Archive 2004

Architects back culture

Yet more media coverage for the emerging organisation, this time in the April 04 edition of Building Product News with an article by Dael Climo. Glenn Murcutt and Harry Seidler are among top-name architects that have established a new group to promote the culture of contemporary architecture in Australia . Called the Australian Architecture Association (AAA), the organisation’s mission statement says it “will support the discourse and promotion of architecture in the Australian cultural milieu – architecture which is of its place and time, which is simultaneously modern and timeless.

Apart from Murcutt and Seidler, founding members of the AA include Richard Johnson, Wendy Lewin, Alex Popov, James Grose and Ian Moore, supported by founding directors Stella de Vulder and Annette Dearing.

According to founding president Glenn Murcutt, the time is right to establish an organisation with the aim of broadly promoting contemporary architecture: “We want to build an organisation that is complimentary to the RAIA,” he notes. “Everyone concerned with architecture will benefit from our efforts to bring people more information about architecture and its value to society.

“The founders of the AAA have a deep love of architecture and believe if we put in a sustained effort we will realise our vision ‘to enable the public to understand, enjoy and discuss architecture’.”

Unlike the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA) which is a professional body open only to architects and which concentrates on the legal and political aspects of architecture, the AAA will be an inclusive organisation – open to the general community. “We want to build a new audience for architecture,” says de Vulder. That includes the developers and large construction companies who can have such an impact on visual impact of the built environment—“this will get more conversations going between different sectors of the building community,” de Vulder points out.

The AAA has been based on similar organisations overseas such as the Architecture Foundation in the UK , the Chicago Architecture Foundation. The latter has been part of the city’s fabric for around forty years, says de Vulder, running 65,000 architecture tours annually. Similar events will be held here, and overseas architects will be brought out for speaking tours.

At the time of writing, the announcement of a celebrated international architect to kick off the AAA’s guest speaking tours was imminent. The Opera House has already offered its services as the venue for the Sydney leg.

The group’s website – www.architecture.org.au – contains information on upcoming events, the AAA’s credo and an application form.