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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

Glenn Murcutt

1999
Montalbetti & Campbell

inkjet print on paper (sheet: 45.5 cm x 33.0 cm, image: 42.0 cm x 28.0 cm)

Glenn Murcutt AO (b. 1936), architect, received the world's highest architectural honour when he was awarded the Pritzker Prize in April 2002. Having spent a good deal of his youth in New Guinea, where he learned to love simple shapes and materials, Murcutt only just scraped into a university architecture course at the University of New South Wales, graduating in 1961. As a student, he drew on principles he had learned while working for his father, who had a number of building businesses in Sydney after the war. Murcutt is unusual among Pritzker winners in that he works alone, mostly on residential homes; he has never made a skyscraper or a tourist attraction; and he uses mostly basic materials. By using shades, louvres, fully opening walls and carefully planned ventilation he enables his buildings to respond instantly to changing conditions and requirements. His overriding design philosophy is that dwellings should 'touch the earth lightly'. There are several books about his work, including Leaves of Iron (1991) and Touch This Earth Lightly (2000) by Philip Drew and Glenn Murcutt: Buildings + Projects 1962–2003 (2003) by Françoise Fromonot. Murcutt's Islamic Centre project, an unconventional mosque in suburban Melbourne, is at the heart of an intimate film about Murcutt by Catherine Hunter, Glenn Murcutt: Spirit of Place (2016). He is a Professor at UNSW, and is the principle 'master' on the Architecture Foundation Australia annual International Architecture Master Classes.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Purchased 1999
© Montalbetti & Campbell

Artist and subject

Montalbetti & Campbell

Glenn Murcutt AO (age 63 in 1999)

Subject professions

Architecture, design and fashion

Related information

The Companion

Permanent collection catalogue

Café and shop

On one level The Companion talks about the most famous and frontline Australians, but on another it tells us about ourselves: who we read, who we watch, who we listen to, who we cheer for, who we aspire to be, and who we'll never forget. The Companion is available to buy online and in the Portrait Gallery Store.

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Award-winning Australian architect, Glenn Murcutt describes the philosophy of his architectural practice and his minimalist portrait by Ken Done.

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The National Portrait Gallery is an Australian Government Agency