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    Queensland Hot Modernism on show: State Library architecture series

    David Wheeldon

    The strong regional identity of Queensland architecture has been put on display, the State Library of Queensland launching the exhibition ‘Hot Modernism: building modern Queensland 1945–75’.

    To run until 12 October, 2014, State Librarian Janette Wright said the exhibition would celebrate and reflect upon the state’s colourful history and its enduring vision for Queensland living.

    “Prior to World War Two, Queensland architecture had a strong regional identity, influenced by climate, colonial background and frugality. After the war, people began to embrace a new optimism which led to changes in lifestyle and in turn new architecture,” she said.

    “Informed by modernist principles, a greater connection to the world, and a desire for a new way of living, architects re-evaluated the idea of sub-tropical and tropical living. It was an exciting period, and a time that can be best described as ‘hot’ — hot in design, hot in colour, and hot in debate.”

    Centenary Pool, Spring Hill. Architect: James Birrell, James Birrell private collection. Images: Hot Modernism

    Visitors to the Hot Modernism exhibition will be able to walk through a full-scale re-creation of a 1957 house, take a seat in a 1960s living room and examine 3D architectural models, original drawings and historical photographs from the time.

    Hot Modernism will also host a number of interactive events that explore and showcase the changing face of the Queensland landscape and Queensland’s changing lifestyle.

    Sunbakers at Lennons Broadbeach Hotel, 1958. Architect: Karl Langer. John Oxley Library, SLQ
Neg #193517

    Organisers describe the off-the-grid events, held on Friday nights on site at State Library, as a ‘social soiree meets design studio, meets think tank, and will challenge you to get hands on and build your own future city vision using recycled materials courtesy of Reverse Garbage’.

    Saturday 16 August sees a special event in the unique setting of the mid-century modernist Eisenmenger House in suburban Brisbane, with comedian Tim Ross presenting his stand-up show Man About the House, where design, comedy and music collide.

    The exhibition program promises to reveal the stories of the people who created, worked and lived in the buildings of this period, stories that contribute to the greater patchwork that makes up the tale of Queensland.

    Hot Modernism is the outcome of a partnership between State Library and The University of Queensland along with support from the Australia Research Council Linkage Project funding.

    For full program details, visit www.slq.qld.gov.au/hot-modernism 

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