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Sydney Ancher

1904 – 1980

Sydney Ancher (1904-1980), architect, graduated from Sydney Tech College in 1930. Winning the Board of Architects of New South Wales Travelling Scholarship enabled him to work and travel in England and Europe. Here he was exposed to the Modernist ideas of the Bauhaus group, which resulted in his prewar 'liner' style Prevost House in Sydney. In 1945 he won the Sulman Medal for his own house in Killara, and the following year he founded one of Sydney's most distinguished architectural firms, Ancher, Mortlock, Murray and Woolley. In 1959 Sir John Overall appointed the firm to design public housing for the National Capital Development Commission, with Ancher, then recognised as one of Sydney's leading architects, in charge. Ancher's Northbourne Housing Group was completed in 1962 and dramatically captured on film by Max Dupain, who worked for the NCDC in 1963. Ancher's only large medium density housing design, the complex along the arterial approach to the city remains one of Australia's few examples of Bauhaus principles applied to public housing. Ancher won the RAIA Gold Medal in 1975. He was one of several leading architects who commissioned Dupain to photograph his work.

Updated 2018