I am extremely grateful to everyone involved in this carefully researched and thoughtful publication of my late father's architectural works. It is my fond hope that this monograph will showcase not only dad's more famous houses, but also open up the story behind his design process and architectural philosophy.
- Samuel Rickard
Bruce Rickard was one the most significant Australian architects of the 20th Century. His practice spanned 60 years and produced some of the most notable and recognisable houses of the period.
Not unusually there has been no single published volume of his work to date. Too often these stories of Australian exemplars are left untold. His archive is vast and includes a complete documentation from his childhood diaries to every published article about his work and a stunning collection of Max Dupain’s photos of his houses and buildings across the 60 year period of the practice.
Working closely with the Rickard family, the practice of Cracknell & Lonergan Architects (CLA) Pty Ltd has now established their office as a venue for the archives of Bruce Rickard to be housed, enabling writers to meet or work if required, and provide resources, drawing copying, models or the like. Director Julie Cracknell worked for Bruce for a number of years and Director Peter Lonergan taught with Bruce and Neville Gruzman at UNSW during 2000-2010. Julie and Peter were friends with Bruce for 30 years and valued his mentoring through that time.
The archive will provide source material for a selection of essays and studies, mostly by academics and individuals who knew Bruce and his work intimately, but who can also contribute unique insight to aspects of his practice through their own practice. Key writers currently involved in this project include author and writer, Philip Drew, Dr. Catherine de Lorenzo (UNSW Art & Design), and Professor Michael Tawa (University of Sydney). Aside from this range of fresh perspectives on Bruce's work, a richly illustrated catalogue of images and drawings will be included, featuring photographs by Max Dupain and Bruce's original hand drawings for the design of his houses. Many of these images and drawings have never been published or seen by people other than the clients for whom these houses were built for.
The astonishingly diverse output from this Australian architect has gone largely uncelebrated. Critics have accused Rickard of being derivative reproductions of the American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright. However, this fails to recognise his genius in creating a genuinely Australian, modernist architecture which favoured local, natural materials and embodied choreographed spatial sequences. Rickard's ingenuity and unique approach to Modern Architecture for the Sydney climate is the real, previously untold story to be revealed in this extensive monograph.
Bruce Rickard was an elder of the profession and the publication will prove an invaluable resource to students and professionals in the practice of appropriate domestic architecture that is responsive to the Australian landscape. Your contributions to this project will be recognised in a dedication page within the book and will help to ensure that the legacy and contribution of Bruce Rickard's architectural work will be celebrated in the years to come.
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Risks and challenges
The Risks of this Project are Low.
As part of this project, the Rickard family has been working with New South Publishing (formally, University of New South Wales Press) to publish the book.
The entire archive of the late Bruce Rickard, including correspondence, images and text has been fully archived in association with Cracknell & Lonergan Architects (CLA) Pty Ltd. This has been done to enable researchers unparalleled access into Bruce's original records, including original hand drawings and letters to and from clients.
Drafts of almost all the fifteen chapters by a range of different authors are currently being reviewed and edited, and a preliminary layout has been worked on in collaboration with a Graphics Designer.
It is our goal to have the book move into the publishing stage by Sept/Oct 2017, with the aim of having the hardback and limited editions to be ready in tandem with a planned exhibition of Bruce Rickard's work in March 2018 in Sydney, Australia.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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