Iconic Buildings of the 20th Century Talks

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On Thursday 20 June 2019, the AAA presents the first in its series of talks, called 'Iconic Buildings of the 20th Century'. Hosted by Brickworks Studio, you will be enthralled as Tone Wheeler, architect and President of the Australian Architecture Association, reveals the stories of how three iconic buildings were conceived and executed. The first talk focuses on Le Corbusier's Ronchamp Chapel.


Ronchamp is Le Corbusier’s most famous building, but most people only know it from one photo (pictured above), and this singular view leads to a limited understanding of just how brilliant this building is.

The chapel is a result of an intense process, both personal and pragmatic, and a detailed understanding of that process can lead to a completely different view. 

In this talk, we will acquaint ourselves with the history, and then to do an analysis of Le Corbusier’s design thinking, his ideas and concepts that gave rise to the form, and we will thoroughly crawl over ever part of the building. 

It was extraordinarily radical, controversial and confronting, and many leading architects were horrified, but later held it as one of the greats of the 20th Century. 

Come to this detailed 'behind the scenes take', to find out why it is such an important work of art and architecture.


Time: 6.00pm (6.30pm start) - 8.15pm
Date: Thursday 20 June 2019
Location: Brickworks Design Studio, 2 Barrack Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Cost: $50 (public) / $45 (AAA Members)
Note: Buy three talks get your third ticket for half price.

Click here to buy your ticket for the Ronchamp Talk.

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The second talk, which will be held in August, will focus on Louis Kahn's Salk Institute.


Louis Khan’s mid century buildings are enigmas.

Architecture students wonder what the fuss is about: the austere highly geometric forms, the starkness, the unyielding formality.

The rigorous texts that accompany the works and Khan’s reputation as a great teacher don’t seem reflected in the buildings. And then on a visit their ‘first Kahn' their attitude reverses: these are the greatest works of architecture of the 20th C. 

They become devotees and almost religious proselytisers for the buildings, which only adds to the confusion for those who haven’t ‘accepted the religion of Kahn’. 

This talks cuts through the rhetoric to explain, in greatly illustrated detail, the ideas, the experiences, and ultimately the extraordinary humanity that this building in particular exhibits. Tone has visited the building several times (and many other Kahn buildings), and believes that an enthusiastic study of the building can convey the power of the architecture without the costs of a visit.


Time: 6.00pm (6.30pm start) - 8.15pm
Date: Thursday 8 August 2019
Location: Brickworks Design Studio, 2 Barrack Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Cost: $50 (public) / $45 (AAA Members)
Note: Buy three talks get your third ticket for half price.

Click here to buy your ticket for the Salk Institute Talk.

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The third and final talk in the series will focus on Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers' Centre Pompidou.


The most visited building in Paris, in a city that boasts the Louvre, the Musee d”Orsay and the Musee du Quai Branly. In fact the most popular museum in the world!

So everyone knows the Centre Pompidou, colloquially known as Beaubourg, right? Wrong, and more than most could believe.

In this talk we go back to the competition (Tone has a copy of the original brief) and look at the ideas of the time.

Did you know that a now well-known Australian architect came second? And what bought Renzo Piano from Italy and Richard Rogers from London together to create a building that many believe is a turning point in Modernism?

Not just an ‘inside-out’ building, not just a great place to see Paris, and not just a backdrop to the most lively space in Paris, it is a formative work of art, a tour-de-force of architecture.

Come and hear the background to this extraordinary building that will give you a completely different perspective on this great site.


Time: 6.00pm (6.30pm start) - 8.15pm
Date: Thursday 26 September 2019
Location: Brickworks Design Studio, 2 Barrack Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Cost: $50 (public) / $45 (AAA Members)
Note: Buy three talks get your third ticket for half price.

Click here to buy your ticket for the Salk Institute Talk.

Light refreshments will be served before each talk commences.

  • Article: Vanessa Couzens / Tone Wheeler
  • Image 1: Ronchamp Chapel, designed by Le Corbusier
  • Image 2: The Salk Institute for Biological Studies, designed by Louis Kahn
  • Image 3: Centre Georges Pompidou, designed by Renzo Piano and Richard Rogers
  • Images: Supplied by Tone Wheeler

Join the AAA On A Walk In Chippendale

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Join the AAA on a walk through the architecture of Chippendale. The next Chippendale Walk takes place on Saturday 18 May 2019.

The inner city urban village of Chippendale is named after William Chippendale who was granted 95 acres of farmland in 1819.

This rapidly gentrifying suburb has a colourful history as an industrial centre. Over its history the suburbs main claim to fame has been its distillery and brewery and reputation as a slum housing prostitutes, rat catchers and nefarious criminal activites.

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Over the 90 minute walk you'll discover some of the suburbs architectural gems, including the Mortuary Railing Station and garden, Spice Alley and Indigo Slam, an amazing residential project by Smart Design Studio.


Meeting Point: The Halo Sculpture, Chippendale Green (Central Park), O'Connor Street, Chippendale NSW 2008
Date: 10.00am - 11.30am
Time: Saturday 18 May 2019
Tickets: $30 (public) / $25 (Seniors & Students) / AAA Members Free
Please note - concession ticket holders should present their ID on the tour day.

Click here to secure your place on the tour. Numbers are limited so book your ticket now!

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  • Article: Vanessa Couzens
  • Image 1: Tour developer Ben Gerstel talks about Indigo Slam - a residence designed by Smart Design Studio (Photographer: Vanessa Couzens)
  • Image 2: Green facade on One Central Park, building designed by Jean Nouvel (Photographer: Vanessa Couzens)
  • Image 3: Tour attendees in front of Indigo Slam - designed by Smart Design Studio (Photographer: Vanessa Couzens)