Applications open for 2016 Glenn Murcutt International Master Class
Murcutt takes-up inaugural Seidler Chair in architecture at UNSW

Australian architect Glenn Murcutt spoke about the importance of eco-sustainability in his architectural work at Cersaie 2015, an international exhibition of ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings.

Delivering the keynote lecture in the Europauditorium at the event, the 2002 Pritzker prize winning architect explained how nature is absorbed, and not rejected in his work.

The architect was introduced by architecture professor and historian Francesco Dal Co, who described Murcutt as a great master of contemporary architecture possessing a unique, powerful bond with his country and its culture.

Murcutt says he prefers to work only in Australia, explaining that it’s the only country where he knows the language and culture well enough to be able to practice. Realising the need to pass on his professional legacy to future generations, he began teaching at schools all over the world imparting unique insights to at least two thousand students.

Eco-sustainability is a distinctive feature of Glenn Murcutt’s architecture. Observing that the concepts of ‘green’ and ‘sustainable’ are abused commercially, he said what is needed is responsibility, the search for a sense of balance, and giving back what has been consumed.

Murcutt’s buildings are based on the assumption that human well-being and serenity are dependent on nature, and that the places where people live must respect nature and use its characteristics and potential harmoniously. Questioning the need for air conditioning when natural air currents can be used, he said the building design process should be preceded by an assessment of the climate, the geography and the seasons, as well as spaces, light, animals, the scents of the environment, and even the moon’s cycles.

The architect should also factor in the culture and expectations of clients, and the prevailing colours of the surrounding environment, he says. Product selection must be made on the basis of durability, reusability, natural characteristics and their harmony with the environment.