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state library of queensland

Hot Modernism

By Fiona Dixon | 23 July 2014

Our exciting new Hot Modernism exhibition takes us back to the era of post-war development in Queensland, when fresh design ideas took hold and changed the architectural landscape of our state.

For many of us, the images and displays in the exhibition conjure up memories of a prosperous and exciting period of growth in Queensland’s history. My memories of the Gold Coast in the 1970s include the development of state-of-the-art high rise buildings, such as Apollo and Iluka, and the iconic Pink Poodle Motel on the Gold Coast Highway. I also have fond recollections of childhood visits to Highgate Hill’s apartment building, Torbreck, where my great aunt was one of the first residents. SLQ’s exhibition looks at the stories behind this building and many other iconic structures and homes of Queensland’s mid-century period. Many of the University of Queensland’s landmark buildings also feature in the exhibition – no doubt the Central Library (now Duhig North), JD Storey Administration Building, Union College and the Hartley Teakle Building hold special significance for many UQ alumni.

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With the exhibition piquing interest in Queensland’s modernist architecture, it is worth taking a look at the Digital Archive of Queensland Architecture. This archive provides fascinating information on designers, design history and projects, currently focussing on the period from 1945 to 1975. Stunning photographs and line drawings, as well as in-depth articles, examine building projects and issues of the period. Information is also arranged under lists of architects, firms, structures and building typologies, making it easy to retrieve information and images relevant to your particular interests. One of the most intriguing parts of the archive is the large collection of digital stories – interviews with prominent Queensland architects sharing their stories and recollections. These recordings of digital histories form an invaluable reference and offer fascinating insights into this vital and formative part of Queensland’s history and development.

View the Digital Archive of Queensland Architecture.

The Hot Modernism exhibition runs until 12 October.



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