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Glenn Murcutt Master Class
Type Class and Studio
Location Sydney and Illaroo, NSW, Australia
Collaborators Srijaya Anomolu, Mwamba Mwanakatwe, Edna Tsui
Year 2017
Each year, architect Glenn Murcutt holds a master class in Australia with approximately 30 international architects and designers. It is taught in conjunction with three of his colleagues - Richard Leplastrier, Brit Andresen, and Peter Stutchbury. The program is two weeks, including a studio, site visits to projects by Glenn Murcutt and his colleagues, as well as lectures and discussions. The first week was spent outside of Illaroo, New South Wales at the Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Education Centre, a project designed by Murcutt on the Bundanon Land Trust. Time was spent breaking into small work groups, analyzing the site, understanding place, and understanding the brief - a modest archival space and gallery for the artist Arthur Boyd who spent much of his career on the site. The second week was held in Sydney at a studio space where projects were finalized and presented.

My group’s final scheme proposed the archival space and gallery in the location of the existing parking lot, so as not to disturb more of the landscape during excavation. The scheme is a courtyard around which the program is arranged, a concrete, monolithic structure that sits quietly in the landscape. The gallery and archival spaces open onto the courtyard, and the arrangement allows for working outside or under semi-enclosed space for protection of the work being restored. The inward focus recognizes that while the views on the site are an important element, the sounds and smells are equally prominent. The scheme also includes a reflecting pool that collects rainwater from the roofs and is used for cooling and defense against potential bush fires.

A special thanks to Ruth Marsh, Sobi Slingsby, and Allyson Valencia for their generous help.

© wesley j thompson 2018