Enrico Taglietti

Enrico Taglietti (16 April 1926 – 3 May 2019) was an Italian-born Australian architect known for designing a number of acclaimed buildings in Australia. In 2007, he was the winner of the Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal.

Biography

Enrico Taglietti was born in Milan in 1926 and graduated in 1954 from the Milan Polytechnic University, where he studied under Gio Ponti, Franco Albini, Bruno Zevi and Pier Luigi Nervi. In 1955, he was sent to Australia by the Italian government to find a site in Canberra for the Italian embassy (which he ended up designing). He loved the unspoilt environment of Australia and ended up settling in Canberra from the early 1960s. He designed many iconic buildings, mainly in Canberra, but also in Sydney and Melbourne. They are in a Modernist, sometimes Brutalist , late-20th-century Organic Style, designed “from the inside out”, according to the architect, with an emphasis on atmosphere, light and poetry. Taglietti was celebrated in 2018 as the featured architect of the Canberra Design Festival, with a whole day symposium dedicated to his work.

He wrote on his website: “We stand upon the verge of an abyss, the abyss created by the culture of egoism and puritanical righteousness. Men have lost their belief in the invisible. Architecture is no longer a WONDER but a temptation for the profitable. The aim of my architecture is to express the invisible, joy and music, silence, light and the desire to be”.

Taglietti died on 3 May 2019, at the age of 93.

Taglietti was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in the 2020 Australia Day Honours for “distinguished service to architecture, particularly in the Australian Capital Territory, to education, and to professional organisations.” The award was announced after his death.

Partial list of works

Taglietti’s Cinema Center building (Civic, ACT), which was heritage listed in 2021[4]

Works in Canberra

  • Town House Motel, 60 Marcus Clarke Street, Civic (1961; demolished)
  • Dickson Library, Antill Street, Dickson (1964)
  • 19 Downes Place, Hughes (1965)
  • Gibson House, 12 Scarborough Street, Red Hill (1965)
  • McKeown Houses, 109 Irvine Street, Watson (1965 and 1994)
  • Center Cinema, Bunda Street, Civic (1966)
  • Italian Embassy, National Circuit, Deakin (1967)
  • ACMA Conference Centre, 26 Brisbane Avenue, Barton (1967)
  • 7 Juad Place, Aranda (1970)
  • Killen House, 311 Majura Road (1970)
  • Latham Primary School and Pre School, O’Loghlen Street, Latham (1971)
  • Evans House, 62 Skinner Street, Cook (1971)
  • Flynn Primary School and Pre School, Bingle Street, Flynn (1972)
  • Medium Density Housing, Mockridge Crescent, Holt (1973)
  • Wood House, 43 Mayo Street, Weetangera (1973)
  • Green House, 78 Couvreur Street, Garran (1975)
  • Giralang Primary School, Canopus Crescent, Giralang (1975)
  • Gentle House, 7 Niblo Place, Chapman (1977)
  • Apostolic Nunciature, 2 Vancouver Street, Red Hill (1977)
  • Australian War Memorial Annex, 4 Callan Street, Mitchell (1978-79)
  • Nitrate Film Vaults, 16 Vickers Street, Mitchell (1978)
  • 61 Sullivan Crescent, Wanniassa (1980)
  • Dickson Health Centre, Antill Street, Dickson (1981)
  • Gowrie Primary School and Pre School, Jeffries Street, Gowrie (1983)
  • Phillips Fox Building, 54 Marcus Clarke Street, Civic (1985)
  • Woden Youth Centre, Callam Street, Phillip (1988)
  • Real Estate House, 16 Thesiger Court, Deakin (1989-93)
  • Saudi Arabian Ambassadors Residence, 88 Brereton Street, Garran (1996)

Other works

  • Osborne House, Grantham Park, Currandooley, NSW, (1961; first house in Australia)
  • Church of St Anthony’s, Marsfield, NSW (1968)
  • Smith House, 25-27 Glenhope Road, West Pennant Hills, Sydney (1968-70)
  • St Kilda Library, 150 Carlisle Street, St Kilda, VIC (1969)
  • Dunmore Lang Apartments, 159 Herring Road, Marsfield, Sydney (1971)
  • Sea Residence, Lilli Pilli, NSW (1996)

Source

  • K Charlton, B Jones & P Favaro, The Contribution of Enrico Taglietti to Canberra’s Architecture, RAIA, 2007
  • Jennifer Taylor, Australian Architecture Since 1960, RAIA, 1990