UNSW Built Environment Event: Adrian Carter, Director of the Utzon Centre will speak Wed, 12 May at UNSW – Join Us!

11 05 2010

What: Adrian Carter, Director of the Utzon Centre: Inspiration and visions: The work of Jorn Utzon and the Utzon Center

When: Wednesday, 12 May from 6pm

Where: Red Centre Gallery, UNSW

RSVP: holly.f@unsw.edu.au

Adrian Carter is a British born architect and academic, now living in Denmark, who studied at Portsmouth School of Architecture, The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen and the University of Cambridge.

He has extensive Nordic and international architectural and urban design experience, having worked together with Professor Reima and Raili Pietilä in Helsinki, Niels Torp in Oslo, Ancher, Mortlock and Woolley in Sydney, Henning Larsen and Dissing+Weitling in Copenhagen. Architectural work has included public buildings, architectural design competitions, master-planning and major civil-engineering projects, including the Finnish Embassy New Delhi, Sief’s Palace Kuwait, Tampere Library Finland, Aker Brygge harbour development Oslo, Illum’s Department Store Copenhagen, Walsh Bay housing Sydney, Storebælt Suspension Bridge Denmark and the European Embassies of the European Union Abuja Nigeria.

Adrian Carter has taught at the Aarhus School of Architecture and since 2000 has been involved in the establishment of Denmark’s third architectural education at Aalborg University, as an Associate Professor. Under the auspices of Aalborg University, Adrian Carter initiated and established the Utzon Center and became its first Director. The Utzon Center building on the Aalborg harbourfront was designed by Jørn Utzon in conjunction with his architect son Kim Utzon’s office and opened to the public in May 2008.

Utzon Center (Photo: Thomas Moelvig)

Adrian Carter is an Honorary Associate Professor, at the Faculty of Architecture, University of Sydney and has acted as an advisor to the Australian Government Department of the Environment and Heritage in their nomination of the Sydney Opera House for inscription on the World Heritage List.

Jorn Utzon (Photographer Jozef Vissel)

Carter’s lecture is entitled: Inspirations and visions: The work of Jørn Utzon and the Utzon Center.

Jørn Utzon is now widely recognised as one of the most original and outstanding architects of the 20th Century. His architecture ranges from the modest to the monumental; from the humane Kingo courtyard houses to the sculptural abstraction and technical innovation of his iconic masterpiece the Sydney Opera House and the understated monumentality of the Bagsværd Church, with its poetic cloud-like undulating ceiling. As well as such visionary unrealised projects as the subterranean Silkeborg Art Museum. Utzon’s work embodies a visionary approach to architecture that is site specific and poetic, tectonic and humane. One that is informed by a profound appreciation of nature and openness to the diversity of human cultures, as a source of inspiration and analogy, combined with a sense of architecture as art and an innovative approach to the use of technology

The lecture will illustrate and discuss Jørn Utzon’s sources of inspiration from boat building, nature, his extensive travels and influential mentors, together with the recurring themes within his work. As a means to understand both the development of his approach to architectural design and also as the basis for further architectural design research of contemporary relevance. It was Jørn Utzon’s vision for the Utzon Center, that this should be a home for the development, discussion and presentation of this research, as well as for the wider public appreciation of architecture, design and art.

UNSW Built Environment Event: Launch of the 2010 Utzon Lecture Series

1 04 2010

Last week Jan Utzon was invited to speak at the launch of UNSW Built Environment’s 2010 Utzon Letcure Series.  Nearly 500 people turned up – students, staff, alumni, industry professionals to listen to Jan’s story – he talked about his life – living in Sydney, studying architecture at UNSW, and of course, about his father, Jorn who designed the Sydney Opera House.

Join us for the second lecture in the 2010 Utzon Lecture Series with international guest Adrian Carter from the Utzon Research Centre in Denmark for his talk entitled ‘Inspirations and Visions.’  RSVP essential: holly.f@unsw.edu.au.

Jan Utzon before the event

Dean Alec Tzannes introducing Jan Utzon


Jan Utzon talks about his father, Jorn

Professor Richard Johnson closes the night

UNSW Built Environment Master of Architecture: The public place in Sydney (Final year studio)

11 02 2010

“To draw is to select, to select is to interpret and to interpret is to propose.”  Manuel de Sola-Morales

This program drew on architectural strategies developed by Candelepas associates in their practice.  The studio supported students in their analysis and evaluation of the city with close study of a site in the vicinity of Customs House and its environs.

The studio began with analytical drawings.  There was a requirement to draw observations of public and private places in Sydney’s CBD for an area the boundaries of which are:

  • East: Macquarie Street
  • West: Kent Street and the Harbour Bridge
  • South: Martin Place
  • North: Sydney Harbour (including the Opera House)

Abstract mappings and observations throughout the semester were conducted with reference to:

  • Figure ground
  • Height mapping
  • Use mapping
  • Historical mapping
  • Edge conditions
  • Landscape
  • Built Form
  • Population
  • Sound
  • Light
  • Smell
  • Taste
  • Memory

This process prepared students in their development of individual proposals for the site in the vicinity of Customs House and for the purposes of a cultural use.

Students: Barry Babikian, Raeed Dannawi, Amanda Kezovski, Joseph Khoury, Carmen Masry, Ayu Mintara, Angelo Parisi, Louise Tsung-Lei Parsonage, Mark Roach, Silvia Sanjaya, Robert Ursino

Studio Leaders: Angelo Candalepas & Andrew Scott

Angelo Candalepas runs a well known medium sized architectural practice in Sydney.  The work of this practice has received many prestigious architectural and industry awards.

Andrew Scott is an associate of Candalepas Associates They have been teaching studio in the graduation year at UNSW for three years.

Jerome Saad, Bachelor of Engineering in Civil Engineering with Architecture

16 09 2009

This year has been a whirl wind so far!!!! It is flying past and I am trying to keep up!!

The first semester was a great experience and I was pumped as ever. That enthusiasm died about a week in when I realised how much there was to keep up with – but the more you persevere the more u start to love it – the friends, the satisfaction of completing cool projects, and the fun of running around the city snapping pics and visiting different sites.

Jerome Saad2

Bridge made from straws for ENG1000

The reason why I chose my course is because I loved the diversity it could offer. The engineering side of things is absolute! Maths, physics, chemistry, the logic of the way things work. You get to see their immediate application in the projects you take on. When things get a little too pragmatic, architecture comes to save the day!!

Even though first year only has one arch subject per semester, it still fills up my time and allows me the opportunity to express myself in other simple ways. During Enabling Skills in first semester, we focused on the Sydney Opera House and its significance as both an architectural and engineering wonder. I visited it plenty of times!!!! Just to snap some pics, sit down and experience it with some ice cream, or to take some sketches. This semester, Architectural Communications allows me to try different forms of expression such as animations, models, painting and sketching. It’s all a nice mix and a nice blend with other sciences and at times a relief.

Opera house - sketch

Opera house - sketch

Sydney Opera House - Structure

Sydney Opera House - Structure

Sydney Opera House - Structure

Sydney Opera House - Structure

I like that this course introduces me to both worlds and I hope to continue and complete architecture after these four years. Being able to design and construct my own projects and creations would be unbelievably fulfilling. Especially when I am my own mediator; no engineers to strangle for ruining the design and no architect to whack for not being practical – I’ll be both 😀 if not, I’ll understand how to deal with both better.

Jerome Saad

House by Mexican architect Luis Barragan (colour added for Arch Communications)

UNSW Built Environment Architectural Studies: Keena Vazquez

10 08 2009

Hey there! My name’s Keena Vazquez and I’ve just finished my very first semester of Architectural Studies. No matter how hectic it got, I have to say that enjoyed my first taste of architecture at UNSW. Apart from Unreal Tournament, one thing I know all of us freshers will associate first session with is the Sydney Opera House.

We were first introduced to the Opera House in BENV1080 (Enabling Skills and Research Practice) when we were asked to make a hand-drawn poster of our personal encounters with the Australian icon. Little did I know that this poster would be the springboard for a series of assignments on the Opera House.

A3 hand-drawn poster

A3 hand-drawn poster

Our session-long affair with the Opera House continued with loads of guest lecturers who spoke about anything and everything to do with the Opera House – Utzon’s design principles, his vision, its renovation, in the context of graphic design etc. Later on we were asked to create two more posters. With each poster, we were expected to refine our ideas, relate them more meaningfully to our layouts and explore different mediums of expression – digital manipulation, manual drawing and modelling.

A2 poster created in Adobe Photoshop and InDesign

A2 poster created in Adobe Photoshop and InDesign

Even if there seemed to be a lot of “physical” work (drawing, modelling and computer manipulation) involved in making our posters, I found that it required me to THINK more than anything else. We weren’t just asked to make something pretty. It actually had to mean something and make sense. We were meant to relate our experience of the Opera House with Utzon’s design principles and an assigned chapter of a book through a section model and piece of text, all rolled into a poster.

It took a lot of trial and error for me, but I knew it was all part of the process. In the beginning I was worried about my lack of computer and modelling skills. Doodling was really more my thing. But half way through the process, I realised that having a solid concept and a clear message were the most important things. Focusing on a key idea simplified things a whole lot. Fortunately it turned out all right. I came out of Enabling Skills with more confidence in my Photoshop skills and a new found interest in modelling. More importantly, all the critical thinking we did in this course left me with a great deal of respect for the ideas behind the Sydney Opera House and the brain power it took to dream them into reality.

A2 and A1 poster with a modelled section of the Sydney Opera House

A2 and A1 poster with a modelled section of the Sydney Opera House

UNSW Built Environment Master of Architecture: Mark David Roach

3 08 2009

It’s great to be back and to be getting started with the design stage of my graduation project (ARCH7202). Having completed my research phase of the design (ARCH7201), I can now start to implement what I have learnt to design a theatre for Customs House.

Being my final semester, it’s already pretty intense with a sketch design of my proposed theatre due by week 3. This basically involves fleshing out what kind of spaces/rooms are required, their relationship to each other and how people experience the building in a graphic way. So this would usually include plans and sections and some sketches, with elevations coming later in the process. This might sound a bit full on, but over the course of my degree I am more efficient at doing things and prioritising, so it’s not too intense.

Getting back to theatres, and I’m quickly realising how amazing and technically demanding they are. But I think we are all really lucky in Sydney to have such a great example – Sydney Opera House.  The significance of it is quite clear when you observe other theatres and buildings in general that have been influenced by it.

To help us prepare for this semester, our tutors gave us the task of understanding what exactly a theatre is and what kind of requirements it demands. I was also particularly interested in looking for buildings that had been restored or incorporated existing buildings (adaptive re-use) as well as those buildings that were concerned with the public realm/space of cities and how a building may contribute to that space in a positive way. This concern for the public realm and in general urban fabric of a city is a growing concern amongst architects especially given the emphasis on sustainability. I suppose this is also a point of departure or distinction from what is done in the earlier years of an architecture degree, which deals with sites of a smaller scope.

The process of understanding the theatre was pretty exciting as it involved looking at a ton of awesome theatres from around the world, like Frank Lloyd Wright’s Dallas Theatre, Jean Nouvel’s Opera de Lyon, Rem Koolhaas’s Casa da Musica and Sydney’s very own Opera House by Jorn Utzon.  All these buildings are worth checking out whether in person or through books and the net – that might have video tours of the building. Observing buildings and life in general is something that my design tutors have really encouraged and it’s a really good practice to have as an architecture student, to just take time to stop and actually really look hard at what’s around you and record it either through words or drawing.

UNSW Built Environment Architectural Studies: Vanessa Yu

11 06 2009

Throughout these last few weeks of Semester 1, I have been quite busy with my final assignments, preparing for exams etc…so basically just the normal…

After a solid 12 weeks of uni, I must say that I now have a greater understanding of what my degree involves, compared to the first few weeks (when I wrote up my 1st blog!) as a 1st year student.  It has been quite hectic, but definitely rewarding as I have gained invaluable skills regarding Architectural design.  We have been using a range of softwares and programs throughout the courses, including Adobe InDesign, Adobe Photoshop, Unreal Tournament and Google Sketchup.

A major assignment I did for BENV1080 Enabling Skills & Research Practice involved designing and putting together an A1 & A2 panel (poster) with text explaining a specific theme of interest regarding the Sydney Opera House, which was also accompanied by a 3D extruded model of a section of the Opera Theatre.   It was the first time I had ever made a model!  I found it extremely fun, as I have always had a strong passion in craft and modeling…but at the same time, I discovered that it was terribly time consuming.  The main aim of this assignment was for us to integrate our Academic, Visual and Computing Literacy skills acquired throughout the duration of the course.

A1 Component of Sydney Opera House

When I first started the course, I was clueless with these programs as I had never had much contact with them.  However, through tutorials and lab sessions, I was provided with an overview of the basic tools in each program, which had allowed me to produce these final posters.  On a side note, through this course, I have achieved a greater appreciation of the Sydney Opera House.

Right now, I am looking forward to Semester 2…as I am sure that it will be as enjoyable and rewarding as what I have experienced so far at UNSW.