Saturday, 12 August 2017

Rare example of Sydney brutalism

The Molecular Bioscience Building at the University of Sydney (known as G08 within the organisation) received National Trust heritage listing last year. It was listed after three staff members submitted an application for listing with the Trust. The building was designed in 1970-73 by Stafford Moor and Farrington Architects and is one of three brutalist buildings heritage listed by the Trust in 2016.

Brutalism was in the news recently because a court in Sydney decided that the Sirius Building in The Rocks could not be demolished.

G08 is connected to the Wentworth Building by an elevated walkway. When I worked at the university my manager and I would go up to Wentworth for a coffee on most mornings, and we would stand talking and drinking the coffees in the space under the elevated walkway. This space has now been decorated with murals and they have set up table tennis tables for students to use. Some of the concrete walls in the space have been painted white.

But this style of architecture is gaining more attention in the community as people start to appreciate it as having a distinctive and unique visual vocabulary that signals its era strongly, and that offers a visual experience in contrast to the often unremarkable towers of glass and steel that are very common in Sydney. Another good example of brutalism is the University of Technology, Sydney main tower on Broadway.

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