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Architecture Australia January 2021

Ask architects which Australian magazine they choose to read or to publish their work and the answer is most likely Architecture Australia. If you want to be up to date with the best built works and the issues that matter, then Architecture Australia is for you. Its commissioned contributors are independent, highly respected practitioners, architectural thinkers and design commentators and each article is supported by images from leading architectural photographers. Provocative, informative and engaging – it is the national magazine of the Australian Institute of Architects.

Architecture Media Pty Ltd
6 Issues

in this issue

3 min
our ninetieth year and the history that shaped us

After a tumultuous year, the value of our architectural community is evermore evident. This year, 2021, is a very special one for the Institute, marking our ninetieth as a national professional collective with a global reach. Celebrations commenced on 18 November 2020 and will continue throughout the year. Writing my fourth foreword on this auspicious date and reflecting on the history that shaped us, I contemplate the first general meeting of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA) in 1930, which formalized a marriage between separate state institutes. Between 1871 and 1903, each of the states founded its own architectural institute. By the “Roaring Twenties,” all were well-established, financially sound, and firmly constituted. The idea of federating, first mooted in 1887, was formally proposed in 1914. From 1915 to 1929, the Federal…

3 min
unbridled ambitions and aspirations

One of my early memories in architectural publishing was the relaunch of the AA Prize for Unbuilt Work in 2007, under the editorship of Justine Clark. I acted as a facilitator to the jury and distinctly recall the energetic and inspiring debate and conversations between jurors Shelley Penn, Peter Skinner, Anthony Burke and Justine. Offering as it does the chance to exploit the immense potential of design thinking to solve problems creatively, unbuilt architecture has an unbridled ambition that is a refreshing departure from the more constrained aspect of the daily practice. After a decade-long hiatus, the AA Prize for Unbuilt Work has again returned, with this issue of Architecture Australia celebrating this year’s winners. From big-picture thinking and provocations to schemes with conceptual depth and rigour, the collection of recognized…

20 min
roundtable: a pulse check during the covid-19 recession

The COVID-19 pandemic could be the biggest global disruption in generations, and its effects are not limited to health and the economy. Its long tail could have implications for many areas of the built environment. The profession is at a crossroads, a transformational moment that could lead to a rethink of both its model of practice and how to remake the world. This roundtable seeks to explore how architects can not only survive but pivot to play a vital role in a post-pandemic world. Linda Cheng: The architecture profession stands on a precarious ledge just now, as clients abandon their projects and the government wage subsidy – which is supporting the incomes of as many as 60 percent of architects – starts to taper off. Are we in a temporary pause or…

9 min
indigenizing practice: patronage and peril

Architecture is as much about the flow of capital as it is about design. “Follow the money” used to be whispered by cops chasing gangsters. It is now on the lips of architects pursuing their next commission. For public infrastructure, the decisions made about project location and scope are invariably political. While patronage and pork-barrelling have long been accepted features of the political landscape, the bipartisan spoils of political largesse create their own inequities. The circulation of capital and its trickle to Indigenous communities operates according to yet a different set of rules. When one considers “unbuilt” projects, there is often a wistful regard for their visionary qualities. Untethered to gravity, these schemes challenge the imagination and provoke debate. Think Piranesi, Archigram, Hejduk and early Hadid. But “unbuilt” has an unsavoury…

13 min
leverage: positioning practice and challenging expectations

One of the privileges and pleasures of curating a conference is the selection of the keynote speakers, as individuals and in relationship to one another – imagining and composing in your mind resonances, lively dialogues and conversations. As co-curators of the 2020 National Architecture Conference (which could not go ahead, ultimately, due to COVID-19 restrictions), Emma Williamson, Kieran Wong, Justine Clark and I were drawn to Jude Barber and Kerstin Thompson for their intersection of organizational innovations, profound built work and vital advocacy for architecture. The following passage is woven from two independent Friday-afternoon conversations, one week apart, about the why and how of their spirited practice. Education: formative influences Kerstin Thompson: I studied at RMIT in the 1980s, and the profession and the academy were absolutely integrated, mutually defining. Peter Corrigan…

8 min
monash university chancellery arm architecture

Built on the land of the Wathaurong people of the Kulin nation ARM Architecture’s design for the new Chancellery at Monash University’s Clayton campus in Victoria is a delightful building dripping with history. Ian McDougall, one of ARM Architecture’s founding directors, explains that the intent was “to make it feel like it was a building that was already there, but with a new refurbishment.” The four-storey building is a vast improvement on its 1960s Brutaliststyle predecessor, by Godfrey, Spowers, Hughes, Mewton and Lobb (1965). Designed in the tradition of a mid-century corporate headquarters, its form and character take cues from the original Clayton campus setting and are an affectionate ode to the former Chancellery. It recasts, reuses and reimagines fragments from the original building and, by doing so, etches its radical…