Modern Australian Architecture
Modern architecture in Australia has undergone a great deal of metamorphosis to be what it is today. In the 19th and the 20th century, architects in Australia tried to match the standards of the Australian domestic architecture to that of the international ideals. Although, as we shall see, the Australian architecture constantly remained ‘behind’ in comparison with the international architecture, some architects dared to be influenced and inspired by the foreign architecture.[i] In this discourse, nationalism and regionalism are two prominent themes that shall feature as the discussion advances. Some buildings in modern Australia have been associated with nationalism although upon interrogating this claim further, some foreign architectural ideas, principles and elements appear to be strongly a play.[ii] Sydney Ancher and Robin Boyd shall be the centre of this paper’s discussion.
Robin Boyd and Sydney Ancher were both modern Australian Architects whose contributions and work influenced architecture in Australia much. Each of the architects work, movements and buildings shall be examined to establish the connections that exist between national and regional architecture.
Sydney Ancher is well known for his immense contribution to the Australian architecture. Being born by a New Zealand father and Australian mother, Sydney Ancher therefore becomes a good reference point while talking about regionalism and nationalism modern architecture. Before his death in 1979, Ancher had already travelled well across Europe and amassed a lot of insights from his travels.
[i] Taylor, Jennifer. Australian architecture since 1960 by Jennifer Taylor . (Sydney: Law Book Co., 1986),102.
[ii] Freeland, J M. Architecture in Australia: A History. (Melbourne: Chesire, 1968),97-99.