Last week, an exhibition of an architect Glenn Murcutt opened in MAO (Museum of Architecture and Design) in Ljubljana, Slovenia. I am using the occasion to post some of the Glenn Murcutt’s quotes – something, I have been preparing to do for quite some time now.

 

 

All the quotes are from the Glenn Murcutt Masterclass (GMMC) 2011, which took place last summer in Australia and which, I have been privileged to  to attend.

Some of the quotes are from lectures, he gave us in Boyd’s Centre in Riversdale and Carriageworks in Sydney. Some are coming from the tutors’ critiques we were given at our tables or during our group presentations. And some, I just picked up from the various conversations we had back then.

Even today, especially when I feel in need of inspiration or I need an extra push to keep going, I often took my sketchbook, leaf thru pages and read some of the notes I have made back then. His – and to be just, other tutors’ quotes as well – proved to be powerful guidelines. Not just professional ones, but a life guidelines as well. And as such, they could be an interested reading even for non-architects.

 

 

“It is easy to be a bad architect. It is even easier to be an average one. But to be good – that’s really hard. But I am determined. We (tutors) are all determined!”; Glenn at the end of GMMC 2011 farewell barbecue party at Richard’s place.

“Every new work makes me nervous.”; about the responsibility of an architect.

 

 

“Architect should be in command of the process, not a lackey. That also means taking responsibility.”; about taking the responsibility.

“We are making architecture, not merchandise.”

“It is really about observation. That teaches you, what you can do.”; about the importance of awareness.

 

 

“Nature is not romantic. It is tough.”; about the common romantic view of the nature.

“If you do not understand the materials, how could you produce architecture?”; about the importance of knowing the craftsmanship.

 

 

“Truly modern architecture is not about the dogma.”; about modern architecture.

“Instead of expanding the practice, I was expanding the time.”; about coping with extensive number of clients, after he won a Pritzker’s award and not letting it affect the quality of his work and his work process.

“You have to give me brief that would generate the things to be different, not to be different just for the difference itself.”; about his clients’ wishes for their house to be different.

“Compromise gives us the opportunity to make things better – not different!”; about his attitude towards the clients’ wishes.

 

 

And finally my favourite quote, that motivates me during the long hours, working on ‘n’ version of the floor plan, structure, placement, volumes,… or some other important something…

“My father told me, that the quality of my project would determine the quality of my next client. And that is true!”; Glenn, during the conversation, at GMMC 2011 farewell barbecue party.

 

 

Glenn, thank you!

Matej Gašperič

Architect