Vale Blair Wilson
Brisbane architect Blair Wilson recently passed away, aged 83. Born in 1930, Blair began his architectural education in 1949, attending the Brisbane Central Technical College and the University of Queensland. He followed in the footsteps of his father Ronald Martin Wilson and grandfather Alexander Brown Wilson, who founded Wilson Architects in 1884.
Blair was principal of the Wilson Architects, one of Australia’s oldest continuous architectural practices, for 40 years, stepping down from the role in 1995. During that time he was responsible for several landmark Queensland buildings, including the Greek Orthodox Church at South Brisbane, the Stanthorpe Civic Centre, Kindler Theatre at Queensland Institute of Technology and La Boîte Theatre in Petrie Terrace.
In developing the exhibition Hot Modernism staff from State Library and UQ School of Architecture, along with film-maker Dean Saffron, interviewed Blair at La Boîte Theatre earlier this year. In this video he talks about using "reject bricks" to make this landmark theatre-in-the-round, how Finnish design influenced him deeply and how the theatre provided a social hub for Brisbane residents.
If you want to learn more about Blair's contribution to Queensland's architectural history, visit Hot Modernism until 12 October. You can also read and listen to these extensive interviews with Blair and his wife Beth, as conducted by Deborah van der Plaat, Janina Gosseye and Andrew Wilson as part of an ARC Linkage project with UQ School of Architecture.