In 1912 the brilliant young Chicago architect, Walter Burley Griffin, won the international competition to design Canberra, the capital of the new nation Australia which had been formed just eleven years before. He later established his “ideal suburb” Castlecrag, situated on a Sydney Harbour peninsula where he designed over 50 extraordinary houses. Only 15 were built.
The grandest, most elaborate and now carefully restored is his 1929 Fishwick house, which was “ultra modern” and shockingly radical for its time. It is:
- Widely acclaimed as one of the most important early 20th century residential buildings in Australia.
- Recognised as highly significant and in the top rank of houses designed worldwide in that period.
- A prime residential expression of Griffin’s brilliance. A vivid demonstration of his ideas about what constitutes “good architecture” – principles which are increasingly being recognised as having great relevance to this day.
- A showcase for Griffin’s fresh thinking, creativity and use of new techniques and materials, manifesting his introduction of modern architecture to Australia.