The modern movement in New South Wales: a thematic study and survey of places

Morris, Colleen, Spearritt, Peter and Lumby, Roy (2013) The modern movement in New South Wales: a thematic study and survey of places North Ryde, NSW, Australia: Hericon Consulting

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Author Morris, Colleen
Spearritt, Peter
Lumby, Roy
Title of report The modern movement in New South Wales: a thematic study and survey of places
Publication date 2013-08
Publisher Hericon Consulting
Place of publication North Ryde, NSW, Australia
Total pages 153
Language eng
Subjects Research Report for an External Body - Public Sector
Formatted abstract
This essay has been written to provide a clearly written historical account of Modern Movement
architecture and landscape design in New South Wales, as a part of the NSW Heritage Council’s
State Heritage Register Thematic Listings Program. It is not intended to be a comprehensive and
detailed history but provide an understanding of how and why the Modern Movement caught on in
NSW, its richness and diversity, the imagination and innovation of its designers and the beauty of
what was created.

The years between 1910 and 1970 are generally accepted as the period when the Modern
Movement arrived and then matured in Australia. However, the first really convincing buildings in
NSW showing an understanding of European and American Modern Movement architecture and
design were constructed during the 1930s, as the state was emerging from the worst effects of the
Great Depression. World War II blocked the gathering momentum, which was renewed during the
lean post-war era and blossomed during the prosperous years of full employment during the 1950s
and 1960s. Modern Movement design generated excitement as NSW returned to the promise of
economic prosperity and social equality for all after twenty or so years of depression, social inequity
and war

By the beginning of the 1970s negative reactions to Modern Movement architecture and what it
was seen to represent had set in because of social and political factors gathering force during the
1960s. More and more people questioned the beliefs underlying growth and prosperity after World
War II. Nevertheless, the Modern Movement didn’t go away and in one form or another it has
remained part of our cities and towns up to the present time.
Keyword Architecture - NSW - Australia
NSW - History
Landscape design
Modern Movement architecture
Q-Index Code AX
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes Commissioned by the Heritage Council of New South Wales

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Created: Mon, 03 Feb 2014, 15:16:25 EST by Lucy O'Brien on behalf of School of Historical and Philosophical Inquiry