John Andrews architect


Gold Medal winning architect John Andrews who passed away last week at the age of 88. He was “a giant of the Australian architecture fraternity and one of our first internationally recognised architects,” Australian Institute of Architects national president Tony Giannone said in a media release on Monday. 

Among Andrews’ international designs are Harvard University’s Gund Hall in 1968, the Miami Seaport Passenger Terminal in 1967, the Canadian National Tower in 1970, and Australia’s The Cameron Offices and Toad Hall in Canberra. 

He was a recipient of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 1980, among a slew of other awards and recognitions.

He received Canada’s Centennial Medal in 1967, the US Academy of Arts and Letters Arnold Brunner Award in 1971, the American Institute of Architects Honour Award and Bartlett Award in 1973. In 1980 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Sydney and the RAIA Gold Medal in 1980. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to architecture in 1981.

Mr Giannone said: “I remember studying the octagonal forms of the Adelaide Hyatt in my final years of university. I remember the student tour of the Cameron Offices and all of us wanting an architecture school that reflected the studios of Harvard.”

He said it was time to recognise the work and legacy of Mr Andrews’ outstanding contribution to architecture. “We often fail to listen to the elders and statesmen of our profession,” he said. “We are too busy trying to disrupt everything and anybody. Perhaps the greatest lost opportunity of the year was to not reconnect with John Andrews. 

“I extend a big thank you on behalf of the Institute to Tim Ross and Shelley Kemp for recording conversations with Mr Andrews in recent years and reflecting on his enduring nature.”

Born in Sydney in 1933, Andrews completed a bachelor of architecture at Sydney University and in 1957 he entered the masters of architecture program at Harvard University under the tutelage of Spanish architect and urban designer José Luis Sert.

He went on to establish John Andrews Architects in 1960s Toronto while teaching at the University of Toronto. During that decade he designed buildings for the University of Guelph, Brock University Ontario, the University of Toronto, the University of Western Ontario, the Smith College Art Complex Massachusetts, and the Kent State University’s School of Art.

After returning to Australia, he established John Andrews International in Palm Beach, Sydney. In 1970s Australia he worked on The Cameron Offices, with a brutalist structuralism style deemed one of the most inventive buildings of its time. 

His other Australian buildings in the 1970s include Sydney’s King George Tower, and in the 1980s he designed; the Garden Island Parking Structure, Eugowra Farmhouse, Little Bay Housing, Perth’s Merlin Hotel, the Sydney Convention Centre, and the Melbourne World Trade Centre and Hotel. In 1995 he designed Sydney University’s Veterinary Science complex.

John Andrews architectural archive. Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences / Powerhouse collection

Design Canberra Festival / University of Melbourne

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  1. Gold Medal-winning architect John Andrews who passed away last week at the age of 88, was “a giant of the Australian architecture fraternity and one of our first internationally recognised architects,” Australian Institute of Architects national president Tony Giannone said in a media release on Monday 28 March 2022!
    And I totally endorse that media release! What a very sad loss!
    However, my plea to Practising Australian Architects is the dire need to punch through the various social media networks and get your Architectural advances and developmental ideas into the community and social networks out into the Media to further spread the contribution of Architects in meeting the Built Environment of today!
    Go for it!