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Sydney Ancher
, c. 1962

by Max Dupain

gelatin silver photograph

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, where he absorbed the Modernist ideas of the Bauhaus group. In 1945 he won the Sulman Medal for his own house in Killara, and the following year he founded one of Sydney's major 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. His Northbourne Housing Group was completed in 1962 and dramatically photographed by 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 Australia's leading example of public housing constructed according to Bauhaus principles.

Collection: National Portrait Gallery
Gift of Rex Dupain 2003
Donated through the Australian Government's Cultural Gifts Program
Accession number: 2003.72