Inside the Collection

Category: Architecture and Urban Design

Neville’s Pompidou

April 30, 2014

  During the late 1970s I was living in England researching a doctorate. I also enjoyed a lot of museums including during a visit to Paris the Centre Pompidou, which had only been open for a year or so.

Fibro coast

April 16, 2014

The Gold Coast City Gallery has been displaying the exhibition Fibro Coast; it will soon be at the University of the Sunshine Coast Gallery. Fibro Coast is about the holiday architecture that is still a feature of the Gold Coast and the Sunshine Coast.

Max Dupain and Chris Vandyke

March 17, 2014

You might have seen the story re the State Library of NSW's recent acquisition of a photo album containing a different version of Max Dupain's well-known 1937 'Sunbaker' photo. That Max disliked the widely published version doesn't strike me as headline cultural news (well done to the State Library's pr people tho).

Neons and museums

February 17, 2014

A few years back I was interviewed about the fate of Sydney’s neon advertising signs: 'The great age of neon has passed,' laments Charles Pickett, a curator of design and society at the Powerhouse Museum, an institution that houses the AWA sign that once sat atop the eponymous1930s skyscraper, and a

Design for happiness: George Korody furniture designs

December 11, 2013

If you’re a fan of mid-century modern furniture, the Powerhouse Museum’s current display is a must-see. 7 Australian Designers profiles a number of Australia’s celebrated modernists and includes iconic furniture by Grant Featherston, Gordon Andrews, Douglas Snelling, Clement Meadmore and Steven Kalmar.

Casinos and stadiums: Philip Cox

November 4, 2013

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.

The Opera House industry

October 18, 2013

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.

Learning from Denise Scott Brown

September 20, 2013

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).

Condom architecture

September 4, 2013

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.

Museums and modernism in Marseille

August 12, 2013

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.

Gatsby-style

July 31, 2013

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.

Suburbia, apartmentia, adapturbia

June 17, 2013

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’. And similar arguments are being made in the planning and architecture world.