About this talk

Running time: 27 minutes

John Andrews is one of Australia's leading architects. After graduating in the 1950s from Sydney and Harvard Universities, he started practice in Toronto, Canada in 1962. He taught at Toronto University from 1962 to 1969, the last two years as Chairman of the Faculty of Architecture. Since 1970 he has practised in Australia. The buildings that first brought him world attention were Scarborough College, 1965, in Canada, and Gund Hall, 1968, for Harvard Graduate School of Design. He has won many architectural awards for his work including the Australian Gold Medal and the Advanced Australian Award.

With a down-to-earth approach to architecture, he says "architecture is nowhere as mystical as many people would have it. It is largely a matter of common sense". The two people whose formative influence he acknowledges are Buckminster Fuller (see The Story Of A Quest), who admired the efficiency and economy of the boomerang, and Louis Kahn (see Buildings Know How They Should Be Built), who said designers should let a building be what it wants to be.

In his talk Andrews describes his most recent building, the headquarters for lntelsat in Washington D.C. with which he won an international competition. Intelsat is the international space organisation founded by COMSAT USA, which includes to date (1985) 109 nations. Andrews has provided it with a building which is not only a handsome addition to its surroundings, much appreciated by its users, but in that city of extremes of heat and cold is probably the only building relying entirely on passive energy. Furthermore, despite the depth of the complex, every office has an outside window.

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John Andrews


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