September 14, 2011

While I was in Canberra last week, doing a presentation to the Australian Institute of Architects, I managed to wangle some free time to stroll around one of the world’s most thought-out towns.

Now, of course, Walter Burley Griffin’s master plan is impressive in its Brasilia-like seamlessness, but the building that touched me the most, viscerally, was Robin Boyd‘s Churchill House, completed the year of his death, in 1971. An articulate expression of the Brutalist period, despite it’s external monumentality, when moving around inside the building I felt an incredible sense of airiness, and calm. The quality of light created internally by the pre-cast concrete external elements is soft, and so comfortable. Although a commercial building, Boyd used a very human, and nearly domestic scale in all the spaces – again contributing to the overall comfort of the place. When can we move in?


Author: Nick tobias