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Back to the future: the pragmatic classicism of Australia's Parliament House

Medium: journal article
Language(s): English
Published in: arq: Architectural Research Quarterly, , n. 2, v. 7
Page(s): 140-154
DOI: 10.1017/s1359135503002100

Until the launch of Federation Square in Melbourne, in 1997, Australia's contribution to the history of international architectural competitions consisted essentially of two buildings: the Sydney Opera House, won by Jørn Utzon in 1957, and the Federal Parliament House in Canberra, won by Mitchell/Giurgola and Thorp (MGT) in 1980. While Utzon's building is widely acknowledged as a daring piece of innovative design and one of the architectural icons of this century, MGT's winning scheme for Parliament House drew heavy criticism from the moment the proposal was unveiled: neo-Classicist lines, a Beaux-Artsparti, and the building's occupation of Capital Hill – at the top of the Griffins' 1912 scheme for Canberra – were seen by many as displaying a lack of sensibility towards Australian landscape, culture, and ingenuity, and as the result of a conservative approach to contemporary urban design.

Structurae cannot make the full text of this publication available at this time. The full text can be accessed through the publisher via the DOI: 10.1017/s1359135503002100.
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