NGV Design Studio, Ground Level
Architecture of Faith is a unique exhibition providing an in-depth exploration of the new Australian Islamic Centre at Hobsons Bay, Melbourne, designed by renowned Australian architect Glenn Murcutt.
Murcutt and Melbourne practice Elevli Plus worked with the Newport Islamic Council for nearly a decade on the creation of a contemporary Australian mosque and Islamic centre. Importantly, this significant building has been funded and built by members of the local community.
The Australian Islamic Centre sets out to define a new architectural language for contemporary Australian Islam, challenging our assumptions of historical architectural typologies and aesthetics. At the same time as respecting the fundamental principles and requirements of Islamic architecture, Murcutt has pushed beyond the semiotic language of the traditional mosque, reimagining its geometry, colours, materiality and spatial organisation to create an accessible contemporary place of worship, learning and community.
The new Australian Islamic Centre represents a progressive vision for architecture as a tool for cultural expression and enabler of intercultural dialogue in a tolerant multicultural society.
About Glenn Murcutt
Glenn Murcutt AO is one of Australia’s most respected architects. He has received twenty-five Australian architecture awards, including the RAIA Gold Medal, and international awards such as the prestigious Pritzker Architecture Prize; Alvar Aalto Medal (Finland); Richard Neutra Award (United States); ‘Green Pin’ International Award for Architecture and Ecology (Denmark); and the Asia Pacific Culture and Architecture Design Award.
Murcutt was born in London, to Australian parents, in 1936. He grew up in the Morobe district of New Guinea, where he developed an appreciation for simple, primitive architecture. After graduating in 1961 with a degree in architecture from the University of New South Wales, Sydney, Murcutt travelled for two years before returning to Sydney to work in the office of Ancher, Mortlock, Murray and Woolley. He remained with this firm for five years before establishing his own practice in 1970.
Murcutt’s small but exemplary practice is well known for its environmentally sensitive designs with a distinctive Australian character. His buildings, which are principally residential, are a blend of modernist sensibility, local craftsmanship and respect for nature.