While the London Olympics may be coming to a close, the ‘Olympics of Architecture’ have yet to begin.
McBride Charles Ryan architect Debbie Ryan gave the World Architecture Festival (WAF) that lofty title while discussing her firm’s recent shortlisted project for the festival with the Australian.
While Australia may not have taken home as many gold medals at the London Olympics as spectators anticipated, industry Australia is strongly represented at the WAF, with more than 50 Australian designs shortlisted.
Of these, five have been hand-picked for the ‘housing’ category, including one of Ryan’s more creative endeavours: the ‘Cloud House’ located in North Fitzroy, Melbourne.
With form following title, the Melbourne architect simply came up with the idea to create a cloud shaped living room for an extension after initial designs lacked creativity.
“We thought ‘right, you’re getting a cloud,’” says Ryan. “They loved it right away.”
Their creativity has paid off, with the home now shortlisted for the highly-acclaimed festival.
Housing is a key design is a key area of excellence for this industry with a number of top-notch developments nominated for awards. These include the highly popular Hill House by Andrew Maynard Architects, a development that stands out for its unique design and clever use of form, as well as Great Ocean Road by John Wardle architects and several other notable and innovative projects.
The unique rawness of Australian architecture is putting national firms on the international map. While the industry is equally adept when it comes to designing large-scale skyscraper and public developments, it is in the housing sector where creativity really blossoms. The juxtaposition so often found in the sector – for instance the complementary contrast between simplicity and complexity, or between Edwardian and modernist styles – keeps designers and clients on their toes, and is clearly making its mark globally.