Discover why Glenn Murcutt is Australias best-known and most influential international architect when the exhibition Glenn Murcutt: Architecture for Place opens 13 June at the Museum of Sydney
Originally presented at the prestigious Gallery Ma in Tokyo, the exhibition has been brought to Sydney by the Architecture Foundation Australia.
In practice for nearly 40 years, Glenn Murcutt has designed more than 500 buildings. His groundbreaking designs are celebrated for their focus on the sustainability of the natural environment, harmony with nature and resonance with Australias diverse climate and topography.
Murcutt has received numerous national and international awards including architectures top prizes; the 2002 Pritzker prize considered the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for architecture and the 2009 American Institute of Architects Gold Medal.
On display for the first time in Australia, the exhibition Glenn Murcutt: Architecture for Place presents a selection of Murcutts works through his own drawings, through scale models of some of his houses and through photographs by Anthony Browell that capture the essence of Murcutts architecture harmony between building and nature.
Glenn Murcutt: Architecture for Place showcases the houses for which Murcutt is best known including the Marie Short House at Kempsey, the Simpson-Lee House at Mt. Wilson in the Blue Mountains and the Magney House at Bingie Point, as well as, the landmark Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Art Centre at Riversdale on the Shoalhaven River.
Murcutt always draws by hand, he quite literally thinks by drawing. In this exhibition enlargements of his drawings are presented from various stages of the design process, from initial sketch to detailed construction drawings, tracing the journey of creation.
Architecture is a path of discovery, and discovery is a creative process. Drawing, to me, is an essential part of discovery. By drawing one understands the brief, the budget, the site, and all the factors of the environment in which a building dwells. The hand, making drawings, arrives at solutions before the mind is able to comprehend them.
Making buildings that are like instruments is very important to me. The buildings respond to the light, to air movements, to prospect, to refuge, to comfort. They work like instruments that produce the sound and the colour of the composer. But, I am not the composer. I just make the instruments. The light, the sound and the air are already there. I just make buildings that allow people to sense them," Glenn Murcutt said.
Born in London to Australian parents, Murcutt spent his early childhood in New Guinea and then moved with his family to Sydney in 1941. He graduated from Sydney Technical College (now University of New South Wales) in 1961. Following a study tour of Europe and practical experience in leading architecture offices, Murcutt began his own practice in 1969. Since that time he has predominantly worked alone as a sole practitioner, without staff, entering into creative collaborations on a project-by-project basis and teaches and lectures at universities throughout the world.