Rethinking Modern Architecture: HASSELL’s Contribution to the Transformation of Adelaide’s Twentieth Century Urban Landscape
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There has been considerable academic, professional and community interest in South Australia’s nineteenth century built heritage, but less in that of the state’s twentieth century. Now that the twenty-first century is in its second decade, it is timely to attempt to gain a clearer historical perspective on the twentieth century and its buildings. The architectural practice HASSELL, which originated in South Australia in 1917, has established itself nationally and internationally and has received national peer recognition, as well as recognition in the published literature for its industrial architecture, its education, airport, court, sporting, commercial and performing arts buildings, and the well-known Adelaide Festival Centre. However, architectural historians have generally overlooked the practice’s broader role in the development of modern architecture until recently, with the acknowledgement of its post-war industrial work. This paper explores HASSELL’s contribution to the development of modern architecture in South Australia within the context of growth and development in the twentieth century. It examines the need for such studies in light of heritage considerations and presents an overview of the firm’s involvement in transforming the urban landscape in the city and suburbs of Adelaide. Examples are given of HASSELL’s mid-twentieth century industrial, educational and commercial buildings.