2011 Dulux Study Tour entries now open!!

We are excited to announce that the 2011 Dulux Study Tour is now open for entries. This amazing opportunity to see the architectural sites of Europe in May 2011 is open to all emerging architects and graduates (within 10 years of graduation).

The Dulux Study Tour provides a wonderful opportunity through an intensive visit for young architects – who are clearly intending to be leaders in our profession – to gain exposure to recent projects in London, Barcelona and new for 2011, Copenhagen – and to interface with some of the top architectural practices in those countries.

ENTER NOW – Even if you have entered the competition in previous years and been unsuccessful, you are still

eligible to enter again. Stage One of the entry process is a simply online submission, including answering a few statements about yourself.

RECOMMEND A COLLEAGUE – Entry is also open to non-members*, so feel free to spread the word to your graduate colleagues.

For entry details click here

* All entrants that are successful in stage one must complete a stage two submission to be eligible to win. This includes a recommendation from a member of the Australian Institute of Architects.

2010 Tour wrap up. A personal view from David Sutherland

After the group parted company in Barcelona, I returned to London for few more days to continue the grand tour on my own. I stayed with an old colleague from Sydney now working in London who was kind enough to secure me an invite to AHMM’s 21st Birthday Party at the Saatchi Gallery in Chelsea (by AHMM). A fun night (with another room full of architects), and I even ran into Ken Allinson (from Day 1). What a small town London is.

I have been asked quite a few times since arriving home what the highlight was and I still don’t have a good answer. Indeed, quite a few highlights spring to mind – experiencing the machinery of Fosters and Rodgers; stumbling upon an Amanda

Levete building in London; hugging a column at the Barcelona Pavilion; climbing amongst the soaring arches of Segrada Familia; and then ending the tour by being invited so warmly into the studios of Miralles Tagliabue, Carme Pinos and Carlos Ferrater. Meeting these people and seeing these works are individually all big moments in an architects’ development, but collectively the experience was immense.

I have come out of the Study Tour re-energised, my passion for architecture reaffirmed and ready to dive back into practice.  A big thanks to all the sponsors and the Institute for putting on such a great show, and a special thankyou to the guys from Dulux – Phil White and Jason Anderson, along with Mel Medcalf from the Institute.

This has been a great experience and I would encourage any architect to do what they can to be involved in the next tour.

David Sutherland
June 2010

Wrap up

I’m sure

my homeward bound journey will allow me to begin to digest the Study Tour, as I am sure I’m still caught up in the whirlwind aftermath. Sincere thanks to all the sponsors who have contributed to creating a truly memorable experience. Thanks to Phil, Jason and Mel, and to my fellow travellers, what an extraordinary group of architects! For the moment I take with me the following experiences as most defining and dare I say it touching of the entire tour – standing on a construction platform at the top of Sagrada Familia touching the pre-cast mosaics which form the crown of each spire; to wandering past one of Le Corbusiers first social housing projects; to meeting numerous amazing architects whose passion and dedication to the art was inspirational. The Tour has captured my interest; challenged my understanding of contemporary architecture; exposed the intricacies of modern works and most of all has refreshed my passion to create and explore.


Day 7

Day 7 of the tour began with a casual stroll to the Office of Architecture in Barcelona (OAB). A family oriented practice, Borja managed to bypass Dad to deliver the DST and a young group of American Architects a thorough background of the practice and insights into the key design principles of: landscape, light, systems, materials and time.
A short cab ride to the Sagrada Familia to meet Marta for an all areas visit of this inspiring site. Climbing to heights of 65 meters we were exposed to the old, new and future sections of the building. No words here would do justice to the experience other than to say that we were all truly humbled. Special mention to Jo who has now conquered her fear of heights.
Igor from Miralles Tagliabue was candid during the visit of his practice and site of one of their famous buildings.  We marvelled at the array of design models, young and energetic staff and the basement which housed some 800 models, individually boxed and labelled. Following a brisk walk with Igor through the streets and laneways of Barcelona we arrived at Santa Caterina Markets. Although closed we were able to walk the perimeter to

> gain appreciation of the design in context.
Arriola & Fiol was the last formal activity for the day. Focusing primarily on urban spaces Carmen described the processes which inspired the designs of some of Barcelona’s finest public spaces.
Off for dinner and shopping with a few members of the group (Senor Blanco) on the lookout for an elusive handbag purchase.
Enthused, energised, excited in Espania! What an unbelievable day.

Day 7 (Day Off 6th June – Amateur Hour)

Day 7 (Day Off 6th June – Amateur Hour)

As written by accompanying sponsor representative. Me

Today is ‘kind of a day off’. Its Sunday, we are in Barcelona and most everything is closed. I mean ‘kind of

a day off’ because the “Fab 5” will still be walking all over to see buildings they have only read about or revisiting old favourites. Very “kind” of day off to me.

As for me I have been here once before and loved it. But when people have asked what is it about the place that I like I really can’t quite put my finger on it. So the challenge I set my self was to try and understand exactly why I like a city like Barcelona so much.

I’ve found that the best way to get to know a city is to hoof it. Besides, Oliver needs a walk.

First thing noticed is the way pedestrians and cyclists are kept separate from the cars. When you’re out taking your dog for a walk, you have a choice. You can walk on either a traditional foot path next to the town houses that make up most of the city’s buildings or you can cross the small side street that allows access to driveways and side streets to a tree lined boulevard. Of which there are two running along the city’s main axis. Think Building, footpath, side street (one car width with parking) Boulevard, Big main access road of four lanes. Boulevard and so on till you reach the other side.

Cleverly the city planners have lined each side of the boulevards with low growing orange scented shrubs punctuated with plane trees every 10 meters or so. You don’t feel like you’re walking up the middle of a road at all. In fact your mood starts to pick up as you walk. These avenues of plane trees are not just along the main axes. Nearly every street is tree lined.

I felt myself being drawn along to what I might find at the end. But as with every journey it’s the things you see along the way rather than the destination that holds the true value.

As I was being drawn along “Gran Via de Les Corts Catalanes” the buildings started to come a little more to life. All 5 to 8 storeys, most with very small balconies with ornate steal surrounds. So similar, but all so very different. It seems there is no such thing as off the shelf here, It was all custom. It was from one of these balconies I saw an old lady smiling to the world in her very demure and appropriate night dress. That in its self wasn’t the surprising part. At first I thought she was holding a child in her arms. Grand mama showing off to the world I thought. Lovely. But then she made one of the arms wave at me. It turns out to be a soft toy monkey. I give her (and the monkey) a wave and move on. Once again I feel my mood pick up.

For some reason I start thinking of the truly mad things around here. (as we are on an architecture tour ) The architecture of Goudi came to the front of mind. Not the details mind, just the mad genius of it, and how did he get away with it? No town planner in his right mind would let anyone to build like that.

It seems Goudi started a tradition in the building of the extraordinary here. Oliver and I end up at the Monjuic Communication Tower (Telefonica) Designed by Santiago Calatrava, It looks like it should be the home of Thunder Bird One. But it doesn’t end there. Jean Nouvel, Foster, Rodgers and Herzog & de Meuron have all been able to create brilliant if slightly wild projects here.

So what is it about Barcelona? Spain is fairly conservative over all. As much as it’s not the capitol (Madrid holds that responsibility) Barcelona is the second son, so to speak. May be that’s it, It doesn’t need to take itself too seriously. It will never be King! Think Andrew to Charles, or Harry to William.

Wear what it wants to, flirt with whoever it wants to.

It’s one of those personalities that can put on a funny hat and not only get away with it but make the hat look good!

Barcelona is out to have a good time. Pleasingly, it doesn’t mind if you tag along.


Back to the Fab 5 tomorrow.

Day 6 (Day off in Paris)

Day 6 (Day off in Paris)

The idea of a day off when you have flown 22 hours is slightly laughable. Everyone made the most of the day in their own way so we though it may be of interest to share our various experiences. See if you can match up who did what….

One of our number visited the Musee du Qauai Branly by Jean Nouvel, a fantastic museum opposite the Siene (just near the Eiffell Tower). The museum houses artworks from the indigenous cultures of Asia, Africa, Oceania and the Americas, and notable features the work of a number of a number of Australian aboriginal artists. The building is set above an expansive landscaped garden on a series of randomly spaces posts representing trunks of trees. David

had seen the building under construction some 5 years ago and it was just a massive steel meccano set at that point but this has now morphed into a seriously sophisticated piece of architecture. Nouvel has again employed a street front façade of glass (as seen at the Catier Foundation) that maintains the strong Parisian streetscape with the bulk of the bulk of the building set some 20m back from Quai Branly, separated by this very handsome landscaped garden. The museum can only be described at sexy, and internally spatially great fun. The building is well known for its greenwall designed by Patrick Blanc that fronts Quai Branly and the whole site is well worth a look.

Some of us spent the day shopping (for architectural related goods of course) and a highlight was when one of us came back with shoes designed by Rem Koolhas (don’t tell Jo we mentioned this on the blog)

Lastly, one of us spent the day rushing around Paris on a bike, (apparently to use up any remaining energy that we had not previously used rushing around time). This is madness.

Back to the hotel and then off to the Airport to head to Barcelona. Bye Paris……

Day 5 – Walking Tour

Day 5 – Walking Tour with Ivan took us through the new city fringe development centred around the biblioteque nationale by Perrot.  The new development challenges the traditional Parisian urban design style with the precincts allotments defying traditional French master planning. It was refreshing to see how many up and coming architects are given the opportunity to realise substantial

works. In Europe and specifically Paris there is a culture of embracing emerging architects through competition to produce exciting developments.

A slip of the tongue by Eban pointed out one of Corb’s first works which took us briefly off course. The armee du salut was one of the first models of social housing (which subsequently informed later works) and to this day it continues in this function.  

Another highlight was Perrot biblioteque, the sheer scale of the development was overwhelming, the immaculacy detailed building and plaza still retained a human scale possibly achieved through the texture and materiality.

A quick lunch break then saw us head to the Arab Institue by Nouvel.  Despite a somewhat complex (broken) façade one of the most fascinating discoveries was the modular pattern derived from citrus groves which forms the basis of the plan and elevation.

The afternoon ended by visiting Studio Milou, one of the most serene studio spaces we have visited, with studios in Paris and Singapore they desire the firm as a quiet family. It was great to see the recurring theme of the grand staircase as a signature element.  Check out their website!

Day 4 – London to Paris

Day 4 – London To Paris

We reluctantly packed up our hotel rooms in London and piled into cabs to get across the Kings Cross to catch the Eurostar. Leaving London is hard, but made much easier knowing Paris awaits us.

After settling into the hotel we headed off to Wilmotte Associates where we met Borina Andrieu who was channelling Chanel beautifully. Never have we met a more immaculately dressed architect  – she must really command attention on site. A fascinating firm , and one that had grown rapidly in the past few years now with 160 staff. They produce great architecture and interiors but also have a highly regarded

industrial design arm that design lights, furnitures etc.

If you have not come across Wilmotte, check out www.wilmotte.com
Well worth a look.

Day 3 – Fosters, Zaha Hadid and Olympic Site

We are still on the move! We’re moving at such a pace, that stopping to blog is hard to squeeze in.

Day 3 began with a visit to the London Bombing Memorial with Lewis from Carmody Groarke. The overview that we had received on the previous evening was now evident in real life. 52 Stainless steel columns cantilevering out of the ground, strategically positioned within Hyde Park. Soft dappled light played on the different surfaces of the cast stainless steel columns – quite a moving experience architecturally and given several members of our group had a personal connection to the bombings.

Another frantic dash across town, saw us arrive at the campus that Foster + Partners occupies (all 1000 + of them!) We had all heard many stories about Fosters (not all complimentary) but we were all pleasantly surprised by the warm reception we received and the vibe in the office. We were shown around by Partner, Thouria Istephan who was very

generous with her time (we even came away with a show bag – they clearly know the way to an architect’s heart is through a free architecture book)

On the walking tour earlier in the week, we couldn’t get over the number of Foster Buildings in the city (it was just Foster, Foster Wren, Foster, Foster, Wren!) and today we saw how this mass of work was prepared. This is one well oiled machine, and as with Rodgers Stirk Harbour, they had every conceivable facility an architect might want. One of the real highlights was the sustainable sample room, manned by 4 full time researchers who are dedicated to finding and researching the best sustainable products. What a great resource!

Another (frantic, hot, humid) dash across town found us at the studio of Zaha Hadid. As with Fosters, we had all heard un-complimentary stories about this studio, but unlike Fosters we were not disappointed! We may just have received the authentic Zaha experience. We made it as far as the entry courtyard, were made to stand in the heat for 45 minutes and then shown the door. Horror stories confirmed. (Thanks to David Smith at Schueman Smith for frantic phone calls to try to get us in)

The afternoon commenced at Canary Wharf, where we met Ms Kay Hughes, the Principal Design Advisor for the London Olympic Delivery Authority for a guided bus tour of the Olympic Site. Winding through the construction site we were able to get up close to the venues, all at varying stages of completion. The main stadium by HOK Sport (now Populous) has really taken shape. The seductive forms of the Olympic Pool by Zaha Hadid and Velodrome by Michael Hopkins are bound to be centre pieces. Two very sexy roof forms, although Zaha appears to have used 4 times as much steel in the roof than is probably needed.

The day was capped off  by an intimate cocktail party at the RIBA and a look around their great building on Portland Street. We all had a great time chatting to the RIBA reps and extend our thanks to Ruth Reed (RIBA President) and Harry Rich (CEO) for the hospitality.


Day 2 – Kevin McCloud, Rodgers and Davis Langdon

The London weather revealed itself in all its glory! A wet, cold day did not deter the travellers with the first stop – a quick coffee and chat with Kevin McCloud of Grand Designs fame at the famous Riverside Café where Jamie Oliver learnt to cook.

We exchanged stories over lessons learnt and traded war

stories about local planning process, (not to mention his recent appearance on Top Gear.) Kevin could not have been more accommodating or engaging. 

The first of two encounters with Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners occurred at the Maggie Centre, Hammersmith. RSH was the recipient for the Stirling Prize and the tour group was fortunate enough to receive a full overview of the conceptual framework through to building completion / operation. A truly remarkable piece of architecture that is both aesthetically pleasing and inspiring wrapped up in tremendous detailing. 

Off in the rain again and a quick 5 minute walk (actually 30minute walk!) to catch the tube back into town to meet with Davis Langdon Shueman Smith. Our thanks to Davis Langdon for their sponsorship and for their hospitality. We were all excited to hear that many  practices have engaged their specification writing services both in the United Kingdom and Internationally, could this be a reason to rejoice?

Back to Hammersmith in the afternoon for the Rogers Practice tour. The consensus; an office of design rigour, process driven with a goal to embrace architecture.  We were all blown away by the amazing model making workshop on site, not to mention the commercial kitchen with two full time chefs on hand.

Stepping back into the rain again for a mad race back into town to meet with Lewis and Andrew Groarke, quickly known to us as Andy. We had heard a lot about Kevin Carmody and his support of this tour since its conception three years ago.  A round table discussion exposed the tour to a practice where process and the understanding of materials were pivotal in realizing the firm’s architectural work. Recent works include their commission for the  7th July 2005 Memorial and the spectacular pop up restaurant on top of a half constructed Westfiled carpark overlooking the Olympic site. 

In all a memorable day, jam packed; luckily everything was five minutes away.