There is something truly inspiring about well-made buildings that belong in their place on the planet; whose little details build up to something far, far grander than merely sensible solutions to enclosure. Glenn Murcutt is a master whose work can make you want to just sit down and cry it is so sublimely beautiful. Good design is like that.
The triple layer wall, a neat logic to deal with the specific climatic conditions of eastern Australia:
-operable glass through which to sail the breezes
-insect screens to stop the little buggers
-aluminum venetian blinds that direct solar gain, views, and privacy
The walls are exemplary of place-based detailing but then, there is the soaring roof overhang feathering into the vastness of the site and there is the ground dropping away below to keep you from harm’s way. The design connects powerfully to its landscape: to its specific site, to the climate, to the memory of the indigenous shelters and it all tingles through you, anchoring you squarely in the Australian landscape.
Its beauty is undeniable for it is sourced in what Julene Bair astutely observed in Ogallala Road: “Our sense of beauty is a survival instinct telling us that a place can sustain us.” The work puts an entirely new spin on sustainable design, oh wait – good design is not about a spin. It is the result of deep observation, intentional experience, and profound connection. You need to have skin in the game, only then do you get to make something that sends shivers up your spine.
You won’t find a Glenn Murcutt web site, facebook or any such online presence. You won’t find him using CAD of any sort. What you do find is an incredible human being pressing his innate sensibilities, talent, and wisdom into making deceptively simple buildings that humbly do their job: they sustain their place in the world and the people who inhabit them. That is Architecture at its base core root. Thank you Glenn.
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