‘Glenn Murcutt: Spirit of Place’ explores the life and work of Australia’s most famous living architect. Murcutt’s extraordinary international reputation rests on the beauty and integrity of his buildings. With a swag of international awards (including the prestigious Pritzker Prize) Murcutt has literally put Australian architecture on the world map. Murcutt’s focus has been the creation of energy-efficient masterpieces perfectly suited to their environment and his breakthrough designs have influenced architects around the world.
Yet he’s an enigma.
By choice, he has never built outside his own country. Murcutt believes one must understand a place intimately before good design is possible. He has no staff, no computer and no email. He insists good design comes from the hand, not the computer.
In the words of the Pritzker jury: ‘In an age obsessed with celebrity, the glitz of our ‘starchitects’, backed by large staffs and copious public relations support, dominates the headlines. As a total contrast, Murcutt works in a one-person office on the other side of the world … yet has a waiting list of clients, so intent is he to give each project his personal best. He is an innovative architectural technician who is capable of turning his sensitivity to the environment and to locality into forthright, totally honest, non-showy works of art.’
Murcutt has long eschewed publicity and has preferred to let his work speak for itself. But over the past few years he has allowed documentary filmmaker Catherine Hunter to follow him as he embarked on his most challenging project to date – a mosque for the Newport Islamic community in Melbourne.
‘Glenn Murcutt: Spirit of Place’ would be a valuable resource to show to middle and senior secondary students across a range of curriculum areas, as well as to tertiary students working in the areas of art and design, building, architecture and sustainability in relation to building design.
An ATOM Study Guide has been created for ‘Glenn Murcutt Spirit of Place’ and is available to download here.