Design Canberra Festival 2020 logo

Edmund Barton Building. Architect Harry Seidler & Associates. Photo Max Dupain, 1973 © Penelope Seidler
Edmund Barton Building. Architect Harry Seidler & Associates. Photo Max Dupain, 1973 © Penelope Seidler
Free event

Paolo Stracchi talk: Designed in Italy, Made in Australia

Harry Seidler (1923–2006) and Pier Luigi Nervi (1891–1978) first met in Paris in 1955 on the construction site of the UNESCO Headquarters, designed by their common friend Marcel Breuer. Seven years later, the two met again, this time in Rome, to study the design for the iconic Australia Square Tower. The success of the iconic Sydney Tower set off a 15 year collaboration that took place between Italy and Australia. From 1963 to 1978, Seidler engaged Nervi for the design of some of his Australian commissions: Australia Square, the MLC Centre, the Theatre Royal lobby, the CTA Business Club and, in Canberra, the TGO Edmund Barton Building.

Discover the unexpected Italian affinities of Harry Seidler’s TGO, Edmund Barton Building (1970-74) and the other Seidler-Nervi buildings, with Paolo Stracchi, architectural technology lecturer, University of Sydney, and curator of Designed in Italy, Made in Australia: the Australian work of Pier Luigi Nervi at the University of Canberra’s Mura Gadi gallery from 9-29 November 2020.

The Edmund Barton Building, initially known as the Trade Group Offices, was designed by world-renowned architect Harry Seidler and constructed between 1969 and 1974. The building is a significant Australian landmark and is a listed place on the Commonwealth Heritage List. Nervi, one of Italy’s most influential modern architect-engineers, created inventive structural projects which explored the plastic potential of reinforced concrete. For the Edmund Barton Building, Studio Nervi designed the famous T-beam and I Beam which became a hallmark of Seidler’s work.

After the talk, join us for a small reception with refreshments and then an architecture stroll of Seidler’s TGO building at 6pm.
Details here.

The Canberra tour of Designed in Italy, Made in Australia: the Australian work of Pier Luigi Nervi has been made possible thanks to generous support from The Italian Cultural Institute Sydney.