Archive 2012

Twilight Walk - Special Christmas offer ticket reduced by 50%


Don't miss out on the final Twilight walk for 2012 on Wednesday 5th December, departing from Customs House, Circular Quay at 6pm.

Enjoy a guided walking tour of Sydney's CBD in the evening light with a AAA trained volunteer who will share their passion and knowledge of some of the city's most important buildings. Learn about why 1 Bligh is one of the newest 6 Star Green rated buildings in Sydney by the German architect Christoph Ingenhoven and the Australian firm Architectus.

Price $15, book here.

Northern Suburbs Residential Bus Tour

It was a truly nice Spring day on 13 October when we had our Northern Suburbs Residential Bus Tour.  The tour was fully booked and there were quite a number of names on a waiting list, however, the number of seats on the bus was limited and we could not take in any more passengers.


Our bus started from Circular Quay and headed north towards Seaforth.  The first stop was the Delaney House designed by Jorge Hrdina.  With the use of sandstone and hardwood, the house blended in very well with the environment.  Jorge explained how he captured the water view with his arrangement of rooms along this long site and how he arrived at the layout with the complete separation of the parent's floor and the children's floor by the living spaces.

(Visit the architect's website for more photos)


The next stop of our tour was a renovated semi in Fairlight.  The owner-architects Luisa and David greeted us into their home with great hospitality.  In 2005, they met through volunteering for the AAA, fell in love and got married a couple of years later. They now run their practice Manfredini McCrae Architects from their home.  Luisa talked about the design process and how they converted the ageing, run-down semi into a contemporary two-storey home + office.  David told us that they have been very cost-conscious during the design and contruction process.  The end result proves that great designs can be achieved by good architects at many different cost-points.

(This house and our tour was featured on the Manly Daily, read here)


We then arrived at the Smith Residence in Cremorne, designed by David Boyle.  The original Federation house was the childhood home for the client, who now has his own family with children.  David decided to remove the undesirable additions such as the garage and the rear extension.  A new living pavilion is added to the back while creating a new courtyard between it and the existing bedroom.  The  pavilion is an exploration of the relationship between house and garden, the form was sculpted to respond to the mature Jacaranda tree in the backyard.

(Visit the architect's website for more information & photos)


As usual, our residential bus tour includes a great lunch close to the places we visit.  This time we chose Martha's in Castlecrag.  Our President, Tone Wheeler joined us there to meet and thank our members and supporters.  After enjoying a delicious two-course lunch, we were all excited to continue our journey for the day!


After a short bus ride, we arrived at this home in Castlecrag designed by Smyth & Smyth.  David Smyth explained his design to us under the dramatic entry canopy and then showed us through the waterfront house on a relatively wide site.   Almost every room was drenched in the beauty of Middle Harbour.  The study was an interesting exception.  It retreated from the breathtaking view and focused at the serene quality of a small lawn.  At the rear, we walked down the terraced landscaping to the infinity pool visually connected with the harbour.


We then headed towards Lane Cove and visited the Woodford Bay House designed by MacCormick & Associates Architects. Michael MacCormick told us about the steep descent of the site and how he used voids and sculptural staircases to reduce the perceived level changes in this 4-storey house.  The use of light coloured timber and stone made the rooms bright and airy, while the various details utilising light fittings further enhanced the lightness of the home.

(Visit the architect's website for more information and photos)

After enjoying a full day of great residential architecture, our bus dropped everyone off at around 5:30pm back at where we started.

If you have missed out on this tour, make sure you stay subscribed to our e-newsletter to be amongst the first to know about such exciting residential bus tours in the new year!


  • Article by: Vincent Lam
  • Professional architectural photos supplied by the architects, Photos of the tour by Vincent Lam


The Perfect Gift for Design Enthusiasts


The Christmas season is fast approaching and it is time once again, to start looking for gifts for all your loved ones. The AAA limited edition, boxed set of architect cards, is the perfect gift for the architectural enthusiasts in your life.

With 24 cards of varying sizes printed with drawings by 23 of Australia’s most loved Architects, such as Glenn Murcutt and Harry Seidler, this is the perfect gift for Christmas or a birthday. (The cards also look great arranged and framed for display on the wall).

These cards are now available for online order for $75, while AAA members enjoy a special price of $60 including postage (NB: Australia only / see overseas costs when ordering). Not only will your loved one be thrilled, you will have supported the Australian Architecture Association Fund which is used to support design education initiatives.

Click here to order your limited edition set now!

(Please note that orders for christmas delivery will need to be made by 10 December 2012)


Image: Peter Tonkin, Watercolour on paper. View of Amsterdam Canal


Image: Richard Goodwin, Photographic and drawing collages on paper. From the artists own collection.


Image: Terroir, Computer rendering on photographic paper. View of the National Library of the Czech Republic competition entry.

Image: Harry Seidler, Pen on Butter Paper. One of Harry Seidler's last sketches of details for the Ian Thorpe Aquatic Centre.


Image: Glenn Murcutt, Pen on Butter Paper. Sketch of a new house near Wagga Wagga with details of the sky.


McMahons Point Walk


The Australian Architecture Association is pleased to announce the addition of a brand new walk to our tour program, the McMahons Point Walk. Developed by one of our experienced AAA volunteer guides, the walk will be officially launched on Saturday 8 December 2012.

McMahons Point is a small lower north shore peninsula jutting into Sydney Harbour, flanked on the west by Berrys Bay, on the east by Lavender Bay and terminated at the tip by Blues Point..  The history of this suburb started in the late 1800's.  It was a popular place to catch a ferry to the city before the Harbour Bridge came along.

This suburb was known for its boat building and maritime activities. Now, it is predominantly a residential suburb, made up of a variety of housing stock from small stone cottages, terrace houses to high rise apartments, all enjoying outstanding views of the harbour.

Blues Point Tower designed by the late Harry Seidler in 1961, is a well known landmark for McMahons Point. It was Australia's tallest residential building until 1970.


If you are a local or visitor to Sydney, don't miss this opportunity to wander through McMahons Point and enjoy it's architectural delights.  This new tour will showcase a wonderful variety of housing types which are waiting to be discovered.

The very first McMahons Point Walk will be our last scheduled walk of the year.   To celebrate the launch and the completion of our 2012 program, we will hold a special launch event with drinks and refreshments at a nearby venue after the end of the tour.  To secure your ticket for this walk and the launch event, book early!


Time For Drawing: Drawing Workshop


For the creatively inclined, AAA member Rena Czaplinska-Archer is conducting a weekend drawing workshop in Wollombi, the Hunter Valley. Taking place from 6pm on Friday 16 to 4pm on Sunday 18 November 2012, the workshop will be presented in association with Sculpture in the Vineyards.

Through the medium of drawing, beginners as well as experienced drawers, are invited to escape the tensions of daily life, awaken the senses and fine tune their perception while exploring of the world around around them.


Rena is a practicing architect and educator in design and drawing at the University of Sydney. As a lifetime student of art, her teaching method called 'Embodying Vision' is inspired by Anna Halprin's Art/Life Process and other somatic practices including Feldenkreis, yoga, BMC, CI and Continuum.

The weekend promises to be inspiring, so don't miss out as numbers are limited. The cost of the workshop of $320 ($290 for students) includes two nights accommodation. If you wish to obtain further information or participate, go the Time For Drawing website.