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Designed in Italy, Made in Australia



Designed in Italy, Made in Australia

edmund barton building quadratoLecture by Dr Paolo Stracchi (University of Sydney)

4th Italian Design Day

On the occasion of the 4th Italian Design Day, the Italian Cultural Institute Sydney, in collaboration with the Design Festival Canberra, is pleased to present the lecture Designed in Italy, Made in Australia by Dr Paolo Stracchi, Lecturer in Architectural Technology at the University of Sydney.

Discover the unexpected Italian affinities of Harry Seidler’s Trade Group Offices, currently called Edmund Barton Building (1970-74), and the other buildings designed by Harry Seidler and Pier Luigi Nervi.

Harry Seidler (1923–2006) and Pier Luigi Nervi (1891–1978) first met in Paris in 1955 on the construction site of the UNESCO Headquarters, designed by their common friend Marcel Breuer. Seven years later the two met again, this time in Rome, to study the design for the iconic Australia Square Tower. The success of the iconic Sydney Tower set off a 15 year collaboration that took place between Italy and Australia. From 1963 to 1978, Seidler engaged Nervi for the design of some of his Australian commissions: Australia Square, the MLC Centre, the Theatre Royal lobby, the CTA Business Club and, nerviin Canberra, the TGO Edmund Barton Building.

The Edmund Barton Building, initially known as the Trade Group Offices, was designed by world-renowned architect Harry Seidler and constructed between 1969 and 1974. The building is a significant Australian landmark and is a listed place on the Commonwealth Heritage List. Nervi, one of Italy’s most influential modern architect-engineers, created inventive structural projects which explored the plastic potential of reinforced concrete. For the Edmund Barton Building, Studio Nervi designed the famous T-beam and I Beam which became a hallmark of Seidler’s work.

stracchiPaolo Stracchi is an architectural engineer and Lecturer in Architectural Technology at the School of Architecture, Design and Planning of the University of Sydney. His research work investigates on the seamless relationship between architecture and construction, and on historical construction methods and speculative design upon the same. Paolo has practised extensively as a Project Designer in Italy and Australia and attained a PhD in Architecture and Construction from the University of Rome Tor Vergata.

The talk will be followed by a small reception, after which the guests will be able to visit the Edmund Barton Building at 6.00 pm.

Free event. Booking essential



Date: Tuesday, November 10, 2020

Time: From 3:30 pm To 4:30 pm

Organized by : Istituto Italiano di Cultura

In collaboration with : Design Festival Canberra

Entrance : Free


Building 6, Room 6C12, University of Canberra