“I was in practice for one month when the university asked me if I’d like to teach,” award-winning Australian architect Glenn Murcutt said during the press conference at Cersaie 2015. In addition to Yale in the United States, universities in Ireland, Denmark, Finland and others have been inviting Murcutt to teach since 1969.
“You have to work with nature”
Despite his international presence, he practices only in Australia. “Because I know my culture best. Australia is a wild place. We have the deadliest snakes, sea animals, crocodiles that kill, heat in the desert where in three days without water you die…” You have to work with nature and not against it, Murcutt explained. Building in the north varies from the south, for example, because the dangers are not the same. The south requires buildings that rise off the ground because treacherous reptiles lurk nearby. This also allows good air flow and the heavy rain to fall below.
“I think it’s a great problem when you believe you can practice anywhere in the world. You cannot practice, in my view, in other parts without speaking the language fluently. You don’t know the culture if you don’t know the language.”
However, architecture, he explains, is about asking questions, and questions are universal.
Marika-Alderton House – Photo : Glenn Murcutt, courtesy of Architecture Foundation Australia
American artist Erin Tallman is a journalist for various online publications and is the Editor in Chief of AgriExpo e-magazine and ArchiExpo e-magazine. She has published three books, including her first novel.