The discipline and practice of architecture: An introduction to the July/August 2018 issue of Architecture Australia.
The centrepiece of this issue is a celebration of the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2018 Gold Medallist, Alexander Tzannes, founding director of Sydney-based practice Tzannes. The cover image, by Toby Burrows, captures Alec in a moment of deep contemplation – set against the atmospheric volume of the grand central hall at Tzannes’ recently completed Dangrove building – an art storage and curation centre in eastern Sydney. The 2018 Gold Medal, which was announced in June at Edge, the 2018 National Architecture Conference on the Gold Coast, is the Institute’s highest individual honour and the cornerstone of the National Prizes – a suite of awards presented annually and recorded in this magazine. Congratulations to each of this year’s prize recipients.
Architecture Australia’s celebration of the 2018 Gold Medal emphasizes Alec’s contribution to Australian architecture as a designer, advocate, teacher and leader. The wide bandwidth of his practice is surveyed in essays by Philip Goad, Philip Oldfield and Oya Demirbilek; an interview with Alec’s fellow Tzannes directors Jonathan Evans, Mladen Prnjatovic, Ben Green and Chi Melhem conducted by Sue Wittenoom; and an international postscript by Barry Bergdoll.
Four career-spanning personal and professional preoccupations are revealed and elegantly dissected in Architecture Australia’s tribute to Alec: the city as an architectural project, the ethics and values of practice, the inherent qualities of architecture that drive sustainability, and the betterment of the education of the practising architect. These tributes to Alec’s legacy are interleafed with a selection of Tzannes’ award-winning buildings, furniture and masterplans – from the foundation of the practice in the early 1980s to those completed in the past decade. The arrangement of the projects follows the evolution of the practice – from the poised urban townhouses of the 1980s, like the 1988 Robin Boyd Award winning Henwood House, to the city-scale commercial and public buildings completed in the past decade, exemplified in the innovative International House Sydney office building in Barangaroo (2017).
Alongside the acknowledgment of personal achievement in Australian architecture through coverage of the Institute’s 2018 National Prizes, this issue reviews four exciting, and typologically diverse, built projects: a municipal headquarters in Geelong by GHDWoodhead, a community hall near Gympie by Bark Design Architects, an architectural family’s own studio in Sydney by Raffaello Rosselli Architect with Luigi Rosselli Architects, and an urban villa in Melbourne by Baracco and Wright Architects. The guest-edited Dossier section explores research in larger architectural practices through an examination of “the scope, ambition and impact of research activities on the business and culture of practice.” The thought-provoking essays, reflections and interviews in this Dossier have been assembled by guest editors Naomi Stead and Sandra Kaji-O’Grady.
This volume’s tripartite presentation – exploring Australian architecture through recognition, realization and research – highlights the relationship between discipline and practice and the parallel conversation between business and culture.
The July/August issue contains the following peer-reviewed projects:
- Barwon Water. GHDWoodhead has transformed the 1970s headquarters of Barwon Water into a striking contemporary office that is symbolic of the urban renewal at Geelong’s cultural and civic heart. Review by Jennifer Calzini.
- Curra Community Hall. Bark Design Architects’ Curra Community Hall elegantly reinterprets a regional typology to create a flexible and memorable space for a small rural community. Review by Peter Skinner.
- The Beehive. Designed by Raffaello Rosselli Architect with Luigi Rosselli Architects, this project explores the potential of recycled materials as applied to the architectural family’s own Surry Hills studio. Review by David Welsh.
- Rose House 2. This residential project in Melbourne’s Fitzroy North builds on Baracco and Wright Architects’ reparative approach to site, context and ecology. Review by David Neustein.