• AR143 – Culture

    Culture is a big idea and there is no doubt the practice of architecture is a cultural act – but does it direct culture? Can or should it? In this edition of AR, guest editors Stuart Harrison, Simon Knott and Christine Phillips turn the focus to this broad theme with a series of diverse projects.

  • Inside 89 – WINNERS

    It’s difficult to believe that we are now at the end of 2015. What a whirlwind year it has been and where did the time go? In this the last issue of (inside) for 2015 we are proud to showcase the winners from this year’s Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA).

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Culture is a big idea and there is no doubt the practice of architecture is a cultural act – but does it direct culture? Can or should it? In this edition of AR, we turn the focus to this broad theme with a series of diverse projects.

Sometimes our buildings are for cultural institutions, such as galleries and opera houses – clearly cultural in program – but culture can mean a bigger societal idea than working in ‘arts and culture’. Definitions of culture here can help, but we have opted to respond to the idea of culture and architecture with a discussion.

This seems fitting as the three of us hosted a radio show for 10 years (The Architects on Melbourne radio station, 3RRR) dedicated to talking about architecture in a broad and inclusive way – we have tried to capture something in the conversation between us and with our guests. Over the years we spoke to a broad mix of people – a plural mapping of architects and designers who were interested in talking, engaging in a conversation about their work. In this issue of AR we reignite that conversation in print, discussing projects from six leading practices to consider architecture’s relationship to culture. Our essay is an edited transcript of a discussion between us and, in the architects’ statements, we ask the select architects to describe their projects and to tell us how they view the project’s relationship to culture.

We adopt six ideas, six takes of how we might describe a culture – these range from the evident to the colloquial and touch on notions of Australianism. These ideas are the platforms on which we as a society discuss culture – sport and leisure, socialising and the city, liveability and memory. We match a project to each idea, but suspect that these ideas, and the projects, overlap to form a more complex picture of culture.

The projects are from across Australia and New Zealand, from Fremantle, where practice Officer Woods draws on traditional construction and ideas of amenity in a finely built residential project; to Auckland, where Fearon Hay, a few years ago, created a seemingly simple arcade that embodies complex ideas of urbanity, authenticity and material. We look into Melbourne’s reinvented Shrine of Remembrance by ARM and consider Neeson Murcutt’s wonderful pool in Sydney, as well as Tonkin Zulaikha Greer’s adaptive reuse masterpiece, the Eternity Playhouse. We start our discussion in Adelaide, where the rich history of the Adelaide Oval has been given a new civic scale and prominence.

Stuart Harrison, Simon Knott and Christine Phillips

Guest Editors


It’s difficult to believe that we are now at the end of 2015. What a whirlwind year it has been and where did the time go? In this the last issue of (inside) for 2015 we are proud to showcase the winners from this year’s Interior Design Excellence Awards (IDEA). The awards again showcased the enormous talent that comprises our architecture and design community in Australia and we are sure you will agree that the projects and special award-winners are worthy recipients.

Congratulations to the winners and highly commended practices and indeed to everyone who entered. The calibre of design was exemplary and our wonderful IDEA jury certainly had their work cut out choosing those to be awarded accolades. A note about our jury – many thanks to Adam Goodrum, Rob Backhouse, Sue Fenton, Sarah-Jane Pyke, Rachel Luchetti, Patrick Nolan and Jan O’Connor for their gracious participation in the judging process. There was a generosity of spirit, deep and profound deliberation of every project and a courtesy towards those they judged and to each other that we truly appreciate.

While the award-winners are the special heroes of this issue, we also have a fabulous variety of reviews, profiles and projects in the mix. Two different practices are profiled – Russell & George (p45) and Whiting Architects (p36). We talk with the British designer Lee Broom (p40) about his career and success. There is a review of the new Tokujin Yoshioka exhibition (p30) and in Craft to Completion (p52) we discover an exciting furniture range by Nic Graham. Our projects include the new Lido Cinemas in Melbourne (p58) that embraces colour in the very best way, the new city studio of Woods Bagot (p82)

in Brisbane, a sensitive design for a wonderful apartment by Hannah Tribe (p66) and the new Multyflex showroom for Sub-Zero and Wolf products (p74) by Mim Design.

All that is left to do now is let you get on with the fun part, enjoying the magazine and luxuriating in the best projects that Australia has to offer.

We wish you all a safe and joyful Christmas with the promise of a healthy and prosperous new year and we look forward to sharing (inside) and the very best in design with you again in 2016.

Jan & Gillian

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