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Andrew Burns: ‘I am inspired by the cultural patterns of places, both historical and contemporary’

AR_EA Australia: Andrew Burns

Who are you?
Andrew Burns Architects, based in Sydney.

What kind of work do you do?
Residential, small residential, small cultural and public projects and installations.

What is it like being an architect where you are?
It is a good time to be an architect practising in Sydney. Opportunities are opening for emerging practices to participate in public and commercial projects.

What inspires you?
I am inspired by specific cultural patterns of places, both historical and contemporary, and try to find expression for these in architectural projects.

What project are you most proud of and why?
Australia House in Niigata, Japan. I hope it synthesises elements of Australian architectural tradition with the local construction techniques, while having a slightly abstract presence that supports the display of contemporary art.


The Australia House in Niigata replaces a structure that collapsed after an aftershock in 2011, with a steeply pitched roof to protect it from heavy snowfall

What is unique about your work?
The best projects we do always have a very direct geometry, a memorable material investigation and a thoughtfulness about how people use space.

What is your favourite building material or building technique?
I like white painted steel, particularly in combination with Australian Hardwoods.

What would be your ideal project?
A large cultural project that reimagines an institution in some new way, or a large commercial development that integrates genuine social benefit.

Where do you hope to go from here? 
We have recently started our first local public project, a cafe and station entry in Hyde Park, Sydney’s most significant landscape space. We are very excited about this and will seek to build from it to larger public projects.

What do you want to be remembered for? 
Precise, enduring architecture that communities embrace.

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