Between were linked to reform in the
Between 1880 and1920, nationalism was a great source of motivation for Australian architectureand architects.1 Conrad Hamann converses about this theme in’Nationalism and Reform in Australian Architecture’, and states that there werethree main movements in Australian architecture during this period. They arethe ‘Queen Anne’ style, ‘Colonial revival’ and ‘The radicals’. These threemovements could serve the demand for “design for climate” and “inspiration”for “stylism”.2AmericanRomanesque, Shingle Style and the red brick architecture styles were not theend solutions for the “Australian Design” but from these developed a “modernarchitecture” feature and were linked to reform in the new Australianarchitecture.3 Gradually these designs became known as “Queen Ann”4and many architects and critics called this a new Australian national style.
5Robin Boyd has claimed Queen Anne as “a post-depression symptom of a newwave of public sobriety”6. Influences of reform movements couldbe found of its “decoration” and also its “homestead form”.7The secondnationalist movement in Australian architecture is ‘The Colonial Revival’ whichis simple and unornamented architecture consisting of “shadows on thewhite walls”.
8 Hardy Wilson’s many New South Weal’s andTasmania’s Georgian building drawings are recorded as revival activity.9James Barnet’s faithfully recreation of Frances Greenway’s “MacquarieLight house” was praised by John Sulman as “the old colonial” andThomas Sisley, a critic praised “the primitive builder”.10It was clear that the revivalism or revival movement became popular when thefeatures of the Federation Villa designsappeared in mainstream construction.11 The progression of thetradition was steady, and George Sydney Jones stated that “the cloyingforces of tradition” “bound Australia’s spirit”12 , creating a unified Australian designtheme.
Early twentiethcentury modern Australian architecture began to be dominated by new forms suchas a “cuboid form frequently with flat roofs, reduction or abolition ofapplied ornament, the use of new materials, such as steel and concrete”.13The motivation of Harold Desbrowe Annear was for the nationalist motivation.14He stated that we needed “our own, born of our own necessities, our ownclimates and our own methods of achieving health and happiness”.15Annear’s simplification of form designs became very popular.
Robin Boyd andJ.M. Freeland were impressed by Annear’s “eccentric character”.16Afterthat many other architects, such as Haddon, George Sydney Jones explored andtried to represent the Australian context through the architectural elementsand structures.
17Finally, ‘QueenAnne’, ‘Colonial Revival’ and ‘The Radicals’ had a common motive which is”highly localised”, thus the location of the construction informingthe form and function of the construction.18 All three motions hadcreate a great impact on “Australian modern architecture and reform”.19 The Dialectic of Desire and Disappointment “It is thedialectical relationship between these two positions of desire anddisappointment that is examined in this paper”.20 WinsomeCallister’s “The dialectic of Desire and Disappointment”, defined that RobinBoyd and Australian architecture had an order which began with Robin Boyd’sfirst book Victorian Modern in 1947,where Boyd argued that “all artists was looking anywhere and everywhere but inAustralia for their inspiration”.21 In 1951, Boyd pointed out in the journal Architecture, that “a similarrecognition for Australian architecture” and in contrast, Boyd’s final book The Great Great Australian Dream whichpublished in 1972, he said “a cry of despair for Australia”.
22 Desireand disappointment, these two emotions are standing in a dialecticrelationship. Up to the mid-1950sBoyd was suggesting that “a regional image with strong local reference as theway Australian architects, like the painters, could best identify an expressionof Australian culture”.23 Boyd continued the investigation on “manysmall Australian homes of 1949 that featured white walls, low asbestos gabledroofs, wide eaves, and large windows and pergolas”24 which”introduce the term Peninsula”.
25 Boyd hoped that the American ‘BayRegion Style’ and ‘The New Empiricism’ both international style could helpdevelop a clear, distinct Australian architectural modern movement.26Boyd wrote anarticle ‘The New International’ where he praised and “tussled with concepts ofnationalism and internationalism”27. It is written that Boyd wasvery positive for international recognition for Australian architecture.
“When manyarchitects and some critics were polarized between the ‘functional’ and the’organic’ in architecture”28, Boyd’s statement was contradiction andhis “attitude was closely related to international architectural debate”29. Boyd shifted his critical position in 1955 and”saw a way for architecture to be essentially Australian and share commoninternational themes”30. “Boyd’s critical position became lesssubtle and the dialectic of desire and disappointment more apparent”31when he started experiment on “draped shell design of 1952″32. By 1960s, whileBoyd was very disappointed about the Melbourne architecture, his personalinterest grew about Sydney’s regionalism.33 Moreover, Boyd wasinterested in brutalism, “the brutalist aesthetic with vernacular reference inthe ‘Sydney School’ seems an important combination for Boyd”.34 Inthe mid-1960s, However, Boyd’s focus on brutalism developed to a deep interestin Japanese architecture.
35 “Boyd admired the strength of theJapanese brut concrete designs from”36. Additionally, the brutconcrete designs on ‘Hale School Memorial Hall’ in Perth revealed hispreference for Japanese masonry tradition on Perth regional style.37As a great writerand critic and encouragement on Australian architects, Boyd’s knowledge andskill are renowned.38 However, “the failure of Boyd’s particulargreat great dream for Australia”39 became evident of his doubt about”the notion of pluralism”40. The ‘Sydney School’? Early 1960s, “‘TheSydney School’ was an interesting notion”41 to the well-knownAustralian architectural writers. They were involved in a “discussion weresearching for an aesthetically pleasing Australian architecture”42.In this article, Stanislaus Fung conversed about the potential of “‘the Sydneyschool’ or the ‘Nuts and Berries School'”43.
The discussion never”attempts to demonstrate the non-existence of ‘the Sydney School'”44but is “implicating attitudes of the writers who first tackled this problem andunleased much confusion and contention”45.”One importantcause of confusion is inconsistent usage of the term ‘Sydney School’. For MiloDunphy, ‘the Sydney School’ is a group of ‘young’ Australian architects allegedto have shared a ‘unity of sentiment and aim’. For Robin Boyd, ‘the SydneySchool’ is an architectural movement which ‘had no time for looking wistfullyto a reluctant technological future’. For David Saunders, ‘the Sydney School’is either ‘a very humanist style’ or a very romantic approach’.
For Philip Cox,it is ‘the architecture which used natural materials’. For Jennifer Taylor, itis either a style, or ‘a romantic movement’.”46 In 1962, in a shortarticle Milo Dunphy recommended that ‘the Sydney School’ is seen “as a sign ofthe maturity of Australian architecture”47. Fung, however, claimedthat Dunphy neglected the important points such as “anti-ornamentalism”48,”truthfulness of material use”49, “rejection of theinternationalist idiom”50 and that it had the wrong “choice ofillustration”51.After Milo Dunphy,Fung moved on to Robin Boyd. Robin Boyd raised some new points such as the”folksy, crafty style”52 in Sydney and contrasted the ‘SydneySchool’s regional style with ‘Melbourne School’s adventurous and iconoclasticapproach.
53 “Instead ofdiscussing ‘the nearest thing to a regional style’, Saunders proclaimed that’Sydney have a lively architectural theme or style’ and refers to thisphenomenon as ‘the backward looking avant-garde'”54 which was”related ‘the Sydney School’ to overseas styles such as the CalifornianBungalow”55.Next was Philip Coxwho “saw ‘the Sydney School’ as ‘a return to the vernacular'” 56. Then Fung finish his article by discussing about Jennifer Taylor whodealt with the question about ‘the Sydney School’ which raised by Cox.57Taylor was concerned about the “development of a regional architecture inSydney”58.
Finally, it isclear that “the writers, interested only in presenting their own views”59,therefore, it is fails to establish the existence of ‘the Sydney School’ and”it is meaningless to ask ‘was there a Sydney School’?”60 Genius LociThe concept of”Genius Loci”61 which refers to a locality or “Spirit of place”62isexplored in the article by Harriet Edquist. In this article of “Genius Loci”63Harriet Edquist analysed and discussed the past and current Australian architecturewith observations and architectural investigation.64In the beggining ofthe article, Harriet Edquist began with Norberg-Schulz, whoexpressed “the genius loci of Rome”65,which is “close to nature”66. There are three kind of landscape inRome which “gathers together and makes unified and whole”67. Theyare forre, classical landscape of gods and the natural surroundings.
68Furthermore, Harriet Edquist discussed the “double character” of Romanspatiality in this article.69 The author foundfrom Norberg-Schulz’s text that some political issues drew significantcharacteristics on Roman genius loci.70 There was also worry about Norberg-Schulz’signorance of “historical reality”.71Harriet Edquist wasmentioned in his paper that “genius loci” has been found on Australianarchitecture and compared it “with some of the major themes located in theNorberg-Schulz text”.72 He also mentioned that “shaping ournationalist identity” and “seeking an ‘authentic’ genius loci” is a potential.
73According to PhilipCox Australian Aboriginal architecture was distinctive, which contributed “inshaping nationalist identity”.74 Philp Drew and other criticsdiscussed the Australian “genius loci” which could be found in Glen Murcutt’sworks and the idea of his production. which is “culture as with architecture”.75Finally, Harriet Edquist identified that “Murcutt’s building do not provide acritique for the city: they are its other face”.76