Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Stubborn architecture

There are not many architects who pursue a dogged commitment to architecture as primarily social activism, while earning the esteem of their more conventional peers.  That said, it isn't surprising that the work of those few is also of profound significance in properly defining a sustainable architecture.  Australian practitioners who have earned their place in that rarefied company include Paul Pholeros and Robert Morris-Nunn.

The Forest EcoCentre by Circa Morris-Nunn
Morris-Nunn practices in Tasmania, the island state at the end of the world, south of the Australian mainland.  I have just read an unusually perceptive profile piece on him in the local online trade rag, Architecture and Design.  The following excerpt particularly caught my eye:
For me, architecture is the principal way that we hand on the values and aspirations of our current age to become the most tangible evidence of what is effectively our cultural inheritance for all future generations. Working here in Hobart, I am very aware that the current projects add but a very thin veneer to the already built cultural fabric, and this ‘fragility’ gives my work a strong focus and with it a desire to be quietly inclusive where necessary rather than create egotistical and essentially self indulgent edifices.
If only more architects espoused such a view of architecture, and if only more architects expressed themselves in such clear language.  What more can you say?  Well, read the rest of the article!

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