Article by Martin Gibson – Twitter: @martingibson @embody3d – 25.06.2010
Best Australian Architecture is an inspirational pictorial book edited by Gary Takle and published by Think Publishing that uncovers the best Australian designer homes. The book is reminiscent of one of my favorite Television series ‘Grand Designs‘.
But rather than revealing the process into designing these great homes, it showcases what we’re really all there to see, which is the last 10 minutes of show. This is where we get to witness the grand revealing of the designer space and marvel at its awe. You’ll find Best Australian Architecture is a collection of literal visual orgasms, one page followed by another that will work as the perfect reference guide as to what works when renovating your home or when starting from scratch. Likewise, if you are anything like me and you really appreciate fine architecture and interior design, this pictorial will transform you to a world where you can hope, dream and imagine the architecture of your dreams with absolute zealous.
My only criticism of this extremely well collated pictorial is that you’ll find yourself flicking through each page and you wont be able to comprehend every design, it is truly an overwhelming visual experience. Subconsciously I believe what Gary Takle is really asking in this piece is what exactly is Australian architecture? Is there such a thing? Have Australian architects truly developed there own aesthetic motifs or are our architectural values founded on principles from foreign lands? Has Australia ever had an architectural style, like the Romans, Britons and Germans once had or in our globally connected design community are we moving towards a really integrated architectural style. The answer to this question from my exposure to Best Australian Architecture is, well a bit of both. Much of the styles throughout the book show a real post modern aesthetic, however the feature of fine woods and wooden paneling develops a real Australian feel about being surrounded by nature and unity with the exterior environment. However I will let you answer the question from here.
Like a naive industrial designer from the cover I expected a book saturated with pretty building shells, however to my surprise, Best Australian Architecture really told the story of the inter-relation and harmony between the exterior form of the building and the interior contents us humans so often appreciate. Therefore this book would be of value to any interior designer as much as an ‘architect’ by trade.
As mentioned previously this book is all about architecture of the home so don’t expect a Sydney Opera Houses in scope. The book even includes floor plans of each design, which is beneficial for those considering how the sometimes oddly shaped rooms seem to interlock magically to one another.
While as glamourous as many of the homes are in Best Australian Architecture, the designs can often get a little tedious with a general lack of experimentation and diversity in design ethos. However in saying that, this allows the pictorial to be realistic and makes it achievable for perhaps DIY designers to take upon there own interpretations of these inspirational designs. Anyone contemplating an interior renovation this book is a must to create that special ‘wow’ factor. Likewise any enthusiasts of fine architecture would treasure this unique Australian perspective of the modern home.
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We would like to thank The Scribo Group for recommending to us this great title!