Carter Williamson Architects

Model Practice


carterwilliamson Architects designed and curated ‘Model Practice’ exhibition as part of the 7th Sydney Architecture Festival.

Model Practice is a celebration of skill and craftsmanship offering a rare glimpse into the creative world of 16 Sydney architecture practices. The exhibition included architectural models from: Benn and Penna | Chenchow Little | Fox Johnston | Neeson Murcutt | Sam Crawford | Turner | Woods Bagot | Andrew Burns | Bates Smart | BVN Donovan Hill | carterwilliamson | Cox Richardson Architects & Planners | FJMT | Louise Nettleton | SJB Architects.

The exhibition was opened Thursday 31st October by City of Sydney’s Graeme Jahn and carterwilliamson’s Shaun Carter.

carterwilliamson would like to thank everyone involved in making the exhibition a success: The Australian Institute of Architects, Norske Skog, Property Display Centre, Regent Place, MITH Entertainment, and especially all the enthusiastic volunteers who gave their time to put the exhibition together.

View more images of Model Practice in our project gallery.

Opening Night Address
by Shaun Carter

My early days in architecture were surrounded by models. Tone Wheeler’s studio always made them. Competitions, houses… a model was mandatory.

Models were mandatory at university too. A good model I though bumped you up a grade. Not just because of its beauty, but it gave you a resolution, a proportion, perhaps the others lacked.

My recent visits to architecture practices in Dubai, Berlin and London, to firms like: Richard Rogers, Foster Associates, FAT, Carmody Groake, Chipperfield, Wilkinson Eyre… all used and displayed physical models in their Practice of architecture. In fact, most of their models sat pride of place in their studio… usually their receptions… The physical representation of their regularly Awarded Architecture.

This reinforced to me that the Physical Model is a fundamental tool in design, resolution and representation of architecture. That may sound obvious to most of us assembled here tonight, but in the quickly developing 3D computer modeled, BIM world… I think it is important to tell the MODEL story in architecture practice.

MODEL PRACTICE is in part prosecuting the case, that Physical Model making or “Hand thinking“ as we say in our studio, should always be a tool used in the design of architecture. Model Making need not be supplanted as a design tool, but used as part of a suite of tools.

Clients get physical models… the ‘Model Meeting’ is always a highlight of their architecture experience.

Architecture is about making Physical space… making a physical scale model is, to my mind, fundamental to making space, to proportion, to composition, to beauty , and to functionality.

The display of these Physical Models by these firms, in my opinion, demonstrates how the practice of architecture is made better by the making of physical models; that architecture is made better because of physical models.

Now, some thankyou’ss before I introduce our Guest to open tonights exhibition.

To Simon Symond : whose support of the AIA and generous use of this space is greatly appreciated. Simon, you have great vision and I believe this place: the “Property Display Centre“ will no doubt be a great success.

To the Sydney Architecture Festival for the vision to allow us to have this exhibition.

The Australian Institute of Architects, and especially Gillian Redman-Lloyd. Without Gillian’s support and tireless efforts all this would not be possible.

To the Volunteers, too many to name individually, but a huge thank you… and I look forward to hosting you for drinks at carterwilliamson as a personal thank you.

To the wonderful exhibitors, who have generously given their time and beautiful work to be exhibited here tonight, and for the next 10 days.

And, finally, to my extraordinary team whose energy, talent and dedication is above and beyond. A special thankyou to:

The amazing Nuala Collins,
Our model maker and craftsman Lindsey Chandler,
Ben Peake
Julie Niass
Pamela de Gabriel
Tai Dahn Lein

And my wonderful carterwilliamson’s who ran support at the studio.

Opening MODEL PRACTICE tonight is Graham Jahn AM.

Graham’s is the Director of City, Planning development and Transport, at the City of Sydney. He is a member of the Council’s executive, directly responsible for City planning, transport strategy, development assessments and compliance.

An awarded architect at both state and national level, including the Robin Boyd award for residential architecture [1999 ]. Graham is a past President of the NSW Chapter of the Australian Institute of Architecture from 1999 to 2001. He was the National President from 2001 to 2003. Graham is an Adjunct professor at UTS. The author of books The Guide to Sydney Architecture + Contemporary Australian Architecture. Graham is also the founding editor of MONUMENT magazine.

In 2011 Graham received;
– the UTS Alumni Award for excellence, and
– an Order of Australia for his service to architecture.

It’s with great honour and much pleasure that I invite Graham to share some of his thoughts with us tonight and open the exhibition.

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