Category: Architecture and Urban Design

Architects and photographers

March 11, 2013

The careers of architects and photographers are often intertwined. An outstanding case is Max Dupain, Australia’s leading photographer of architecture, whose work was crucial in building the reputations of several architects including Harry Seidler, Sydney Ancher and Glenn Murcutt.

The Clare is closing

February 13, 2013

The Clare Hotel on Broadway is closing this year. It will open again, but not as the comfortably crumpled venue of recent times. The Clare’s past and likely future are reflective of the fortunes of Sydney pubs.

Demolishing Darling Harbour

February 6, 2013

You might have read recently in the Sydney Morning Herald about the planned demolition of Sydney Convention Centre at Darling Harbour. The Centre’s architect John Andrews is not surprisingly unimpressed that another of his Australian designs is under threat after a mere 25 years of use.

Opera House models

January 21, 2013

It is 56 years this month since Jorn Utzon's success in the design competition for the Sydney Opera House. During January 1957 the four judges (they were all architects: Cobden Parkes, Eero Saarinen, Ingham Ashworth and Leslie Martin) looked through more than 700 entries.

Dream Homes

December 5, 2012

The poster artwork above is the work of

On Broadway

November 21, 2012

Recently I gave some help to a heritage architect  working on the Broadway Central Park development. We were looking at the Kent Brewery photos in our Tooth & Co collection. I particularly enjoyed revisiting the Broadway photos,  timely given that Broadway is having its biggest makeover in decades.  As well as the vast Central Park project, UTS is gaining a new building on the northern side of Broadway while the street level podium of the UTS Tower will be transformed.

The Beachcomber

November 7, 2012

One of the nice things about a museum project going public is the response from people with relevant artefacts, stories, photographs etc. Often this can be frustrating – if only we had known about this before the exhibition was opened, book was launched etc!

Designer Suburbs – architects and affordable homes in Australia

October 29, 2012

My new book Designer Suburbs: Architects and affordable homes in Australia is back from the printers and will be launched soon. Designer Suburbs began a couple of years back when our former curatorial colleague Judith O’Callaghan asked me if I’d like to co-author a book about the architect-designed project homes of the 1960s and 1970s.

Sydney streets in the 1980s

October 15, 2012

A couple of years back I was contacted by a photographer named Alex Mattea. From 1987 to 1989 Alex photographed every building and every street in the Sydney CBD. He wanted to show me the results. During the 1980s Alex was alarmed by the head-long speed of the city’s transformation.

How to make a stained glass window, Handel-style

July 18, 2012

Picture a large stained glass window inside a cathedral. You see a variety of colours - perhaps a contrast of red and blue, long slivers of yellow, or a striking sea of white. A pattern emerges, changing your interpretation of the window.

Technology and 9/11: aircraft vs skyscrapers

September 8, 2011

Sunday 11 September is the tenth anniversary of that horrendous and highly symbolic event, the ramming of two aircraft into skyscrapers in New York City and one into the Pentagon in Washington DC. This portion of a girder cut from one of the World Trade Center buildings, distorted and blackened by fire, serves as a poignant, physical reminder of the event.

Winners and losers: the Venice Biennale pavilion

August 4, 2011

A far swag of the world’s most famous buildings are the result of design competitions – completed winners include Florence’s Duomo, the White House, the Paris Opera, the Westminster Houses of Parliament, the Reichstag (twice) and the Centre Pompidou.