© Bierman Henket Architecten, Sanatorium Zonnestraal by Jan Duiker
Talk by Dr Scott Robertson: Docomomo & Conservation of the Modern
21st November 2017, Tusculum, Sydney, Australia

Event at Tusculum, Sydney.

“Bierman Henket Architecten and Wessel de Jonge Architecten were awarded the 2010 World Monuments Fund/ Knoll Modernism Prize for their restoration of Zonnestraal Sanatorium.

Dr Scott Robertson, the President of Docomomo Australia and the winner of the 2017 Bathurst Macquarie Heritage Medal, discusses the relationship between the theory and practice of conservation of architecture from the Modern Movement and the dilemma of conserving buildings and sites designed in the early days of the Modern Movement to have a limited life.

Whilst the fabric of Modern Movement buildings is of importance, the design intent of the original architect is often the driving force in conserving Modern buildings. Case studies of Zonnestraal Sanatorium and the Van Nelle factory in the Netherlands demonstrate the different approaches taken to conserve buildings designed around a tight program or function and those designed around a flexible or rational program. The Australian experience of Government as a (re)developer, the impact of government political, economic and aesthetic judgements on our Modernist heritage will be canvassed and contrasted with the more positive outcomes in the USA.

Dr Scott Robertson was the founding President of Docomomo Australia, the Australian branch of the international organisation concerned with the documentation and conservation of buildings and areas or modern architecture. He has 40 years’ experience as an architect in private practice, involved in projects including residential, small commercial and institutional work, as well as heritage projects ranging from conservation management plans, major research projects and the design, documentation and contract administration of a range of conservation building projects. Scott holds the degrees of Master of the Built Environment (Building Conservation) and Bachelor of Architecture (Honours) and was awarded a Phd from the University of New South Wales for research on traditional Javanese architecture.”

Link: website