After the hardship and deprivation of the 1930s and the anxiety and rationing of the 1940s, Australia experienced great optimism, growth and prosperity in the 1950s. During this decade three Australian-made products were manufactured which became icons in our cultural history, Holden cars, Victa lawnmowers and Sunbeam Mixmasters.
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The architect Philip Cox recently told us what we already knew: Star casino in Pyrmont is by far his worst building. Needless to say a Star flack was immediately reassuring the media that almost none of Cox’s 1997 design had survived the casino’s recent renovations.
We’ve just installed a small exhibition to mark the fortieth anniversary of Sydney Opera House on 20 October. The anniversary, by the way, is of the official 1973 opening by the Queen, not the first public performance there on the 28 September 1973, an interesting choice of dates.
You might have been following the controversy about Denise Scott Brown and the Pritzker Prize. In 1991 Scott Brown’s husband and professional partner Robert Venturi was awarded the Pritzker Prize (often described as architecture’s Nobel Prize).
Re-skinning of buildings takes several forms, not all of them particularly reputable. During the 60s and 70s salesmen prowled the suburbs, seeking out fibro and weatherboard cottages that could be re-clad with aluminium or vinyl.
I’ve been holidaying in Europe recently; mainly Italy and Greece, but we also managed a day in Marseille. France’s oldest and second-largest city is European City of Culture for 2013 so there is even more to see than usual.
A couple of month’s back I was contacted by a Daily Telegraph journo, doing a story about Sydney’s ‘Gatsby-style’ mansions. Baz Luhrmann’s take on The Great Gatsby had just hit the screens and the media was searching for evidence that 1920s Sydney had glamour to match that of New York.
Are baby-boomers responsible for Sydney’s unaffordable housing? It’s becoming a common theme of the property media with story headings like 'Boomers put super squeeze on first home buyers’.
Thanks to Arup Sydney we acquired a model of the China Central TV headquarters in Beijing. Designed by Rem Koolhaas and OMA, its a sophisticated and controversial attempt to reinvent the office tower.
Jim Brown was a former US serviceman who lived in Sydney from 1968 to 1972. Like a lot of people back then he was struck by the oil-on-glass pub advertising paintings which adorned most of Sydney’s pubs.
We have just acquired this watercolour elevation of the Sirius public housing apartments in the Rocks. Most architects’ elevations use a street level viewpoint – this bird’s eye view is different and striking.
The first new building at the Central Park development on Broadway is making progress. Watching it is a bit different from following the progress of most new buildings – it’s literally growing, not just figuratively so.