Archives for the month of: January, 2012


Project Architect/Design and Make Masters student Nozomi dwarfed inside the big shed

Last roof panel going on today under the zen like supervision of Charley Brentnall

After an incredibly productive six years I am splitting from Mitchell Taylor Workshop, the practice I co-founded. We’ve done some great buildings, and achieved some extraordinary things.

But now, my vision now for a practice is a group of people bound together by a shared ethos, not by the organization itself. Not a limited company, but a creative organization that can be agile enough to morph, change, disband and agile enough to constantly reinvent itself; one fearless in pushing boundaries and imagining the future.

My vision isn’t an office with flat screen monitors and associates and directors and buzzy rhetoric about itself and timesheets and working hours and a logo and a corporate identity and a letterhead and chartered RIBA membership a website with Practice Profile Projects.

Instead, it is a studio that is beholden to no one, which is based everywhere and nowhere, which is a provocative and polemical vehicle for collaboration, experimentation, research and education, which works internationally and very locally, which collaborates with mathematicians, magicians, writers, carpenters, digital fabricators, boat builders and bicycle framers who can come and go and drop in and out; which recognizes the importance of raising children, of downing tools in summertime when the weather’s good, and doesn’t try to squeeze itself into the tiny and narrow confines of a pre-qualification questionnaire…

A studio that is an invisible studio.

A web site will evolve once we’ve found a graphic designer that doesn’t think logo and brand. We don’t have a business card and we don’t have articles of agreement, but we are really excited at the potential of an organization free from restrictions, boundaries and codes of conduct.

My favourite one below about my supposed ‘mid life crisis’!



Accompanying Programm to the Glenn Murcutt exhibition

Introduction and work presentation : Wed, January 25 2012, 7pm, Podium Az W (2)


Françoise Fromonot travelled to Australia in 1991 to research the work of Glenn Murcutt, who was almost entirely unknown in Europe at the time. The result was the book Glenn Murcutt. Buildings and Projects, which introduced his architecture to a European public for the first time. In a later edition he addressed Murcutt’s impact on the following generation primarily through his teaching work. Françoise Fromonot holds a brief lecture on Glenn Murcutt’s work and approach.

Piers Taylor is a partner in the architecture office Mitchell Taylor Workshop in Bath (UK). In 2001 he participated in the first annual Glenn Murcutt Master Class. In a presentation of works he talks about his own approach to architecture, which is deeply inspired by Murcutt — whose influence clearly goes beyonda purely formal translation of the architectural vocabulary.


7pm Dietmar Steiner, Az W, welcome address

7.10pm Francoise Fromonot, professor at the ENSA de Paris-Belleville:

Introductory lecture about Glenn Murcutt

7.45pm Piers Taylor, architect, Mitchell Taylor Workshop, Bath:

work presentation

Pictures from the talk, above

2 radically different structures on adjacent waterways that bookended my day – the first, a lightweight fishing platform seen at high tide on the Hawkesbury River as I was running along its banks at sunrise; the second obviously the harbour bridge seen as I drove over in the evening… Think I prefer the fragile, simple and elegant beauty of the first…

It’s finally nearing completion – the project that had the Heritage Lobby claim that it would singlehandedly revoke Bath’s world heritage status. I quite like the wobbly reveal.

Just had this sent to me by the guys on site – finally some roof panels going on

You forget just how beautiful it is close up… sure, we all know the stories around the Opera House – how badly Utzon was treated by the NSW government, how fantastic the building is from the water and the city, how it’s become the template for how an iconic building can act as a catalyst for change for a burgeoning city… and in a sense it’s the kind of building one is often immune to. But, some years after I lived with the building every day, I’m struck now by just how viscerally thrilling the Opera House is close up, both inside and out

Visited Peter Stutchbury’s house on Clareville Beach which he built 25 years ago, which completely blew me away. It had the most profound effect on me of any house since visiting Ric Leplastrier’s own house across the water from there 11 years ago. I loved the youthful exuberance, the playful experimentation, and the joy that ripped through every aspect of the project. I loved the lack of fear, the letting go, the demonstration that modern architecture need not be neat, sanitised and chock full of pious restraint. I loved the trees growing through it, the outside bath filled with a garden hose, the hardboard finishes and the abundant life that spilled out of it. Sure, they have a different climate from us in the UK, but why the fuck are most architects so pathetically anal and obsessed with rigour, order, control, imagined and delusional logic – as if somehow those things WERE architecture… If I could ever do a building a tenth as good, with a tenth as much spirit, I’d be happy.

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