Designing a New World: Twentieth-Century Heritage

Designing a New World: Twentieth-Century Heritage

Modernist design and architecture is often misunderstood and wasn’t always loved.


At GML, we remember the Australia ICOMOS ‘(Un)loved Modern’ conference in 2009, which raised awareness about the modern movement when many mid-century buildings were threatened with demolition.

Modernism was about bold experimentation and exploration. It challenged the accepted conventions in design and architecture. It didn’t mean that the past was irrelevant, but rather it formed the archive of possibilities from which the new world could be created.

Yet some people still think modernism is ugly and others say heritage listing modern architecture is a ploy to stop development.

Through our services at modernist places such as University House, Giralang Primary SchoolAustralia Square, Qantas House and the Florey Building, we are working to conserve these places for the future.

Each year we support Canberra Modern and our Principal, Rachel Jackson was instrumental in its establishment.

We are involved in global organisations, such as the Iconic Houses Trust, which campaigns for the conservation of modernist homes globally, and develops practical conservation guidelines.

We’re also a member of docomomo (documentation and conservation of buildings, sites and neighbourhoods of the modern movement).

Talk to us about modernist buildings, houses or gardens for heritage advice and services to create a new future.