** Glenn Murcutt Interview

Murcutt Boyd Art CtrArchitect Glenn Murcutt received the American Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal this year (the AIA convention was in San Francisco two weeks ago).  He won the Pritzker in 2002.   Here’s a short interview from the Architectural Record .  It contains some interesting points of view, including about the role of drawing and image:

“We are taught that creativity is the most important thing in architecture. Well, I don’t believe that. I think that the creative process leads to discovery, and discovery is the most important thing. I’m suggesting that any work of architecture — as opposed to merchandise — has the potential to be discovered, and drawing is the key…

One of the great problems of our period is that we’ve developed tools that allow rapidity, but rapidity and repetitiveness do not lead to right solutions. Perception gives us right solutions. I know that one can use a computer to discover, but what it produces is form; it can be sculpture, but not necessarily architecture. There’s so much work today that’s different for the sake of difference. It creates loud architecture that screams at you…

I see myself as trying to create an architecture of its place, of its time, of its technology, of its culture.  The principles of architecture are questions. Before starting any project I ask: What’s the geology, what’s the geomorphology, what’s the history, where does the wind come from, where does the sun come from, what are the shadow patterns, what’s the drainage system, what’s the flora? I’m just working in my own milieu in a way that’s appropriate. It’s an attitude, and I take it as a total responsibility…

I worked in my father’s joinery shop from the age of 11, and he drilled into me the idea of doing even the smallest thing extraordinarily well. But crafting is only the means by which architecture is made; it’s not architecture. Architecture is space, light, function, walls that open and close, vents that open. In my country, it’s about handling heavy rainfalls. Architecture is not merchandise, and it’s not just an object in itself. Like a violin, it’s an instrument that’s part of an orchestra or quartet. Like a yacht, you should be able to modify and manipulate its form and skin according to seasonal conditions…

[Student] work work has to speak about place, technology, climate, structure, materials. They must work honestly, with heart and mind, rather than structuring what is a visual delight alone. Their work has to have roots. I think what we admire most about architecture of all periods is rootedness, authenticity. We recognize authenticity, and we recognize the five-minute flash. The authentic lives on; the flash quickly dies.”

Murcutt Boyd Art Center 2


2 Responses to “** Glenn Murcutt Interview”

  1. 2015/10/30 at 5:44 pm

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