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.”
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.
The Australian Institute of Architects has announced the 61 projects making it to this year's 2014 Australian National Awards. Selected from a pool of 153 regional winners across 13 categories, the jury have visited all the shortlisted projects (except the international shortlist) in preparation for the announcement of the National winners at a ceremony in Darwin on November 6th.
Commenting on the shortlist, jury chair Paul Berkemeier said: "As a jury and as members of the profession, we were inspired by the number of projects that had informed clients working closely with the architects to achieve better outcomes. In many instances, this relationship allowed the project to go well and truly above and beyond the original brief."
Read on after the break for the full shortlist
The Australian Institute of Architects announced its 2014 NSW Architecture Awards in a ceremony held in Sydney last night. Among the 42 Awards and 18 Commendations given out, perhaps the biggest winner was Neeson Murcutt Architects, whose Prince Alfred Park + Pool Upgrade won the Sulman Medal for Public Architecture, the Lloyd Rees Award for Urban Architecture, and was a joint winner of the City of Sydney Lord Mayor's Prize.
In awarding the scheme by Neeson Murcutt Architects, the jury noted that it was "a rare synthesis of art and landscape, urban design and architecture" making the experience "a delight in every detail."
See the full list of 69 Awards, Prizes and Commendations after the break