Docomomo Australia Modern Register

(arch.) Arthur Baldwinson

Arthur Baldwinson

Australian architect
(Kalgoorlie, WA, 1908 – Sydney, NSW,  1969)

Trained as an architect at The Gordon Institute of Technology in Geelong. After winning the RVIA Silver Medal he travelled to London where he worked with Australian expatriate Raymond MacGrath and later Maxwell Fry. His fervent belief in modernism influenced his earliest designs and he described his own work as being “in the real spirit of modern architecture” (Arthur Baldwinson diary 1934).

On returning to Australia in 1936 he worked in both Sydney and Melbourne before establishing his own practice in 1938 where the boldness of his designs continued. During the war years, he closed his practice and was employed by the Department of Aircraft Production where he designed the Beaufort House, Australia’s first prefabricated house. After the war, he recommenced his practice, with a number of different partners, and in 1956 Baldwinson, Booth and Peters won the Sulman Medal.

Baldwinson was inspired by modernism from his earliest designs. He looked to contemporary modernist principles and the theories of Walter Gropius, the founder of the Bauhaus. He became convinced that new building techniques allowed the architect to create original forms, cleansed of surface ornament and free from historical style. His perspectives demonstrate both his skill as an architectural delineator, and his determination to introduce a dynamic, modernist style to Australian houses. Known as ‘the artist’s architect’ he designed houses for William Dobell, Russell Drysdale, Douglas Annand, and Max Dupain.

source: NSW State Library

Arthur Norman Baldwinson Profile in Australian Dictionary of Biography
Arthur Baldwinson. Architecture: the arrival of Modernism (SLNSW)
Arthur Baldwinson (Wikipedia)


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