Bill Lucas: Architect Utopian
February 24, 2022 12:54 PM - March 26, 2022 12:54 PM
Tin Sheds Gallery, University of Sydney
Cracknell & Lonergan Architects + Tin Sheds Gallery
This exhibition takes us into the extensive archive of Bill Lucas (1924–2001), revealing the aspirations, ideals and works of one of Sydney’s foremost late 20th century architects. It includes a feast of previously unseen archival drawings, photographs, artworks, private writings and public documents, illustrating his trajectory from conventional to increasingly unconventional practice with projects that were invariably ahead of their time.
Lucas was an architect idealist who, often through unconventional means, sought to bring about social and environmental change to make the world a better place.
His early career, working with his wife Ruth, was spent designing and often instigating, innovative single and multi-residential projects, furniture and community developments. Lucas would meticulously refine a design informed by cost, materials and construction, to reach the optimum architectural solution for the client and site.
By the mid-1970’s he ceased conventional practice, instead working without a fee, advising, teaching and problem-solving projects with wholistic systems-thinking.
Inspired by R. Buckminster Fuller, Lucas constructed his archive with the intent of collating his ideas and work for public benefit. Architect Peter Lonergan, who holds the extensive archive, invites us to share his delight and discoveries. Taking inspiration from an application made by Lucas to the Australia Council in which he scripts his life’s achievements.
Lonergan has constructed this exhibition in three parts; 20 buildings; 10 community projects and 1001 process drawings. He has chosen material that was ‘visually interesting’, presented with minimal interpretation.