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The Australian Institute of Architects announces that Edmund Capon will deliver the 49th Griffin Lecture at the National Press Club on Wednesday 4 November.

A major event for the ACT Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architects, the Griffin Lecture, now in its 49th year, is named in honour of Walter Burley Griffin and Marion Mahoney. Previous speakers include Gough Whitlam, John Gorton, architects Roy Grounds and Romaldo Giurgola, historian Manning Clarke, and Lord Mayor Lucy Turnbull.

Edmund Capon will list his selection of the world’s Ten Finest Buildings at this year’s lecture. Explaining that he has chosen palaces of sumptuous indulgence, great monuments to faith, and buildings, which excite the imagination, he observes that all the structures have one thing in common – a very large dose of the useless.

Though all the buildings in his list are much-loved and have stood the test of time, he comments that it is the useless factor that has instilled immortality into these great edifices. Connecting them to the present day, Capon wishes that the same imagination and spirit could be adopted in the purely functional office blocks and residential towers. He will also argue that architecture can have a strong positive impact on cities, and should be nurtured.

Capon is Chair of the Australian Institute of Architects Foundation that fosters and promotes the creativity of architecture.

Edmund Capon’s Ten Finest Buildings:

St Peters, Rome by Donato Bramante, Michelangelo, Carlo Maderno and Gian Lorenzo Bernini (principal architects)


Pazzi Chapel, Florence by Filippo Brunelleschi


Chateau de Vaux-Le-Vicomte, France by Louis Le Vau


Notre Dame du Haut, Ronchamp, France by Le Corbusier


Taj Mahal, Agra, India by Ustad Ahmad Lahauri


Temple of Heaven, Beijing


The Royal Crescent, Bath, UK by John Wood the Younger


La Defense, Paris, Photography of the Grande Arche in Paris by Pete Sieger


Opera House, Sydney by Jørn Utzon


Guggenheim, Bilbao by Frank Gehry


All images from Wikipedia unless stated.