Modernism heats up at State Library from July

State Library of Queensland is unearthing the stories of Queensland’s mid-century architecture for its next major exhibition, which will launch in July.

Hot Modernism: building modern Queensland 1945-75, presented in partnership with The UQ School of Architecture, will invite visitors to explore Queensland’s past.

State Librarian Janette Wright said post World War Two was a period of immense change and development for Queensland.

“Influenced by a new found optimism there was a greater connection to the world and a desire for a new way of living — elements which were characterised in the modernist movement,” said Ms Wright. “It was an exciting era but little is currently identified or celebrated in Queensland’s design practice.”

Hot Modernism will be an engaging exhibition and events program which will explore and showcase the changing face of the Queensland landscape, revealing not only the stories of the architecture, but of the people who created, worked and lived in the buildings,” she said.

Visitors to the exhibition will be able to walk through a full-scale re-creation of a 1957 house, take a seat in a 1960s living room and examine 3D architectural models, original drawings and historical photographs from the time.

They will also be able to investigate international design challenges of transport, access, sustainability, community and look to future planning to inspire our community to build our city of the future through an interactive space Design our City.

Arts Minister Ian Walker said Queensland has a strong, independent identity, and was looking forward to seeing the origins of that identity celebrated and on display.

“From the iconic Riverside Expressway, to structures like the Torbreck apartment building in Highgate Hill, our past constantly surrounds us, but we don’t often take the time to look around and appreciate the fascinating history of our state."

“It’s particularly gratifying to see State Library of Queensland working together with The University of Queensland to re-ignite important conversations about the designs and development of yesterday, as we continue to define how we want to live today, and into the future,” said Minister Walker.

Hot Modernism will be on display at State Library of Queensland from 9 July to 12 October. Visit for more details.

The project is supported by the Australian Research Council’s Linkage Project funding scheme, and project partners BVN Donovan Hill, Conrad Gargett Riddel – Ancher Mortlock Woolley and Wilson Architects.

Interviews and images available upon request.

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