American Starchitect Frank Gehry has “graced” Australia with his presence with the new business school at the University of Sydney. Reminiscent of Gehry’s Fred and Ginger building in Prague, the building blends surprisingly well into the surrounding brick streetscape of Ultimo. In fact, if it was not for the custom shaped bricks made by Austral bricks for the project to achieve the sinuous curves, the building might have been somewhat underwhelming. The devil is really in the detail.
Yesterday I was viewing a friend’s photographs of a house he recently completed and one of his details reminded me of the creative genius that is Carlo Scarpa. Scarpa’s meticulous yet elegant details, his use of materials and his discipline in execution is incomparable and a constant source of inspiration to many. I conceived the idea for the Hill House staircase after a visit to the Olivetti Showroom in Venice. Whenever possible, I strive to achieve his elegance in my work. This photo is courtesy of my dear friend Nadia Watson, who saved the day when my camera battery went flat!
In keeping with the theme of exquisite quality of light, Sanctuario Dom Bosco by Carlos Alberto Naves is a less visited, but equally inspiring church in Brasilia. The modernist (almost brutalist) concrete exterior is a complete contrast to the delicate sensation of the interior. Made from 7,400 pieces of Murano glass set into lead, the windows are a tapestry of colour and in some areas, openable as louvres.