Archive 2011

Warilla High School Hits Sydney’s Architectural Wonders


In June as a volunteer AAA tour leader I had the wonderful opportunity to show off some of Sydney's finest architecture to a group of Year 10 students from Warilla High School. The school is located on the South Coast of NSW, so the students had an early start to make it to Sydney for tour kick-off at 10am.  A total of 12 students were on the tour, together with their teacher.  The group had walked from Central Station to Circular Quay, passing some of Sydney's finest buildings along Macquarie Street.

A number of the students had not visited Sydney before, let alone witnessed skyscrapers close up or some of our finer built heritage, so it was important that the students visited a good cross-section of Sydney's buildings. As the tour was conducted on a weekday morning, lobbies were open and accessible and Sydney's hustle and bustle was on show.

The tour started at Customs House at Circular Quay, with a study of the model of Sydney located under the glass floor and then moved on to Australia Square, Seidler's 1960's masterpiece. Several of the students commented on the Sol de Witt artwork in the lobby and the Calder sculpture on George Street. The group explored the inside and outside of the GPO, which prior to the construction of the Harbour Bridge was Sydney's built icon. A stroll up Martin Place included a quick visit to the Commonwealth Bank's magnificent Beau Arts premises between Elizabeth and Castlereagh Streets. I asked the students to pick the fake material in the banking chamber. It seems that the "painted" green columns tricked the students as they do most people - they are not really marble!

The students were somewhat bemused by Tom Bass's water sculpture on Hunter Street in the former P&O premises, and expressed further bemusement with Rainer Hoff's sculpture on the Art Deco wonder former Prudential Assurance Building. It depicts Australian people dressed in ‘cossies' fleeing falling ash from Mt Vesuvius.

The group visited Aurora Place, Deutsche Bank, where we watched the hi-tech lifts moving through the 30 storey atrium and then we called into Governor Philip and Macquarie Towers to see the "spitiual" lobbies.

The favourite?......Australia Square - for its slenderness and placement on a podium, providing a wonderful public space. It seems that people of all ages and backgrounds love this tower.

Two of the students are considering drafting / architectural careers so I hope the tour will encourage them in their future endeavors. (Robert Morley)


Castlecrag Walk Spring Special

castlecraig05Discover one of Sydney's most picturesque garden suburbs perched on a rocky peninsula surrounded by sparkling waters of Middle Cove.

Join the Castlecrag Walking Tour 2 this Saturday afteroon (2pm, 17 September 2011).  Architect Ben Gerstel is your guide on this two hour walk where you will go back in time to see some of Sydney's best domestic architecture from the 1950's to today.

Special price for Spring only $25.

Don't miss out and book now!

Unseen Dupain

Max_DupainAn Exhibition by the Australian Architecture Association for the Sydney Architecture Festival 2011.

One of Australia's foremost photographers, Dupain's geographic world had Sydney as its heart, its pulse radiating from the harbour, around Circular Quay, its streets, the many parks around the city and the Sydney Harbour Bridge. He was fascinated with photographing from unusual angles and vantage points.

With a god's eye view, Dupain's photographs became intriguing and breathtaking, sometimes half-hidden by shadows but always mystified by distance. The moment to pull the shutter was always determined by the way in which the light fell. Dupain preferred the ‘raking light' of early morning and late afternoon. Sometimes, with a compass he would watch a building and track the movement of the sun to predict when the light would be ‘just right'.

The photographs on exhibition come from a collection of over 1,000 photographs Dupain gave to the RAIA in 1989. Some of those photographs are exhibited for the very first time.

Date: 20 - 28 October 2011 (Weekdays 9am-5pm, Saturday 10am-4am, Sunday Closed)
Venue: Tusculum, 3 Manning Street, Potts Point

Opening: 20 October 2011
Exhibition Coordinator and Curator: Dr Zeny Edwards

Sponsors: SPUN, Australian Institute of Architects

Special Offers for Sydney Design 11

sydneydesign11As part of Sydney Design 11 we will be running a number of architecture tours and this year we are offering special discounts to go on these tours.

Starting on Saturday 30 July with the AAA Sydney City Architecture Walk, looking at some of Sydney's modern high rise buildings including Deutsche Bank Place, Aurora Place and Governor Philip Tower. Learn why Australia Square is round. Don't miss out, book now....

Also on Saturday 30 July there is Walk through Time, a two hour walk with Vincent Lam, a trained AAA volunteer guide. Starting at Hyde Park Barracks, one of Australia's oldest public precincts. On This tour you will learn who Sydney's first architect was, his passage to Australia in chains and his skills in designing finely detailed brick buildings.

Tuesday 2 August - Sydney City Bar Tour. Join our AAA guides on a two hour walk going inside some of the city's bars and discover how design has been critical in redefining the bar experience in Sydney's CBD.

Saturday 6 August, walk with tour guide Vanessa Couzens, exploring the architectural history of Sydney, as revealed by its' artworks. Discover how sculpture can enrich the experience of architecture and public space with the Sculpture of the City Architecture Experience.

Go to the Sydney Design 2011 website and find out about many other exciting events during the festival.  Interior Designer and Design Educator, Annalisa Capurro, recipient of  the inaugural SIDA Foundation Professional Development Scholarship (who also volunteers for the AAA), will give a free talk on about her research on Mid-Century Modernism in Los Angeles, Palm Springs and Chicago.


Sculpture of the City

BertFlugelman_ShishKebabDon't miss out on this fascinating walking tour with a trained AAA guide looking at the City of Sydney's public art pieces. Discover how the Sculptures contribute to the public realms and how they relate to the surrounding architecture.

Look at Sculptures that caused controversy like Tom Bass's P & O Fountain in Hunter Street, more frequently referred to as 'The Urinal'.