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ABOVE: Curry House II, Bayview. Photo: Max Dupain, 1980, courtesy of Eric Sierins. The house rests on a cliff overlooking Pittwater, surrounded by magnificent spotted gums, deliberately reflected in the matching columns of water-blasted river gravel aggregate. RIGHT TOP: Curry House II, Bayview. Photo: Max Dupain, 1980. The Curry House II was designed for an expanding family. The richly textured, multi-level home with its flowing, interconnecting spaces has enclosed bedrooms at each end, leaving the centre open and fluid. Textures abound, surfaces are tactile – a mix of rough and smooth - the colour palette is warm, subtle. The beautifully appointed kitchen is viewed from all angles. The kitchen – just below the photographer – forms part of the spine of the house, acting as anchor, centred, connecting to all zones inside and out. RIGHT: Rickard House I (Evatt House). Photo: Michael Tawa, February 2017.

TIMELESS ARCHITECTURE It might be an unkind stretch to say that to the general population architects are an enigmatic bunch. Yes, most know that these guys design and draw things like houses and that they charge you for that. Many of us don’t know what skills and value that architects bring to our lives and in the spaces that we will live. There’s a few brave souls who take a leap of faith and put their lives and their future abodes into the hands of someone with whom they may have only known over a handshake and a coffee.

Michael Beashel is an experienced construction professional and a published historical fiction author of Sydney’s built past including The Sandstone Trilogy. Find him at michaelbeashel.com.au.

Perhaps diffident and a mixed bunch at best but all have knowledge and skill. Some are viewed as druids —not quite there with you when you’re talking to them! Others present as detailed specialists and a lot are in the middle. They’re the ones who can relate to their clients, do their job, satisfy a key need and move on. Some architects are standalones in what they do. They are the artists of their trade, the sculptors and radical pliers of their craft. Their designs and ideas are so different and they themselves are so passionate about their visions that people will be drawn to them and accept what they will get for their brick-and-mortar dreams. In North American 20th century, leaders emerged like Frank Lloyd Wright whose designs are still as simple, elegant and clean today as when they were built. Less is more. That type of architecture is timeless. In Sydney over the past 200 years we’ve seen these artistsof-their craft from Francis Greenway to the likes of Blacket, Barnet, Verge, Reed and Horbury Hunt. In the 20 Century standouts like Seidler, Cox, Andrews, Murcett and others saw another way from the norm in their unique designs that broke ground and in some cases nearly broke reputations. Theirs is a fierce pride in creating a built form that’s in-your-face and sometimes that creation unkindly laughs at other styles that are more acceptable. The argument between novelty and boldness versus the acceptable architectural styles is still going on. Yet there are those practitioners who have stuck with the logic and reality of climate and how that climate influences our built form. All the radical architects still place that need high on their list. Then there are those who combine context, climate and topography into their built forms. All architects do this but the architect who has a landscape architect’s added skill can enhance the quality of the final product. Bruce Rickard was such a practitioner.

MICHAEL BEASHEL 38  THE LAST POST – 2019 ANZAC DAY EDITION

TOP: Seidler’s Rose Cottage. BOTTOM: Glenn Murcutt’s bush house.

Profile for The Last Post Magazine

The Last Post Magazine Anzac Day 2019  

In 2019 TLP editor Greg T Ross visited Japan under the Japan-Australia Grassroots Exchange Programme. To commemorate the visit and the prog...

The Last Post Magazine Anzac Day 2019  

In 2019 TLP editor Greg T Ross visited Japan under the Japan-Australia Grassroots Exchange Programme. To commemorate the visit and the prog...

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