – The Collins House, NSW 1976

17. John Kenny – Kenny House, VIC 1976

18. Barrie Marshall – Phillip Island, VIC 1983 – 1990

19. Geoffrey Pie – Pie House, QLD 1984 – 1985

20. Ken Woolley – Palm House, NSW 1984 – 1985

21. Robinson Chen – Hildebrand House, VIC 1988 – 1990

22. Gabriel Poole – Gartner House, QLD 1989 – 1990

23. Wood Marsh – Gottlieb House, VIC 1990 – 1994

24. Brit Andresen – MooloombaHouse, QLD 1995

25. Durbach Block – Droga Apartment, NSW 1996 – 1997

26. Sean Godsell – Kew House, VIC 1996 – 1997

27. Peter Stutchbury – Reeves House, NSW 1997 – 1999

28. John Wardle – The Wardle House, VIC 1999 – 2000

29. Donovan Hill – The D-House, QLD 1998 – 2000


SLM_Media Release_Iconic Houses 2014


Exhibition | The Sievers Project



CCP Fitzroy | Melbourne – Gallery 2

Jane Brown, Cameron Clarke, Zoe Croggon, Therese Keogh, Phuong Ngo, Meredith Turnbull and Wolfgang Sievers

The Sievers Project

Six early career artists, working in photography through to installation, have responded in diverse ways to renowned Australian photographer Wolfgang Sievers (1913–2007), icon of 20th century Australian photography.

Sievers’ commercial practice exemplifies mid-century positivism and modernity, and the mythmaking role of photography. As a German Jewish immigrant, he had a strong interest in refugees and human rights issues as well as an expressed commitment to representing the dignity of labour. The Sievers Project presents key historical works as a context for engaging the past through the present.

Photographers Jane Brown and Cameron Clarke have followed in his footsteps to industrial clients Sievers photographed and valorised, finding sites that are visually dynamic within industries now in decline.

Through her intrepid, research-based practice, Therese Keogh has developed a materially-rich work from the starting point of a single, anomalous photograph Sievers took at the Roman Forum in 1953. Meredith Turnbull draws on his connections with Melbourne’s design community in the 1950s and 60s, including Gerard Herbst and Frederick Romberg.

In Sievers’ photographs of industrial sewing machines and their machinists, Phuong Ngo finds shared stories of young Vietnamese refugees and the journeys taken by their mothers. Zoë Croggon positions fragments of Sievers’ iconic architectural photographs against found photographs of the human body in movement.

Curated by Naomi Cass and Kyla McFarlane, with project management by Phillippa Brumby.

To be opened by Julian Burnside AO QC, Australian barrister, human rights advocate and author.

A satellite of The Sievers Project will be exhibited at the Melbourne Art Fair, 13–17 August.
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News, Tours

MODERN HOUSE VISIT: Fooks House (1964)


Ph. by W. Sievers

Saturday May 24th at 2.00.
Docomomo friends and members are invited to see the house of architect Ernest Fooks in Caulfield Melbourne, designed in 1964.
Fooks emigrated to Melbourne from Vienna in 1939 and went on to establish a busy practice and was a lecturer in town planning at Melbourne Technical College.


A tour of this remarkably intact house will be given and archival pictures and plans made available.

Afternoon tea will be provided. Gold coin donation to cover costs.
But RSVP is essential as numbers restricted – please email
Hannah Lewi - -
to rsvp and then you will be sent the full address details.

Ph. by W. Sievers

Heritage Victoria’s statement of significance says: 
“The Ernest Fooks House is of architectural and aesthetic significance as an intact, individual, and highly creative work combining analytical planning, aspects of Scandinavian and European modern design while incorporating principles of traditional Japanese architecture. It represents the most architecturally resolved of Fook’s domestic designs, being a complex and carefully detailed multi-layered spatial composition in a fully designed landscape.   

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BOOKS | LEISURE SPACE – The transformation of Sydney, 1945–1970



The transformation of Sydney, 1945–1970

UNSW Press

Edited by Paul Hogben and Judith O’Callaghan

Dinner at Australia Square’s revolving Summit Restaurant, sipping cocktails at the Chevron in Potts Point, hanging out at a Skyline drive-in …

Mid-twentieth-century Sydneysiders embraced leisure like never before. Leisure Space details the architecture and design that transformed their city – through its new hotels, motels, restaurants, bars, clubs, shopping centres, drive-ins and golf courses, including landmark buildings such as the Gazebo and the Wentworth Hotel.

With stunning images from Max Dupain, Mark Strizic and other outstanding Australian photographers, Leisure Space explores a dynamic period in Sydney’s history and the dramatic impact of modernism on the city’s built environment.

About the Editors

Paul Hogben is a senior lecturer in Architecture in the Faculty of Built Environment at UNSW Australia.

Judith O’Callaghan is a senior lecturer in Interior Architecture in the Faculty of Built Environment at UNSW Australia and co-author of Designer Suburbs: Architects and Affordable Homes in Australia.

page1image10488 page1image10648 page1image10808

Classification | Architecture

9781742233826 | Paperback | June 2014 | UNSW Press | 256pp | 260x230mm | AUD$69.99

Table of contents

Contributors Introduction

  1. 1  Leisure in Sydney during ‘the long boom’
  2. 2  The changing face of travel: The modern tourist office
  3. 3  Double modernity: The first international hotels
  4. 4  Motels: The ‘ultra modern’ experience
  5. 5  Sky-high ambitions: Sydney’s restaurants
  6. 6  Architecture, coffee and cocktails
  7. 7  ‘Big, bright, beautiful’: The new shopping centres
  8. 8  The rise and fall of the Sydney drive-in
  9. 9  Golf: A changing landscape
  10. 10  The leagues club: A working-class palace
  11. 11  Ethnic clubs: ‘The dream oftomorrow’
  12. 12  Informal modern: Holiday houses


Acknowledgements Index



Leisure Space_flyer


Save Modern Queensland Film Competition

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The UQ School of Architecture and the State Library of Queensland, in collaboration with the Queensland Department of Environment and Heritage Protection have launched a film competition, entitled ‘HOT AND BOTHERED – Save Modern Queensland’, which invites Queenslanders to submit a 3-minute film on a mid-century modern building in Queensland that they love.

The prize for the winner of this competition is 1500 AUD.

More information can be found here:

See presentation Clip



FILM | Melbourne

Grid Image Session 2-01

My Playground

14th May 2014, 6:30pm

2010, Dir. Kaspar Astrup Schroder, 50 mins, various languages with English subtitles 

“My Playground” showcases the connection between buildings and the human body. It celebrates the phenomenon of Parkour or freerunning – a non-competitive sport where participants run along buildings, rooftops and landscapes attempting to negotiate obstacles using only their bodies.

Kaspar Astrup Schroder set out to more closely examine the way that traceurs interact with architecture – honing in on parkour and urban mobility in modern cities spaces via Team JiYo and the people that determine how the space is shaped within our cities.

Mainly set in Copenhagen, the film follows Team JiYo as they explore the city and encounter the obstacles it presents. Award winning architect Bjarke Ingles, founder of BIG Architects, is fascinated by the way Team JiYo conveys architecture and takes the team to his buildings, to explore and unfold their skills, which may be just as ground breaking as the architecture itself. Team JiYo dreams of making the biggest dedicated parkour park in the world, but isn’t parkour and freerunning supposed to be in the city and not in a fixed environment?

The film travels around the world from Denmark to Japan, United States, United Kingdom, and China to explore where urban mobility is heading.

Trailer HERE

Guest Speaker: Chris Sawyer, Landscape Architect 

Chris Sawyer is a director of Site Office, a landscape architectural consultancy specialising in public space design, and adjunct professor at the School of Architecture and Design, RMIT.  Site Office is widely recognised for their work in innovative public spaces that embrace the overlap and interaction of different uses and the spontaneous and unexpected interactions that result. Prominent award winning projects include the St Kilda Foreshore Promenade and Keast Park in Seaford.


US Conservation Job Position

Dear colleague,
We are currently recruiting for the position of Senior Project Specialist (Built/20th-century Heritage) in the Field Projects Department, here at the Getty Conservation Institute. The full job description is attached. Please share this posting with any colleagues and organizations you feel appropriate.
I am happy to answer any queries you may have.
With thanks,

Susan Macdonald
Head of Field Projects
Getty Conservation Institute
1200 Getty Center drive, Suite 700
Los Angeles, CA 90049
tel: +1 310 4406245



Buildings at Risk

Melbourne Heritage Actions

MHA calls for two important Bourke St facades to be uncovered and restored

By melbheritageaction on May 05, 2014 03:18 pm
Heritage Building Targeted for Action – Bourke Street Target Store Masks Birthplace of City’s Cinema Scene Behind the unimposing commercial façade of Melbourne’s Bourke Street Target store lies what remains one of the city’s lesser-known, yet more spectacular former picture palaces. And according to one heritage group, it’s time for Melbourne to be re-united with […]
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Total House succesfully nominated to Heritage Register

By melbheritageaction on May 04, 2014 09:40 am
We are very pleased to be able to share the news that the Total House on Russell St is to be added to the Victorian Heritage. Total House had been considered for heritage protection since the 1980s but this had never eventuated. MHA decided to nominate the car park early last year as we were […]
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News, NSW, talk

TALK/Icomos 3: Public Sydney: drawing the city



Public Sydney: drawing the city

by Philip Thalis and Peter John Cantrill


Historic Houses Trust of NSW and Content, Faculty of the Built Environment, University of New South Wales


Public Sydney: drawing the city makes a major contribution to understanding our shared architectural heritage. It provides the fundamental knowledge required for the ongoing conservation and heritage management of key heritage sites from the late 18th century (the site of first Government House) to the present day. It encompasses Sydney’s history and present state but also anticipates its future, providing an invaluable resource not only for architects and planners, but also for 21st-century government agencies and corporations in their management of Sydney’s public places.

In drawings, images and commentary, the book presents all the significant public places and buildings in central Sydney – among them Circular Quay, Customs House, Hyde Park, Central Station, the cathedrals, the Opera House, Royal Botanic Garden, Town Hall, State Library, Hyde Park Barracks, Art Gallery of NSW and Queen Victoria Building – studying their genesis and evolution, and in some cases examining their individual public rooms. The book affords a comprehensive overview of the growth and evolution of public buildings in Sydney.

Public Sydney thus becomes a guide for those who will define the city’s future urban character. Knowledge gained from the drawings and the authoritative consideration of the forces behind urban change will positively influence the city’s future. Contemporary planners and designers from every discipline can readily use this material in their assessment of new proposals in any urban context, and teachers, students, researchers and historians of all disciplines related to the built environment can use the understanding of Sydney’s evolution it provides to develop critical thinking skills in the design of public places.

Members of the public are welcome!

Time & Date: Thursday 22nd May 2014, 5.30pm for 6.00pm start.

Venue: Godden Mackay Logan, 78 George Street, Redfern, NSW, 2016.
RSVP: Miss Jane Vernon or 02 9319 4811. RSVP is essential as places are limited.


Download Flyer
ICOMOS DOCOMOMO NSW CHAPTER Flyer Thalis & Cantrill May 2014 draft

Buildings at Risk

Building at Risk: Danne House Melbourne




The Danne House was once the most eye-catching modernist houses in the Studley Park area. It is being auctioned on 12 April, at 12 noon, by Woodards. (Tony Nathan 0412 285 066)

It is now disguised by the external alterations and additions of the early 1980s, but has the potential to regain much of its original character. While the original building envelope has been subsumed by additions facing the street, most the original structure has been retained. This includes the striking original feature, the curved rear wing, built over two levels in stone salvaged from the burnt out shell of Wilson Hall. It is has a curved highlight window wall built in diagonal framing, and original circular skylights, one of the earliest uses of skylights in residential use in Melbourne. Circular skylights such as this, with internal lights, were a feature of many buildings by Alvo Aalto in Finland at this time. These features are shown in this recent photo showing the rear view of the Danne House at the left.

The architect Geoffrey Danne designed this house for his own family. It demonstrates how architects built experimental and innovative houses for their own use. The striking design was recorded as the feature house in the June 1957 edition of Australian House and Garden, which is attached.

Another distinctive house by Danne is the Muspratt House, located nearby at 14 Carnsworth Avenue, featured on the National Trust News in May 2010, an issue devoted to modernism. By contrast, it is very intact and has many design details used for the Danne House. See the link to Studley Park Modern website

Commenced in 1954 and completed in 1956, the Danne House comprised two main sections. Facing the street was a lightweight third floor that cantilevered over the two storey car space and entry. This anticipated Sean Godsell’s own dramatically cantilevered house, also in Studley Park. The steel columns and support beams were clearly expressed, and complemented by the vertical rods that defined the entrance and provided a balustrade for the cantilevered entrance stairs. Lightweight concrete panels were used for the cladding of this section.

Download the full Pdf  with information, photo and documentation and floors plans on the house

The Danne House (PDF 630k) (pdf by Nigel Lewis Pty Ltd)


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