Australian Modern Period of Architecture


1960 – 1980

When Australia entered the 1960s society was entrenched in modernism. Traditionalism and social conventions were overthrown by social revolutions, which became the new norm.
Architecture would prove no exception to progressive modern thought and architects were tripping over one another to produce the next project that would leave the world aghast by its innovative interpretive exhibitionism.
In the 1970s there was a move towards destroying all that was old-fashioned and inhibiting. During this time Australia lost a lot of its heritage buildings – a loss we still regret to this day. Australia was driven to develop at breakneck speed, irrespective of the damage it caused to historical relics.
During the latter part of this era ‘organic’ building raised some interest and was seen as a pushback against the concretisation of our cities. Natural building materials like timbers and stone became very popular as a consequence.
Style characteristics included a symmetrical façade – always known to add classic elegance without excessive use of additions, flat rooves that elongated the appearance; modern columns (straight upright concrete); height as opposed to width; surrounded by elegant gardens or trees and a central entrance that created dramatic effect.
The Modern period saw the emergence of the International, Post Modern, Brutalist and Australian Nastalgic design styles.