Architects thinking locally acting globally.

Peter Stutchbury – Profile



© Anthony Browell

“Stutch’s appreciation of this place, and the need for sustainability is keen. He owes this largely to the sprirituality of his mother Gwenda, whose family property near Cobar, west of the divide, became the springboard for his understanding. His appreciation of form and assembly is also similarly sharp due to his father Ernie, whose ability in management and manufacturing of large scale steel industrial installations is legendary amongst those of us who know him.”

Richard Leplastrier, in Philip Drew, Peter Stutchbury-Architectural Monograph, Balmain, Pesaro, 2000, p.7.

A good building must do two things, firstly it must shelter us, secondly it must speak to us.

Peter Stutchbury is emerging as one of the leaders of a new generation of Australian architects. He is recognised for his innovative approach to sustainability and design. A principal of the firm Peter Stutchbury Architecture he has practiced independently since 1981 producing a wide variety of work. Projects have been published and acclaimed internationally. Peter has taught both nationally and internationally most recently as visiting professor at Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico where he held the Catedra Luis Barragán. He is currently a Professor at The University of Newcastle, Australia and one of the distinguished ‘masters’ with the Architecture Foundation Australia.

Since 1995 his firm has won an unprecedented 39 Australian Institute of Architects Awards. In 2003 Peter became the first Architect to win both National Architecture Awards for Residential and Public Buildings, repeating this in 2005. In 1999 he won the overall National Metal Industries award of Excellence and in 2000 and 2008 The Australian Timber Award. In 2006 Peter was runner-up in the “Innovative Architectures – Design and Sustainability” award in Italy and in 2008 the firm won the International ‘Living Steel’ Competition for extreme climate housing in Russia. Peter Stutchbury Architecture has exhibited work across Australia, Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, France, New Zealand, South Africa, Namibia, USA and Slovenia and at the Venice Architecture Biennale in Italy in both 2006 and 2008.

Time spent living in the desert country of western NSW during Peter’s formative years, allowed him to develop an appreciation of the logic behind Australian landscape and the sensitive nature of its sustainability. He aspires to elevating the status and respect that our  wider environment deserves into the day-to-day culture of architectural disciplines. In 2001, Peter Stutchbury’s work was the major contributor to the University of Newcastle winning the Australian Prime Minister’s National Environmental Banksia Award for Sustainable Development.

“Part of what a building should do is to reflect its locality, there is a lovely quote from John Ruskin, he says “a good building must do two things, firstly it must shelter us, secondly it must speak to us” and he says “it must speak to us of all the things that we think are most important, that we need reminding of today”. One of the things we need to be reminded of is where we are. That seems to be what Peter Stutchbury has done, he has given us a vision of what Australia is, that seems very, very beguiling. I think what is striking about Peter’s houses is that they are built out of quite cheap materials, rough ordinary materials. So although the houses look quite expensive, or the people who live there look quite prosperous, what they reflect is an Australian commitment to a sort of democratic egalitarian spirit.”

Alain de Botton, author of ‘The Architecture of Happiness’, Hamish Hamilton, 2006.

For details of the new book ‘Under the Edge – the Architecture of Peter Stutchbury’, click here

Peter and Glenn riverside

Peter Stutchbury and Glenn Murcutt at Murcutt Master Class ‘Riversdale’  




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