Architects thinking locally acting globally.

Lindsay Johnston - Profile

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Lindsay Johnston grew up in Ireland and studied architecture in Scotland. After 20 years in research and practice in Ireland he emigrated to Australia and entered academic life. He has been Head of School and Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Design at the University of Newcastle. He has continued architectural practice and has been awarded for his houses and for research on and practice of environmentally sensitive strategies. His house 'Four Horizons' and the associated tourist lodges in the Watagans National Park, west of Newcastle, have been published internationally. He was winner in 2003 of a limited competition for the design of a World Heritage Area Visitor Centre in the Blue Mountains west of SydneySydney (eventually unbuilt). He has been Chair of the Australian Institute of Architects National Education Committee and National Environment Committee. He was awarded the 2002 Australian Institute of Architects National Education Prize for his contribution to architectural education. He continues as Visiting Professor at the University of Newcastle where he tutors and runs design studios for students in the Masters degree programs. He is convener of the Architecture Foundation Australia and principle organiser of the Glenn Murcutt International Architecture Master Class and other educational events.

He has built widely and consistently throughout his professional life, using the program of each project to test and refine his own architectural and environmental interests, informed by the rigour of an academic framework.

“Professor Lindsay Johnston FRAIA was awarded the 2002 RAIA Architectural Education Prize for his integrity, creativity and determination to influence a sustainable future through a life of education in the art and practice of architecture. Lindsay Johnston continues a long and distinguished academic career, during which he has been widely influential and highly respected across a broad spectrum of educational and professional activities. He continues to be an integral part of a dedicated team of academics that at the University of Newcastle created one of Australia's most highly regarded and innovative architecture programs. 

The Jury described Lindsay Johnston as "highly influential through his insightful leadership of State and Federal RAIA Education development programs and committees, with special emphasis on his chairmanship of the National Education Committee between 1994 and 1999".

 Lindsay Johnston continues to forge new ground in terms of post-graduate course development and research initiatives and has in recent years been principally responsible for conception and organisation of the acclaimed "Glenn Murcutt Australian International Master Class" program. He is widely published on many aspects of architectural thought, education and environmental issues. One of the most distinctive aspects of Lindsay Johnston's career has been a sustained interest in the integration of teaching with the discipline of practice. He has built widely and consistently throughout his professional life, using the program of each project to test and refine his own architectural and environmental interests, informed by the rigour of an academic framework.” Jury Citation for the award of the Australian Institute of Architects, National Education Prize, 2002 (Awarded 2004)

"Each year the Premier's Award gives me the chance to recognise architecture that I believe has made a significant contribution to the State. This year, I am particularly pleased to reward Lindsay Johnston for his Four Horizons Eco Lodges in the Hunter Valley. Not a major project in a well-frequented part of a city or town but a modest, simple, very Australian example of environmental design. Much can be learnt and applied from both the lodge design, the use of materials and energy, and how tourist development can exist in harmony with its surroundings."
Bob Carr, Premier of New South Wales, July 2000.

"'Four Horizons' is 100 acres of wilderness, 430 metres above sea level on the edge of a coastal escarpment, a 45 minute drive, a world apart, from Lindsay's office at the School of Architecture, University of Newcastle. Located in the Watagan Forest, it is accessed by ascending a typical outback dirt road. The main house sits resolute overlooking the Hunter Valley flood plains. Recipient of the 1997 RAIA NSW Chapter Environment Award, the building conscientiously embraces issues of sustainability and energy efficiency. The memorable 'central room' is testament to the accuracy to which keen foreign translation can contribute to the vernacular. The north east is open but building edges make the perfect frame to immediate and distant lands, with the occasional brush-tail rock wallaby snapping the wandering mind to attention."
Peter Stutchbury, Architecture Review Australia, No. 66, Melbourne, Summer 1998, p.30.

"Sited within walking distance from the house but set back from the escarpment the Four Horizons lodges have captured similar originality. The combination of an architect as a client, rigorous thinking and careful sitings have produced tourist 'treats'. What better contribution to the process of architectural education than this growing assembly of small buildings carefully considered, imaginative, and available to bridge the public's distance from architecture."
Peter Stutchbury, Architecture Review Australia, No. 66, Melbourne, Summer 1998, p.31.

"This design speaks volumes about the climate in which the buildings are situated. How many buildings in such locations have ever achieved this? They are conceived in the spirit of the highest standards of sustainability, and are a delight in design terms. The use of materials, the building elements and volumes suit these pavilions beautifully in the natural environment."
Irish Architecture Review, Vol. 1, Dublin, RIAI, 1999, p.96.

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