Seidler + Nervi: Talks and Walking tour of the Edmund Barton Building / Canberra

edmund barton building | harry seidler / ph: Ari Hatzis

Seidler + Nervi: Walking tour (exterior) of the Edmund Barton Building (1970-74)

Canberra Design Festival,
Tuesday 10 November, 6-7pm
$35, tickets: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=655458&
Meet at the corner of Kings Ave and Blackall St, Barton ACT 2600 (Edmund Barton Building)

Discover the unexpected Italian affinities of Harry Seidler’s Edmund Barton Building (1970-74) with Paolo Stracchi, architectural technology lecturer, University of Sydney, and curator of Designed in Italy, Made in Australia: the Australian work of Pier Luigi Nervi.

The Edmund Barton Building, initially known as the Trade Group Offices, was designed by world-renowned architect Harry Seidler and constructed between 1969 and 1974. The building is a significant Australian landmark and is a listed place on the Commonwealth Heritage List. Nervi, one of Italy’s most influential modern architect-engineers, created inventive structural projects which explored the plastic potential of reinforced concrete. For the Edmund Barton Building, Studio Nervi designed the famous T-beam and I Beam which became a hallmark of Seidler’s work.

This small group tour will explore the exterior of the building, from publicly-accessible vantage points.

Seidler’s Edmund Barton Building is a valuable resource to help understand Canberra’s architectural and cultural history. 

This is a small group architecture tour of the exterior of the Edmund Barton Building which has been developed by DESIGN Canberra, in line with current COVID-safe restrictions. Numbers are limited and bookings are essential.

Paolo Stracchi will also present a talk about the Seidler-Nervi collaboration prior to the tour, at the University of Canberra.

Paolo Stracchi talk: Designed in Italy, Made in Australia

Tuesday 10 November, 3.30-5.30pm
Building 6, Room C12, University of Canberra, Kirinari Street, Bruce ACT, Australia
Free, bookings essential: https://www.trybooking.com/BLI
JE

Harry Seidler (1923–2006) and Pier Luigi Nervi (1891–1978) first met in Paris in 1955 on the construction site of the UNESCO Headquarters, designed by their common friend Marcel Breuer. Seven years later, the two met again, this time in Rome, to study the design for the iconic Australia Square Tower. The success of the iconic Sydney Tower set off a 15 year collaboration that took place between Italy and Australia. From 1963 to 1978, Seidler engaged Nervi for the design of some of his Australian commissions: Australia Square, the MLC Centre, the Theatre Royal lobby, the CTA Business Club and, in Canberra, the TGO Edmund Barton Building.

Discover the unexpected Italian affinities of Harry Seidler’s TGO, Edmund Barton Building (1970-74) and the other Seidler-Nervi buildings, with Paolo Stracchi, architectural technology lecturer, University of Sydney, and curator of Designed in Italy, Made in Australia: the Australian work of Pier Luigi Nervi at the University of Canberra’s Mura Gadi gallery from 9-29 November 2020.

The Edmund Barton Building, initially known as the Trade Group Offices, was designed by world-renowned architect Harry Seidler and constructed between 1969 and 1974. The building is a significant Australian landmark and is a listed place on the Commonwealth Heritage List. Nervi, one of Italy’s most influential modern architect-engineers, created inventive structural projects which explored the plastic potential of reinforced concrete. For the Edmund Barton Building, Studio Nervi designed the famous T-beam and I Beam which became a hallmark of Seidler’s work.

After the talk, join us for a small reception with refreshments and then an architecture stroll of Seidler’s TGO building at 6pm.

Magazine_NERVI AND NEW NORCIA: ITALIAN MODERNISM IN THE AUSTRALIAN OUTBACK. Annette Condello

Designed in Italy, Made in Australia: the Australian work of Pier Luigi Nervi

9-29 November
Monday-Friday, 10.30am-4.30pm
Mura Gadi Gallery, University of Canberra Library, Building 8, Bruce ACT, Australia

Through a series of original work and new documentation, the exhibition will, for the first time, showcase the comprehensive work developed during the 60s and 70s by the world-famous Italian engineer and his office in Rome for Harry Seidler.

Pier Luigi Nervi 1891–1979) was a structural engineer but also a revolutionary Italian master builder, architect and artist, who forged, through the invention of the Sistema Nervi – Nervi System – a new structural aesthetic for modern architecture. His pioneering system was adopted all around the world to build some of his most famous buildings: the Rome Olympic Palasports, the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco, the Field House at Dartmouth College in the USA, and many others.

In Australia, the Sistema Nervi was for the first time adopted with the construction of the Australia Square Tower, designed by Harry Seidler. The success of the famous circular tower led to a fruitful collaboration that lasted for more than 15 years.

The exhibition will shed light on unexpected affinities between the Italian and Australian construction industries, Roman and Milanese precedents used in modern Sydney, and an unlikely connection between an Italian factory and a revered Australian skyscraper. This exhibition will pay tribute to the two men and their shared Australian legacy, casting light on its unexpected Italian affinities and celebrating it into the future.

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