Gregory Burgess: From the Coalface celebrates the donation of the archive of Gregory Burgess Architects to the University of Melbourne’s Archives and Special Collections. This acquisition of more than four decades of drawings, plans, models and concept sketches from the practice of one of Australia’s premier architects will be the first of our architectural collections to bridge the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
The Gregory Burgess Archive of architectural models and drawings is one of Australia’s most valuable architectural assets and represents a unique insight into our country’s cultural and social history from the 1970s onwards. The recipient of the 2004 RAIA Gold Medal, the AIA Sir Zelman Cowen Award and the Victorian Architecture Medal, in 1997 Burgess also was awarded the internationally prestigious Robert Mathew Award for outstanding contributions to the development of architecture in the British Commonwealth.
The Archive includes over 40 years of material and contains a diverse range of projects from residential, educational, cultural and community buildings. Gregory Burgess Architects most remarkable projects are related to Indigenous Australians, and engagement with Indigenous language groups through a series of significant projects is one of the most important aspects of the Archive. These projects raise questions about the intersection of nature, materials, public space, and human interaction.
This exhibition is a collaboration between Archives and Special Collections and the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning, along with exhibition partners the Robin Boyd Foundation and Avington Merino. The exhibition team would like to acknowledge the work of Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning students in the archiving project.