50/60/70 Iconic Australian Houses: Three Decades of Domestic Architecture

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Allen & Unwin, 2007 - Architecture - 230 pages
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From the 1950s to the 1970s, the work of Lloyd Wright, Gropius and van der Rohe strongly influenced a generation of young Australian architects, who adopted modernist principles in their work. Karen McCartney has compiled 15 significant examples, each by a different architect, of homes that combine outstanding architectural principles and an authentic interior decor. A comprehensive introduction places the movement in social, historical and architectural context, before each of the selected homes is discussed in detail in an informed, engaging essay style. The relationship of architect/owner is discussed; as are the linking of the building to its site, materials and architectural detailing. The author has interviewed many architects and owners for their personal insights. Each study includes a feature on the interior decoration, and a discussion of designers and manufacturers of iconic furniture, fabrics etc.

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Page 191 - We would take that despised outcast of the building industry —the concrete block— out from underfoot or from the gutter— find a hitherto unsuspected soul in it— make it live as a thing of beauty— textured like the trees. Yes, the building would be made of the "blocks" as a kind of tree itself standing at home among the other trees in its own native land.
Page 8 - Australia is the small house. Ownership of one in a fenced allotment is as inevitable and unquestionable a goal of the average Australian as marriage'.52 'The Great Australian Dream...
Page 81 - I knew well that no house should ever be on a hill or on anything. It should be of the hill. Belonging to it. Hill and house should live together each the happier for the other.
Page 13 - Both rejected the idea of composing the fagades of a building to preconceived rules. Both accepted spatial composition as the expressive field of architecture. Both believed that the building's function was the only basis for planning and that it should (and would automatically if permitted) be expressed in the building's form. Both believed that no material should be twisted into unnatural forms or asked to perform an unsuitable task.
Page 12 - Roach commented that the building was 'not pleasant, too stark and very different. More like a gun emplacement on North Head than a house.
Page 91 - Here he is both playwright and actor, composer and executant. What manner of architect he is will be laid bare for all the world to see...
Page 81 - Welsh poet, and spoke his own commandment, that 'no house should ever be put ON a hill or ON anything ... it should be OF the hill, belonging to it, hill and house should live together, each the happier for the...
Page 7 - probably the largest order for English prefabs came from the Australian government when it purchased a batch of factory made timber dwellings called the Riley-Newsum house as late as 1951: cost of 1,250,000 pounds sterling. Made in Lincoln and shipped to Australia in a series of panels.
Page 28 - People who live complicated lives (and most of us seem to) cannot be comfortable in a highly colourful interior,
Page 13 - Does not this [organic] architecture seem rather weak, subservient and not very proud of itself?

About the author (2007)

Karen McCartney has a wealth of experience in the areas of art, design, and style, spanning 20 years and several continents. After gaining an honors degree in the History of Art and English from University College, London, Karen s first job was on British magazine "Art Monthly." She has written for (among other titles) "ELLE Decoration UK" and "The Financial Times." In Australia, Karen edited "Marie Claire Lifestyle" before becoming founding editor of interiors magazine "Inside Out." She is now Group Editorial Director at News Magazines and this is her second book on the subject of Australian residential architecture.

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