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Glenn Murcutt: A Singular architectural practice
By Haig Beck & Jackie Cooper

March 04, 2004 /
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...Glen Murcutt's powerful architectural poetic (is) most tellingly conveyed by the building lodged in the landscape; the building as line, holding the horizon and calibrating infinity; the building in submission - not subjugating the land; the building as an expression of ideology and rationalism; the building as embodiment of an existential contract of human freedom and responsibility, confronting the unavoidable destruction that accompanies human occupation./Haig Beck and Jackie Cooper

Glenn Murcutt's work attracts more international exposure than any Australian architect's, despite his mostly solitary mode of practice. Murcutt is seen to produce an authentically Australian architecture that speaks of regional qualities while also participating in the international modernist discourse. This blend of exotic and the universal makes his work both intriguing and accessible.

This is the first monograph in almost ten years of the Pritzker Prize 2002 laureate and recipient of the highly coveted Aalto Medal for architecture. It is both a comprehensive presentation of Murcutt's drawings, construction details, and preliminary sketches of key project, selected by Murcutt, and an inspirational photographic vision of an Australian way of life seen through his buildings.

2..Murcott-feature.jpgMagney House
Bingie Bingie New South Wales
1982 - 1984 

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Magney House
Bingie Bingie New South Wales
1982 - 1984

 

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Magney House
Bingie Bingie New South Wales
1982 - 1984

 

Written by architecture critics Haig Beck and Jackie Cooper the book is divided into three sections; theory, practice, and technique, beginning with a series of brief essays, including one by Murcutt himself, on the technical, material, and aesthetic aspects of the work

Murcutt has been erroneously considered as an urban-shunning figure whose designs are for bush sites where in fact he has built extensively in crowded suburban contexts too.  His use of steel and corrugated iron is understood as a vernacular reference to the tin buildings typical of the Australian outback.

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Done House
Mosman Sydney New South Wales
1988 - 1991

 

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Done House
Mosman Sydney New South Wales
1988 - 1991

 

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Done House
Mosman Sydney New South Wales
1988 - 1991

 

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Simpson-Lee House
Mount Wilson New South Wales
1989 - 1994

 

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Simpson-Lee House
Mount Wilson New South Wales
1989 - 1994

 

In the middle section, 23 designs, illustrated with color and black-and-white photographs, are presented with brief descriptions and more insightful analyses by the architect.

In the final section, sketches, drawings, and construction details documents each of the designs.

10..Murcott-feature.jpgMarika-Alderton House

 

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Marika-Alderton House

 

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Magney House
Paddington Sydney New South Wales
1986 - 1990

 

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Magney House
Paddington Sydney New South Wales
1986 - 1990

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Details

The photographs in the book are provided by:

Reiner Blunck
Anthony Blowell
Max Dupain ( courtesy Eric Sierens)
Peter Hyatt
Geoff Leung
Glen Murcutt

Publisher: The Images Publishing Group

All material for this review has been reproduced with permission from the publishers.

The drawings are held and by the Image Library of the State Library of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.

Last updated: December 19, 2013

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