House Design

Bruce Rickard new book | Daily Telegraph

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Written by The ReReport
As seen in the Source link, written by on 2019-02-15 17:18:19

Growing up in a Bruce Rickard designed house sounds like one long summer in the Sydney bush with a swimming pool to plunge into, your mum’s grey mare roaming the garden, and barbecues with friends including Brett and Wendy Whiteley.These are the memories of Sydney film production designer Sam Rickard, who spent the first 21 years of his life in his architect father’s Kokoda Ave house in Wahroonga.media_cameraBruce Rickard’s Curry House II in Pindari Place, Bayview, has a treehouse aesthetic thanks to high ceilings and low walls. Picture: Max Dupain“I didn’t really realise until after living in the house what an impact it made on me,” Sam says. “It was a very free way of living, bringing the outside in.”Sam Rickard never forgot the joy of his father’s architecture. But in a way, the rest of Sydney did — until now.A handsome new book titled Bruce Rickard, A Life In Architecture has just been released by NewSouth Publishing and presents the architect’s work with reverence, affection and rigorous analysis of his methods and designs.]The book has been a labour of love for Sam Rickard and architects Julie Cracknell and Peter Lonergan, who edited it.Chapters were written by artist and architect Richard Goodwin and interior designer Babette Hayes, among others.media_cameraCurry House II embraces external space in the way most contemporary houses now try to achieve. Picture: Max DupainWhen the book project was still far from finished, Lonergan wrote on the online fundraising page: “The astonishingly diverse output from this Australian architect has gone largely uncelebrated.“Critics have accused Rickard of (creating) derivative reproductions of the American architect, Frank Lloyd Wright.“However, this fails to recognise his genius in creating a genuinely Australian, modernist architecture which favoured local, natural materials and embodied choreographed spatial sequences.“Rickard’s ingenuity and unique approach to modern architecture for the Sydney climate is the real, previously untold story to be revealed in this extensive monograph.”Richard, who worked alongside Bruce, writes that he was “an architect with golden hands”.“His deep reverence for our bush landscape never subverted its sublime untidiness and facilitated our growing acknowledgment and respect for an ancient indigenous past,” he writes.media_cameraBruce Rickard at Rickard House III, Cottage Point, in 1984. Picture: Max Dupain“Bruce saw it as his destiny to fulfil (Frank Lloyd) Wright’s vision but with a truly Australian flavour.”Bruce Rickard was born in 1929 and died in 2010. During a 60-year career, he designed about 120 houses. Of the 50 or 60 that remain, about half of them are intact, Peter Lonergan says.Not surprisingly, given Bruce’s love of the bush, most of the houses are located in suburbs to the north of the CBD.Bruce designed housing that was among “the finest and most appropriate for Sydney’s bush suburbs in the 20th century”, Peter writes.Sydney architect Harry Seidler was a major inspiration for Bruce, who would often accompany the older architect on weekend site visits.Rose Seidler house, with its double-sided fireplace located prominently between the lounge room and kitchen, stoked his creativity.media_cameraRickard House III works with the landscape, extending the veranda directly into the tree canopy. Picture: Max Dupain“Rickard homes have big hearts in the form of lounge rooms, pivoting around the hearth,” Richard writes.“Bedrooms were for sleep; the lounge was comfort and party rolled into one. The sun penetrated in winter and in summer it was held at bay to illuminate the bush.“In the end, Rickard’s houses are sexy.”Bruce’s designs would often make way for existing trees, and award-winning architect Bruce Eeles writes in the book that Rickard would deal with an uneven site by lifting part of the house on concrete columns or on steel or timber posts.Cathedral-style ceilings invited light to filter inside, and added to the blurring of inside and outside spaces.Marian Lorrison lived with Bruce Rickard during the 1980s and had two children with him. She writes in the book that architecture to Bruce was “a way of life, a philosophy and a vocation”.media_cameraBruce Rickard, A Life In Architecture is in bookstores now Bruce Rickard, A Life In Architecture grew out of the architect’s extensive archive which dates back to his school days and includes letters, drawings, diaries, plans and photographs.Rickard’s family has given this archive to the Caroline Simpson Library and Research Collection, held by Sydney Living Museums so that his legacy continues.Bruce Rickard, A Life In Architecture, NewSouth Publishing, $79.99