Students at the University of Sydney
Students in the early years
This webpage provides brief information about the beginnings / establishment of the Faculty of Architecture, and photos of its early students and graduates.
View more information and photos about early women Architecture students.
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FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE 1920 (now Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning)
||The study of architecture at the University began as an elective in the Bachelor of Engineering program in the new Department of Engineering, Faculty of Science, and was also offered as an option in the Master of Engineering degree.
||A part-time Lecturer in Architecture was appointed, with the title P N Russell Lecturer from 1887, and the annual 30 lectures, although designed for Engineering students, were open to other students at a two guineas fee. The Lecturers were architects Cyril Blacket (son of Edmund Blacket) (1884-86), John Sulman (1887-1912) and Jack Hennessy (1912-18).
||After abortive attempts over some 25 years to establish a school of architecture, Senate approved the establishment of a Department of Architecture within the Faculty of Science, the first Architecture degree in Australia and a Chair of Architecture, with Leslie Wilkinson appointed to the position.
||Although Wilkinson did not arrive in Sydney until August and only the curriculum for First Year had been worked out, the first nine students were enrolled at the beginning of the year: 5 men - John Fairlie-Cuninghame, William Laurie, Gregory Roarty, Stanley Vickers; and 4 women - Leonore (Lorna) Lukin (later Phillips), Beryl McLaughlin BSc Sydney, Ellice Nosworthy and Mary Sheffer.
||The curriculum for the remaining years of the degree, having been worked out by Professor Wilkinson, was approved by Senate.
||The Department of Architecture was given faculty status and Wilkinson was elected Dean, a position he held until his retirement in 1949. There were 31 students enrolled in the Faculty that year, 21 men and 10 women.
||The Faculty consisted of one large Studio under the original Fisher Library (now MacLaurin Hall) and a lecture room.
||The first Bachelor of Architecture graduates were 5 men: John Fairlie-Cuninghame, Charles Hollinshed, William Laurie with the University Medal, Frederick Lucas and Stanley Vickers.
||and 3 women: Leonore (Lorna) Lukin (later Phillips), Beryl McLaughlin and Ellice Nosworthy.
||The 46 undergraduate student enrolments that year comprised 25 men and 21 women.
||Student enrolments grew sharply after World War II.
||Graham Thorp was the first Master of Architecture graduate.
||The Wilkinson Building was completed.
||Peter Smith became Australia's first Doctor of Philosophy graduate in architecture.
||The Architecture student strike stopped the Faculty for several weeks, and resulted in a major rewriting of the curriculum.
||Emeritus Professor Henry (Jack) Cowan, the world's first professor of architectural science, was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Architecture by the University.
||The Faculty was renamed the Faculty of Architecture, Design & Planning in recognition of the development of activities beyond architecture in which the Faculty is involved.
||Total enrolments in Architecture as at 31 March were 537 women and 690 men.
In the 1880s
John Sulman, P N Russell Lecturer in Architecture (1887-1912), in military uniform, photo, Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW, Digital order number: a1033042. In the late 1880s Sulman was First Lieutenant in the Parramatta Troop, New South Wales Regiment of Cavalry. In 1890 Sulman formed the Parramatta half-squadron of lancers, but resigned his commission as first lieutenant four years later.
John Bradfield graduated Bachelor of Engineering in 1889 with the University Gold Medal and First Class Honours in Engineering and Architecture, and Mineralogy, photo c1886, Picture Ipswitch, Ipswitch City Council.
In the 1890s
James Vickars graduated Master of Engineering in 1892 with the University Gold Medal for General Proficiency and First Class Honours in Civil Engineering, Architecture and Building Construction, photo, The Advertiser, 19 March 1895, National Library of Australia.
In the early 1900s
Leslie Wilkinson in military uniform in 1917, a year before he was appointed Professor of Architecture at the University of Sydney, photo G3_224_0506, University of Sydney.
In the 1920s
William Laurie was one of the first Architecture graduates, with the University Medal, in 1922, photo, The Sydney Morning Herald,15 April 1924, National Library of Australia. He practised as an architect in Sydney, was President of the NSW Chapter & the Federal Council of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, & a member of the Town and Country Planning Advisory Committee & the Council of NSW University of Technology.
Another of the first Bachelor of Architecture graduates (1922), Ellice Nosworthy (Phillips) in 1922, photo G3_224_1351, University of Sydney Archives.
A group of Architecture I students in 1925, photo G3_224_1462, University of Sydney Archives.
This plan for a community settlement by Architecture students was displayed at the Exhibition of the Institute of Architects in 1925. The Faculty had focussed on town-planning, and students considered schemes for the establishment of community villages in new areas being opened up. It comprised a church, shops and houses grouped around the village green, where the ideal was that of community pride, photo, SMH, 11 June 1925, NLA.
Faculty of Architecture staff and students in 1926, photo G3_224_1269, University of Sydney Archives.
In the 1940s
The Faculty of Architecture in 1948, photo G3_224_2790, University of Sydney Archives.
In the 1950s
Architecture student David Davies with his model of a nightclub restaurant, at the Faculty of Architecture students' exhibition on "Some Architectural Problems of Sydney", photo from 'The Sunday Herald', 12 August 1951, National Library of Australia.
The model of television studios suitable for Sydney was built by fifth-year architectural students in August 1953 as a problem for study. The model, with others designed by the students, was later on view in the 1954 Architecture and Building Exhibition organised by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects, photo, The Sydney Morning Herald, 18 August 1953, National Library of Australia.
A Sydney University architecture student's conception of the Great Hall, at the students' exhibition of models and sketches showing what the students thought that some of Sydney's public buildings should look like, photo from 'The Sun-Herald', 1 November 1953, National Library of Australia.
Model of a conservatorium of music, which was among exhibits by students of the Faculty of Architecture at David Jones' store in November 1953, photo, The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 November 1953, National Library of Australia.
Professor Denis Winston, one of the speakers at the Architectural Convention, with Mrs Hal Missingham and Margaret Lord, examines a scale model of a town centre by fifth year Sydney University architectural students at the International Architectural Exhibition at David Jones' Gallery on 10 May 1954, photo, The Sydney Morning Herald, 11 May 1954, National Library of Australia.
In 1958 Kenneth Woolley and Michael Dysart, who graduated BArch in 1955 and 1958 respectively, won the prize for designing a £3,000-or-under house for the typical Australian family, photo, The Australian Women's Weekly, 27 August 1958, National Library of Australia.
In the 1960s
An team of 18 geographers, architects, surveyors & engineers studying for the Diploma in Town Planning in 1961 used Manly in an unofficial redevelopment project. It took several months to build the scale models below, which were lent to Manly Council for residents to vote on them. The Council was considering many of the ideas, but any plans would be long-range & expensive, photos, The Australian Women's Weekly, 1 November 1961, NLA.
Model favoured by public vote: a
hexagonal convention centre flanked
by hotels and home-unit blocks.
The ocean front closed to traffic and
lined with hotels and units.
Not only The Corso but also the
harbourside and ocean roads
turned into pedestrian malls.
All central roads sealed off with
traffic moving in a circular pattern
round Manly proper.
Fifth year Architecture students of Sydney University prepared models and plans of their ideas of a new Federal Parliament House as projects in 1964, and the models were on display at David Jones' store in Canberra in 1965. This is one of the models of the two Houses of Parliament on the southern foreshore of Lake Burley Griffin, photo, The Canberra Times, 24 February 1965, National Library of Australia.
This model was by J M Cullis-Hill, photo, The Canberra Times, 24 February 1965, National Library of Australia.
This model was by K Warren, photo, The Canberra Times, 24 February 1965, National Library of Australia.
In the 1970s
A project by Architecture and Fine Arts students with the help of the "Event structure Research Group" (an international group centred in Holland) at Sydney University swimming pool in 1972. The experimentation with inflatable structures, in the same year as the “strike,” demonstrates the new style of architectural education that followed, photo G3_224_2132, University of Sydney Archives.
With a view to a future in which new materials might not be so plentiful, a group of Sydney University architecture students built a self-sufficient, or "autonomous" house on the University campus in Darlington in 1974, photo, The Gazette, February 1975.
An artist's sketch in 1974 of the proposed new Architecture building, as it would appear from City Road, with the existing Architecture building on the right, photo, The Gazette, June 1974, University of Sydney Archives.
A lecture in the Faculty of Architecture by Jack Hickson, photographer, in 1977, photo, Mitchell Library, State Library of NSW, Call number: Australian Photographic Agency - 40133.
An experiment in integrating the primary school curriculum into the construction of a playground environment was carried out in 1977 at St Mary's Primary School, Erskineville, by Morrice Shaw, a Lecturer in Architecture and a number of first year Architecture students as part of their course, photo, The Gazette, May 1978. The playground consisted of a sterile expanse of asphalt.
The playground was transformed into a garden for children to play and sit, a small children's theatre which also doubled as an open air classroom, and an area reserved for climbing and dynamic play activities, photo, The Gazette, May 1978. An unused shelter shed adjacent to the stage area was enclosed to become a general arts and crafts workshop, where the children could also make stage scenery.
At the official opening in 1978 of the North Sydney Leisure Centre for playground structures designed and built with the help of 60 first year Architecture students. They had worked for 8 weeks to build a sandpit, tree platforms, a bunker, retaining walls, bamboo maze, extendable fence and a multi-level stage. Pictured above are members of the cast of Sleeping Beauty which was performed on the stage, photo, The Gazette, May 1979, University of Sydney Archives.
In the 1980s
Department of Architecture students contributed to an ambitious plan to convert the Rev Samuel Marsden's Mamre homestead and the 87 hectares surrounding it to a diverse community recreation and training centre. Pictured are Architecture students laying plans for the homestead, photo, University of Sydney Annual Report 1986.
The scale model of the Royal Victoria Theatre which stood in Castlereagh Street, Sydney, between 1838 and 1880, was constructed in 1987 as part of a joint research and teaching project between the Departments of Architecture and English and the Theatre Studies Service Unit. The model depicts the stage as it would have been in the 1840s, photo, University of Sydney Annual Report 1987.
(From right) Eleni Confos, Robert Wilson and Luke Fox with Fijian villagers and a model of the framework of a 'bure', a traditional Fijian building. The three were part of a group of 47 second and third year Architecture students on an architectural and cultural tour of Fiji. On their return to Sydney the group prepared a display, to coincide with Open Day, demonstrating aspects of their fieldtrip, photo by Peter Hadjakis, University of Sydney Annual Report 19887.
In the 1990s
A view of the Architecture Department's collage of design work installed at the Venice Biennale in 1991, photo, University of Sydney Annual Report 1991.
The STUCCO project to convert an old factory and warehouse into 8 apartments and communal facilities for low cost student accommodation was completed in June 1991. Following designs by architecture undergraduates, Mr Tone Wheeler of the Architecture Department had been commissioned by the NSW Department of Housing to finalise the design and to prepare working drawings and supervise construction, photo by T Wheeler, University of Sydney Annual Report 1991.
At the exhibition of student designs for a recreation centre in Redfern in 1992 were (from left): Mr Michael Mundine, Secretary of the Aboriginal Housing Company, Mr Colin James (Architecture), Mr Vic Smith, Mayor of South Sydney City Council, and second year Architecture student, Diella Bolzan, with the model she designed, photo, University of Sydney Annual Report 1992.
The Wilkinson Building was completed in 1959, photo, courtesy of 'sydneyarchitecture'.
In 2008 first Year BDesArch students designed a single building with a complex international urban context for their ‘Nine Quarter City’ project. The collective final model resulted from a series of iterations with an emphasis on practical experimentation and in a range of media, photo, 'Archetype' September 2009.
The 2009 Graduate Exhibition, photo from 'Archetype', Winter 2010.
Lecturers Kristine Sodersten and Susan Rice with design students in 2009, photo, UniNews, September 2009. The intensive week-long winter design school for third year students, which was set up by the two lecturers, has been running since 2003 .
The 2010 Architecture review “ceci n’est pas une revue d’architecture”, photo from 'Archetype', Winter 2010.
Students from the Master of Architecture program explored a variety of design challenges to meet the unique needs of the Northern Territory’s Utopia Community in 2010, photo, 'Archetype' 2012.
1966 Bachelor of Architecture graduate Clive Lucas OBE received the honorary degree of Doctor of Science in Architecture at the Faculty of of Architecture, Design & Planning graduation ceremony held at 9.30am on 15 April 2011, photo, copyright Memento Photography. Lucas has been Director of Clive Lucas, Stapleton and Partners Pty Ltd, a Sydney based architecture and heritage consultancy, since 1970.
Master of Architecture students Iain Blampied and Oliver Hessian developed a concept for a contemporary performance space at the Quadrangle, in conjunction with Sydney Festival organisers, in an exhibition at the Tin Sheds Gallery in early 2012, photo from 'Archetype', 2012.
Architecture student Kate Fife working on the new CNC Router in the Digital Fabrication Laboratory, Architectural Technology Services Centre, photo, 'Archetype' 2012.
The Faculty extensively refurbished its facilities in 2012, photo from the Faculty's news item, 'Faculty refurbishment'.
- University of Sydney Calendar Archive
- National Library of Australia historic newspapers
- 'Australia's first: A history of the University of Sydney, Vol 1 1850 - 1939' by Clifford Turney, Ursula Bygott and Peter Chippendale
- The Faculty's history
- 'Archetype', Autumn 2009
Lis Bergmann, 2012