Sydney Greenland Centre Marketing Suite / PTW + LAVA

© Brett Boardman

Architects: LAVA + PTW
Location: 115 Bathurst Street, Sydney,
Year: 2013
Photographs: Brett Boardman, Peter Murphy

Rise of the New Radical Pragmatist

Glenn Murcutt’s designs may be seen as an Australian Regional approach to Modernism. Image © Anthony Browell, Courtesy the Pritzker Prize Committee

Using as her focus, Marissa Looby, in a recent article for the Australian Design Review, argues that the disappearance of architectural styles, combined with the proliferation of various guidelines and building codes, has created a new breed of architect: The New Radical Pragmatist. Her article “The New Radical Pragmatist (On Validation)” is reprinted here. 

The Architectural Review (December, 1955) first published Reyner Banham’s epochal and pivotal article, ‘The New Brutalism’, in which the critic pointed to the rise of a new architectural style. He also described an influx of -isms that were becoming increasingly conspicuous to the discipline, stemming from the then contemporary model of an art historian and their influence on the architectural historian-as-observer of the architectural profession. Banham incisively suggested that any proposition of the term ‘new’ has an unequivocal relationship to the past, so much so that in advocating for a new -ism an architectural theoretician must defend their claim with historic fact.

Ironically, Banham acknowledged that even ‘The New Brutalism’ title derived from The Architectural Review’s analysis of the International Style in the postwar article, ‘The New Empiricism’. He stated: “[the] ability to deal with such fine shades of historical meaning is in itself a measure of our handiness with the historical method today, and the use of phrases of the form ‘The New X-ism’ – where X equals any adjectival root – became commonplace in the early 1950s in fourth year studios and other places where architecture is discussed, rather than practised.”

In Progress: SAHMRI / Woods Bagot

© Peter Barnes

Architects: Woods Bagot
Location: North Terrace, SA,
Area: 25,000 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Peter Barnes, Peter Fisher

Salt Creek Rural Retreat / ARKit

Courtesy of

Architects: ARKit
Location: Salt Creek, Victoria,
Land Area: 20 acres
Area: 53.0 sqm
Year: 2007
Photographs: Courtesy of ARKit

South Durras House / Fearns Studio

© Tom Ferguson

Architects: Fearns Studio
Location: , Australia
Project Team: Matt Fearns
Builder: RJ & JA Mates, Builders
Structural Engineer: Andrew Derbidge – Partridge Structural Pty Ltd
Area: 219.8 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Tom Ferguson

Hihou / Denton Corker Marshall

© Itsuka Studio

Architects: Denton Corker Marshall
Location: 1 Flinders Street, VIC 3000,
Architect In Charge: Denton Corker Marshall
Area: 230.0 sqm
Year: 2012
Photographs: Itsuka Studio

Round Up: Ingenious Interiors

Cinema Center in Matadero de Legazpi / ch+qs arquitectos. Image © FG+SG

The winners of the 2013 Interior Design Excellence Awards and the Great Indoors Awards have been announced, showcasing an innovative range of projects from around the world. We’ve rounded up some of the best of these award-winning interiors just for you, including: the origami-inspired, timber battens of Assemble Studio; the fantastic basketry of the Cinema Center in Matadero de Legazpi, by Churtichaga & Quadra Salcedo Architects; OHLAB’s golden Relojería Alemana’s PAKTA Restaurant of looms; and Breathe Architecture’s rebellious metallic and wooden Captain Melville. Enjoy!

Exhibition: Melbourne Now

Melbourne Now celebrates the latest art, architecture, design, performance and cultural practice to reflect the complex creative landscape of .

This ambitious and far-reaching exhibition across The Ian Potter Centre: NGV and NGV International presents the various ways in which visual artists and creative practitioners profoundly contribute to the society in which we live, and to Melbourne as a city with a unique and dynamic cultural identity.

Melbourne Now is a collaborative, cross-disciplinary project that has involved staff from all areas of the NGV, as well as a team of guest curators and artistic collaborators whose expertise and networks represent the excellence and diversity of Melbourne’s cultural community.

Complete information about the artists and projects can be found here.

Title: Exhibition: Melbourne Now
Organizers: National Gallery of Victoria
From: Fri, 22 Nov 2013 
Until: Sun, 23 Mar 2014 
Venue: National Gallery of Victoria
Address: 180 St Kilda Road, Melbourne VIC 3000, Australia

Michael Ong Wins 2013 SOYA Award

Hans House. Image Courtesy of M.O.D.O & Ricky Fung

has selected Michael Ong as the winner of the 2013 Spirit of Youth Awards 365 (SOYA 365) for architecture and interior design, awarding him $5,000 in cash, $5,000 in Qantas flights, and a rare 12-month mentorship with leading architect and founding partner of Tonkin Zulaikha Greer, Brian Zulaikha. Ong, a -based architect, founded MODO (Michael Ong Design Office) in 2011, and was chosen for the prize due to his work on the project Hans House. Check out more about the story here.

Leura Lane / Cooper Scaife Architects

© John Wilson

Architects: Cooper Scaife Architects
Location: , Victoria,
Structural Engineer: Structural Engineer
Builder: RD & KE Huf
Photographs: John Wilson

Pony Restaurant / Woods Bagot

© Trevor Mein

Architects: Woods Bagot
Location: , QLD, Australia
Client: Pony
Area: 510 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Trevor Mein

Blu Creativity / Facet Studio

© Andrew Chung

Architects: Facet Studio
Location: NSW, Australia
Design Team: Yoshihito Kashiwagi, Olivia Shih, Yoko Makino, Brandon Chin
Area: 180 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Andrew Chung

Australia Plans for Greener Cities by 2020

The Goods Line proposal. Image Courtesy of ASPECT Studios

As cities continue to attract more people, naturally vegetated areas slowly wither, leaving little to no green spaces for city dwellers to escape to, no to purify the air and enhance the environment. Australia plans to change this. The 202020 Vision is a concerted effort from the government, academic and private sectors to create twenty percent green areas in Australia’s urban centers by 2020. “Urban heat islands, poor air quality, lack of enjoyable urban community areas are all poor outcomes when green spaces aren’t incorporated into new developments and large scale building projects.” Read about the 202020 initiative here, “More green spaces in urban areas, says new national initiative.”

Blairgowrie Back Beach / Wolveridge Architects

© Derek Swalwell

Architects: Wolveridge Architects
Location: Blairgowrie VIC,
Design Team: Jerry Wolveridge, Ricky Booth, David Anthony
Year: 2013
Photographs: Derek Swalwell

Brunswick House / Christopher Botterill

© Christopher Alexander

Location: , VIC, Australia
Area: 92.0 sqm
Year: 2011
Photographs: Christopher Alexander

Four Teams Shortlisted For Parramatta Square Design Competition

Architects. Image © Parramatta City Council

Four designs for two large commercial towers in the heart of Sydney have been unveiled by Parramatta City Council, with proposals from Sydney based Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp, , Bates Smart, and Italian practice Mario Cucinella Architects. Attracting over 73 submissions from around the world, the two towers will act as the centerpiece for the Parramatta Square’s three-hectare site.

The shortlist is part of stages five and six of the total master plan, previous projects of which have been awarded to the likes of Grimshaw ArchitectsReview the projects and read the jury’s comments after the break…

Video: ‘Straight & True’ Teaser

Originally conceived as a feature documentary series, ‘Straight and True’ explores the exciting period of Australian architectural history known as the Modernist era. This is the story of how a generation of young architects and their clients attempted to change the way we live in line with a stronger more defined sense of the Australian environment and lifestyle. It is also a cultural critique examining why Australians on the whole rejected this incredible leap forward. In other words a cultural look at the Australian psyche and it’s general apathy towards design and a fear of change.

Due to the multi-layered nature of this project, both visually and thematically and its immense scope (covering mid-century domestic architecture in every major Australian city) they have decided to change its shape from linear documentary to a multi-platform transmedia project. They are currently in talks with several digital content creators to find the perfect partnership to help realise this new shape.

If you have any questions or you think you might have visual material that could contribute to this project, please email Richard Raber and Naomi Bishops of Trace Films at:

Bluetrain / Studio Equator

© Andrew Wuttke

Architects: Studio Equator
Location: Melbourne VIC,
Year: 2013
Photographs: Andrew Wuttke