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Durbach Block Jaggers

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Interview with Neil Durbach: “You Don't Want to do the Same Thing Again; You Want to do Better!"

09:30 - 14 December, 2016
Interview with Neil Durbach: “You Don't Want to do the Same Thing Again; You Want to do Better!", Holman House (2004). Image © Peter Bennetts
Holman House (2004). Image © Peter Bennetts

Alongside Camilla Block and David Jaggers, Neil Durbach of Durbach Block Jaggers has carved out a unique place in Australian architecture. Known primarily for their carefully sculpted modernist houses, the firm's architecture is simultaneously rich in architectural references and thoroughly original. In this interview, the latest in Vladimir Belogolovsky's “City of Ideas” series, Durbach explains the true inspirations behind their work, why these inspirations have little to do with the public descriptions of their projects, and why for him, the intention of all of his architecture “is to win Corb’s approval.”

Vladimir Belogolovsky: You came to Australia while the Sydney Opera House was still under construction. Does this mean you were here even before going to the US?

Neil Durbach: Yes, I first came to Australia as an exchange student while still in high school.

VB: So you have seen the Opera under construction then. How special was that? Did that building change anything in particular in you?

ND: Well, at that time I wanted to be an artist. A friend took me on a boat to see it. It was kind of staggering... And I thought – you know, this is much more interesting than art. And I felt – maybe architecture is what I should pursue.

Commonwealth Place (2002). Image © John Gollings North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club (2013). Image © John Gollings Roslyn Street (2009). Image © Anthony Browell UTS Thomas St Building (2014). Image © Anthony Browell +42

North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club / Durbach Block Jaggers + Peter Colquhoun

01:00 - 28 April, 2014
North Bondi Surf Life Saving Club / Durbach Block Jaggers + Peter Colquhoun, Courtesy of Durbach Block Jaggers
Courtesy of Durbach Block Jaggers

Courtesy of Durbach Block Jaggers Courtesy of Durbach Block Jaggers Courtesy of Durbach Block Jaggers Courtesy of Durbach Block Jaggers +16

  • Architects

  • Location

    North Bondi NSW 2026, Australia
  • Design Team

    Neil Durbach, Camilla Block, David Jaggers, Stefan Heim, Erin Field, Deborah Hodge, Mitchell Thompson, Lisa Le Van
  • Project Year

    2013

Roslyn Street Bar-Restaurante / Durbach Block Jaggers

01:00 - 8 March, 2012
Roslyn Street Bar-Restaurante / Durbach Block Jaggers

Roslyn Street Bar-Restaurante / Durbach Block Jaggers Roslyn Street Bar-Restaurante / Durbach Block Jaggers Roslyn Street Bar-Restaurante / Durbach Block Jaggers Roslyn Street Bar-Restaurante / Durbach Block Jaggers +22

  • Architects

  • Location

    Potts Point, Sydney, Australia
  • Project Team

    Neil Durbach; Camilla Block; David Jaggers; Stefan Heim; Lisa Le Van; Deborah Hodge; Brigitte Thearle
  • Area

    197.0 sqm
  • Project Year

    2009

Hrdlicka House / Durbach Block Jaggers

01:00 - 17 February, 2012
Hrdlicka House / Durbach Block Jaggers, © Brett Boardman
© Brett Boardman

© Brett Boardman © Brett Boardman © Brett Boardman © Brett Boardman +13

  • Architects

  • Location

    Sydney NSW, Australia
  • Architects

    Durbach Block Jaggers - Neil Durbach, Camilla Block, Lisa Le Van
  • Landscape Architect

    Sue Barnsley Design
  • Structural Consultant

    Simpson Design Associates
  • Floor Area

    3.500 sqm
  • Site Area

    950 sqm
  • Project Year

    2007
  • Photographs

The Garden House / Durbach Block Jaggers

01:00 - 25 January, 2012
The Garden House / Durbach Block Jaggers

The Garden House / Durbach Block Jaggers The Garden House / Durbach Block Jaggers The Garden House / Durbach Block Jaggers The Garden House / Durbach Block Jaggers +18