Exhibition at the Museum of Finnish Architecture, March 6th–May 26th, 2013
The MFA’s programme for 2013 examines the challenges of sustainable architecture, focusing on issues related to social, cultural and ecological sustainability.
Glenn Murcutt (b. 1936) is Australia’s foremost architect, world-renowned for his “touch the earth lightly” philosophy. His approach is unlike that of a starchitect, in that he eschews the “wow” factor and chiefly designs small-scale residential buildings. Murcutt is a strong advocate of sustainable raw materials and recyclability.
The exhibition highlights a selection of Murcutt’s completed projects, predominantly single-family residential buildings. Also featured is the award-winning Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Art Centre. A generous compliment of drawings sheds light on Murcutt’s creative process. He bases his designs on the natural landscape features, using his architecture as a foil to accentuate the surrounding nature and bring experiences of joy to the residents.
Murcutt “thinks by drawing”. He describes architecture as a “path of discovery”: the finished work is discovered, not created. Drawing is for him a key part of the creative process, his pen arriving at a solution before his mind even registers it. The exhibition charts Murcutt’s work process from first draft to detailed working drawings.
Murcutt was born in London to Australian parents in 1936. He spent his early childhood in Papua New Guinea, but moved to Sydney with his family in 1941. He graduated from the Sydney Technical College (today TAFE NSW Sydney Institute) in 1961. After graduation he travelled in Europe and gained experience in numerous respected architectural offices. He established his own practice in 1969. He principally works as a sole practitioner, doing all the designing himself, yet occasionally collaborates with partners on specific projects. Murcutt’s architecture is inspired by Australian culture, particularly indigenous Aboriginal culture, as well as the country’s varied climate and topography. A keen proponent of international exchange, he lectures and teaches at universities around the world.
Murcutt has long-standing ties with Finland. He is a great admirer of Alvar Aalto, and many of his residential buildings are furnished with Aalto pieces. Murcutt was awarded the internationally acclaimed Alvar Aalto Medal in 1992. Other testaments to his accomplishments include the RAIA Gold Medal of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (1992), the Officer of the Order of Australia (1996), the Pritzker Prize for Architecture (2002) and the American Institute of Architects AIA Gold Medal Award (2009).
A video featuring Murcutt’s buildings by Catherine Hunter and Bruce Inglis will be screened in the small exhibition hall.
The photographs in the exhibition are by Anthony Browell and Glenn Murcutt.

The exhibition has been produced by the Architecture Foundation Australia in association with the Museum of Finnish Architecture.
Exhibition courtesy of TOTO Gallery Ma, Tokyo, and the Architecture Foundation Australia www.ozetecture.org
Wednesday, April 24, 6 pm, Museum of Finnish Architecture
Feathers of Steel: Nature in Glenn Murcutt’s architecture
A lecture by Professor Juhani Pallasmaa
Advance reservation only. Reserve your tickets here
In English. Admission €6/3.
Tuesday, May 7, 6 pm, Museum of Finnish Architecture
Glenn Murcutt – extraordinarily ordinary
A lecture by Lindsay Johnston, Architecture Foundation Australia
In English. Admission €6/3.
Wednesday evening guided tours, March 6, April 10, May 15, 6 pm
Hosted by researcher Kristiina Paatero.
In Finnish. Admission €6/3.
Download Press release in Swedish (PDF)
For press photos, please contact:
Hanna Galtat, Communications
tel. 045 7731 0468
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Arthur & Yvonne Boyd Art Centre, West Cambewarra, New South Wales, 1996–1999
Photo: © Anthony Browell
Magney House, Bingie Point, New South Wales, 1982–1984 and 1999
Photo: © Anthony Browell
Magney House, Bingie Point, New South Wales, 1982–1984 and 1999
Photo: © Anthony Browell
Marie Short / Glenn Murcutt House, Kempsey, New South Wales, 1974–1975 and 1980
Photo: © Glenn Murcutt
Marie Short / Glenn Murcutt House, Kempsey, New South Wales, 1974–1975 and 1980
Photo: © Anthony Browell

Fredericks / White House, Jamberoo, New South Wales, 1981–1982 and 2001–2004
Photo: © Anthony Browell
Magney House, Paddington, Sydney, New South Wales, 1986–1990
Photo: © Anthony Browell
Glenn Murcutt Portrait at his house and studio in Mosman, Sydney
Photo: © Anthony Browell