Docomomo Australia Modern Register

Education (EDC)

The NSW selection reflects the important part played by the Government Architect’s office in New South Wales in advancing the cause and use of Modern architecture as an expression of an economical and functional approach to the almost overwhelming need to construct schools and technical colleges for an ever-expanding, young population. Both before and after World War II the NSW Government Architect’s Branch of the Public Works Department encouraged young architects to experiment and to use the latest designs from overseas as well as developing a local version of Modernism in response to climate and geography.
The development of the demountable classroom modules in NSW was especially important in providing economical accommodation in newly-developed suburbs and country towns as well as providing a means of accommodating students where more permanent school buildings had been destroyed by fire, etc.
In addition to the work undertaken by the various state government architect offices, private architects also designed educational buildings that advanced the exploration of regional Modernism. Tocal College at Paterson in the Hunter Valley of NSW is an agricultural training college, established by the Presbyterian Church.

The Victorian selection reflects the early and high-quality uptake of Modernism for school buildings before World War II as well as the more avant-garde expressionistic architecture in Victoria in the 1970s.

(Editor working party: Dr Scott Robertson)