Architects thinking locally acting globally.

The 2018 Glenn Murcutt Master Class will be held 16 - 30 September at the same venues as previously. We welcome applications - early - and will be reviewing first round in November 2017.

Here is an overview of the program as it has run in recent years.

About the Master Class

If you can afford the time and the money to come to Australia for the Glenn Murcutt International Architecture Master Class - it will be a huge inspiration and possibly, as has been suggested by many previous participants, a 'life changing' experience. You will see some astoundingly good architecture and meet some great people, and it will bring you into an amazing international network of 'alumni' who keep in touch across the globe, fostering international visits and exchanges and communicating ideas and experiences. 

As an architect, seeking professional mentorship becomes more and more difficult as one moves beyond one’s own academic training.  The GMMC is a rare and invaluable opportunity to find such mentorship and fraternity. The experience will exceed your expectations and give you a rare and indelible opportunity to participate in something truly remarkable. Glenn Murcutt, Brit Andresen, Richard Leplastrier, Peter Stutchbury and Lindsay Johnston provide you a rare glimpse into the meaning, power and necessity for architecture. This truly is a rare experience, which will forever shape you as an architect.

- GD, AIA, Pittsburgh, PA USA. Master Class 2011


The Glenn Murcutt Architecture Master Class in Australia has become an major annual event on the international architecture calendar. Started in 2001, architects and senior students from over seventy-five nations around the world have now traveled to Australia to participate in the two-week residential studio based program.

Since it was first held in 2001, the first week is held at ‘Riversdale’, the Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Education Centre on the awesomely beautiful Shoalhaven River south of Sydney. Participants have lived in what has been described as Glenn’s ‘Master Work’, spent time there with Glenn Murcutt, and experienced private visits to some of his famous houses. The second week in 201r, as in 2017, will be held in the showroom of Eco Outdoor, in a heritage building in the art and design precinct of Waterloo in Sydney. Glenn personally leads the Master Class, stays with the participants during the first week, and tutors all groups in both the first and second week.

You also meet other outstanding Australian architects Brit Andresen and Richard Leplastrier both, with Glenn Murcutt, Gold Medallists of the Australian Institute of Architects, award winning a widely published Peter Stutchbury who was awarded the 2015 Gold Medal of the Australian Institute of Architects, and master class convener Lindsay Johnston, former Dean of Architecture at the University of Newcastle, Australia. Walk the rugged landscape with Glenn and Aboriginal Elder Uncle Max Dulumunmun Harrison and gain insights into 'touching this Earth lightly'.

Subject to confirmation, the program will include excursions with Glenn Murcutt to see houses such as the Simpson-Lee House at Mt.Wilson in the Blue Mountains. There will also be visits to see some very special houses by Richard Leplastrier and Peter Stutchbury. Details are yet to be finalised and are dependent on client consent to get access to these properties.

The intensive two-week design studio program involves a design project undertaken in groups and culminating, at the end of week two, with a design presentation by participants and a critique by Glenn Murcutt and the other tutors. The studio program, associated lectures and supporting events equate to 150 hours high-level study at postgraduate level. The spirit of the event is that participation is the focus and there is no formal assessment. A certificate of satisfactory completion will be issued to all participants completing the program. Professional institutes and universities internationally have, over the years since its inception, accepted this event as gaining professional development or academic credit points.

As there are only 32 places available applications are assessed on credentials and merit, with preference to early applicants.

It is difficult to put into words what happened to me during those two weeks. Sharing work and free time with all of you was great, something I hadn't done for a long time. It was also great to see that we could achieve something really good working with sensitive, talented people. Different situations and experiences added and freshened up the creative process. Great tutors with a positive frame of mind brought out the best in everybody. The students who helped us where amazing. I was astonished by the quality and sensitivity of all the final schemes. They were all interesting and original. Showing the great amount of the participants’ creativity and work and the sensible tutoring which made such outcomes possible. The country and the people amazed me - and best, I rediscovered that architecture might have a reason. Thank you all for sharing work, rooms or beers, in my group or the Master Class in general for the most wonderful time. I thought it was going to be a vacation, but it was busy as hell.

- Diego Montero Espina, Practising Architect, Uruguay


The Tutors

Glenn Murcutt is Australia’s most internationally famous architect. He has received twenty-five Australian Architecture awards including the RAIA Gold Medal and was awarded the honour Order of Australia (AO). International awards, in addition to the Pritzker Prize in 2002 include the Alvar Aalto Medal, Finland; Richard Neutra Award, USA; the ‘Green Pin’ International Award for Architecture and Ecology, Denmark; and the Asia Pacific Culture and Architecture Design Award.

He has been a Visiting Professor of Architecture at many prestigious universities around the world, and continues as a Professor at the University of New South Wales Australia. 

He has extensive international lecturing experience and, although he is cutting back on lecturing internationally, his most recent lectures have been in Pamplona Spain and Tokyo Japan. He has been appointed Chair of the Pritzker Prize Jury.

Professor Brit Andresen, University of Queensland, has been a central figure in bridging the gap between architectural education and practice. Brit Andresen is the first woman recipient of the RAIA Gold Medal and her work with partner Peter O’Gorman has been awarded and internationally published in publications such as the ‘Phaidon Atlas of Contemporary World Architecture’. Brit studied architecture at Trondheim University Norway qualifying as Sivil Arkitekt in 1969. She has taught architecture at the University of Cambridge, England, the Architectural Association, London and the School of Architecture and Urban Planning UCLA (Master of Architecture Program). Before returning to Australia, she collaborated with Barry Gasson and John Meunier on the 1972 winning entry for the Burrell Museum in Glasgow, Scotland.

Richard Leplastrier is now highly regarded internationally (by those who know) and is an outstanding teacher and ‘guru’. He is a Gold Medallist of the Australian Institute of Architects, and received the Finnish 2004 Spirit of Nature Wood Architecture Award for his outstanding small wooden buildings, which has also been won by Renzo Piano, Kengo Kuma, Peter Zumthor and José Cruz Ovalle. He also received the 2009 Dreyer Foundation Award in Denmark made to an architect “who has made an outstanding contribution to architectural thinking and to society”, and he was made a 2009 Honorary Fellow of the US AIA. He worked with Kenzo Tange in Japan and with Jørn Utzon at the time of the Sydney Opera House. He is close friend and contemporary of Glenn Murcutt. He received an International Fellowship of the British RIBA 2016. 

Peter Stutchbury is in many ways a protégé of Richard, has been awarded the 2015 Gold Medal of the Australian Institute of Architects, and has been a winner of numerous Australian Institute of Architects Awards. His work has been published internationally in GA Houses, Abitare, etc.. He won the 2008 International Living Steel Competition for extreme housing in Cherepovets in Russia, published in the book ‘Houses of Steel’, has held the Catedra (Chair) Luis Barragán in Mexico, was a guest tutor at the Ghost Studios in Nova Scotia and has recently completed a house in Japan for the famous fashion designer Issey Miyake. He received an International Fellowship of the British RIBA 2016. 

Lindsay Johnston, emigrated from Ireland to Australia in 1986 and became Head of the Architecture School and Dean of Faculty at the University of Newcastle. He has been a recipient of architecture awards in Ireland and Australia, including his ‘autonomous’ Four Horizons house and tourist lodges, which have been published internationally. He was recipient of the 2002 RAIA National Neville Quarry Education Award. He now runs the Architecture Foundation Australia.


About Us

The Architecture Foundation Australia is a not-for-profit organisation, the chair of which is Australia’s most internationally regarded architect, Glenn Murcutt. The Foundation has been running Master Classes for professional architects and architecture students since 2001. Over 1000 people, young and old, have participated in our programs from over 75 nations around the world.

The centrepiece program is the annual two-week Glenn Murcutt International Architecture Master Class held at the Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Centre ‘Riversdale’. Other professional Masterclasses have been held in New Zealand, South Africa and Ireland. An annual one-week Summer School for senior architecture students has been held each year in February at the Pittwater YHA since 2005.