February 22, 2013

Intelligent, sensitive exhibitions of contemporary architects and the houses they make are rare. Intelligent, sensitive exhibitions of a group of contemporary architects, together, in one space (we are, it must be said, a notoriously competitive lot…) are even more rare. So when we first heard of Dale Jones-Evans’ Icons By Icons show late last year, we were intrigued. Originally unveiled at the Studio Becker showroom in Redfern, the same show opens again tonight, this time in the more intimate space of the Australian Institute of Architects’ HQ in Potts Point.

The show is the first in what Jones-Evans has conceived as a ‘series of three intergenerational exhibitions’, starting with the undisputed maestros such as Glenn Murcutt, John Wardle and Denton Corker Marhsall; the next to feature their successor generation, and the third intended to showcase the work of rising talent.

By focusing specifically on practices along the Eastern Seaboard, Jones-Evans is making a case for the singularity of the housing style that we in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane have articulated. Specifically, he focuses on the work of the Melbourne offices of Denton Corker Marshall; John Wardle; McBride Charles Ryan; and Sean Godsell, the Sydneysiders Alex Popov (PopovBass); Durbach Block Jaggers; Glenn Murcutt; Luigi Rosselli; Peter Stutchbury, and Brisbanites Donovan Hill and Kerry + Lindsay Clare. He even hints at key characteristics that have begun to coalesce into city-specific styles that allow us to identify the output of practices and practitioners according to climate and geography. But I’ll say no more here – best go see the show to get the scoop on that.

To my mind, this exhibition speaks to a new sophistication in the way that we, as architects, and the public in general, perceive and reflect on architecture and the built environment. If I wore a hat, it would be tipped.


An exhibition of 24 houses by 12 of the best Australian architects

Opening 6.30pm 22 February, Closes 5pm 28 March

AIA Tusculum 3 Manning Street, Potts Point, NSW 2011

Curated by Dale Jones-Evans Architect and Adjunct Professor of Architecture UTS

Sponsored by Studio Becker and the AIA NSW

Author: Nick tobias