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HBO+EMTB

 
Lilyfield Housing Redevelopment
NRL Rugby League Central
Eden Gardens
 
HBO+EMTB History

HBO+EMTB is built on the reputations of two successful architectural practices – Hoadley Budge
Olphert and Edwards Madigan Torzillo Briggs.
The amalgamated practice of HBO+EMTB was established 1994. Hoadley Budge Olphert, a New
Zealand firm, expanded into the Australian market through merger with the local practice of
Edwards Madigan Torzillo Briggs. Both firms had amassed significant design legacies: HBO had been
operating since 1912, and EMTB since 1945.
Many innovative, award-winning commercial and civic projects from this period have cemented
themselves as enduring landmarks in a complex and rapidly changing environment. These include
the High Court of Australia and National Gallery of Australia – iconic, modern buildings recognised
for their heritage value.
Key elements of our contemporary design approach, including the application of sustainable design
principles and emphasis on humanistic solutions, are evident in commissions from across the past
century.
In the last decade, HBO+EMTB has enjoyed continued growth, establishing 23 offices across Asia
Pacific, including China and India. Our studios have diversified into specialist areas such as heritage
architecture, urban design and strategic workplace planning.
Today, HBO+EMTB’s portfolio includes works across all building types and design disciplines from
commercial and infrastructure developments, to residential, retail and hospitality commissions. We
continue to value our heritage, and the importance of producing enduring, sustainable design
excellence in a commercial context.
 
Sense of place permeated works of great designer

Angelo Candalepas SMH

COLIN FREDERICK MADIGAN, AO

ARCHITECT

22-7-1921 — 17-9-2011

COL Madigan, a visionary architect who was responsible for some of the most significant and accomplished 20th century works of architecture in Australia, has died of complications from pneumonia in Byron Bay. He was 90.

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Madigan's work was heavily influenced by his commitment to the fragile earth, the writing of George Bernard Shaw, and his father, Frederick.

A senior partner in the firm Edwards Madigan Torzillo and Briggs, in 1981 he was awarded the country's most prestigious architectural prize, the Australian Institute of Architects' Gold Medal.

He was also awarded the Sulman Medal twice — in 1967 for his Warringah Shire Civic Centre and in 1970 for the Mitchell College of Advanced Education — and the Blacket Award in 1969 for the Warren Library.

The two nationally best-known designs for which he won honours were landmarks in Canberra — the National Gallery of Australia (the Canberra Medallion in 1981, as principal in charge) and the High Court of Australia (the 25 Year Award in 2007).

Madigan was born in Glen Innes to third-generation Australian parents, Frederick and Alma, and at age 14 was introduced to architecture in his father's office in Inverell, where he started assisting with draftsmen's drawings. His father also talked to him about the stars, and how the sun had given a life force to all things.

In 1937, the young Madigan enrolled in architecture at East Sydney Technical College under Miles Dunphy and Harry Foskett, and was perhaps among the last generations to study traditional knowledge and crafts of the profession.

World War II interrupted his studies and in 1939 he joined the Royal Australian Navy. He resumed his education after the war, and in an unusual move for a student, formed a partnership with Jack Torzillo and Maurice Edwards two years before he graduated.

It wasn't until the late 1990s that Madigan shared the astonishing details of events he endured during the war, and which had been of major significance in his life.

In particular, Madigan was serving on the corvette, HMAS Armidale, when Japanese torpedo bombers attacked and sank the ship in the Timor Sea on December 1, 1942. Perhaps, as historian Don Watson said in Armidale 42, the general sentiment at the time was that “air attack” was “ordinary routine secondary warfare”.

Madigan, who had not made much of the disturbing event, disclosed it in confidence in 1996 to artist Jan Senbergs, whose work carefully adorns the walls of the High Court of Australia. In a nutshell, 60 sailors and 40 Dutch soldiers lost their lives when Armidale sank, and the survivors were strafed by Japanese Zero fighters as they struggled in the water. The 49 who survived, including Madigan, clambered into two boats or floated for nine days on rafts fashioned from debris.

He said there were few days for the rest of his life that he did not recall the event (and how it had educated him about the practicalities involved in surviving, such as how to avoid sharks); the moment when a raft left him and his fellow survivors on a whaler; moments of diminishing hope; the day it rained and saved them from dehydration; the fragile distinction between success and failure.

Madigan graduated in architecture in 1950, and the following year married Ruby Court-Rice, with whom he had a son, Guy, in 1952.

His important works other than the National Gallery and the High Court include the Warringah Shire Civic Centre (1967); the Mitchell College of Advanced Education (1970); the Warren Library (1969); Dee Why Library (1966); the University of New South Wales Round House; the NSW Government Tourist Bureau, Sydney. Significant unbuilt projects include second place in the Parliament House competition in Canberra, as well as his work and proposals for the extensions to the National Gallery of Australia.

Throughout his career, Madigan represented an ethical position for the profession: most famous was his refusal of the Opera House brief from the New South Wales government of the day after the departure of the original designer, Jorn Utzon.

Madigan retired in 1989,

but in latter years found himself in a complex controversy relating to his defence of buildings that were the product of his stewardship at Edwards Madigan Torzillo and Briggs International.

A significant number of gold medal winners signed a petition urging the National Gallery of Australia to engage Madigan to advise it on its new extensions. But during these discussions, Madigan found himself fighting to be heard by the custodians of the gallery.

Madigan didn't accept the design by others for the National Gallery; he believed they were at odds with the "evolutionary" thinking and disciplines his team had set out to offer. He visited the building for the last time on May 11, 2007, when he was asked to comment on the work of the incumbent architect.

He made it clear that the work in the drawings produced for that meeting ignored, in his opinion, the advice that he had selflessly provided the gallery over the preceding eight years.

This was not to say that he was not supportive of the work of others working on the High Court and National Gallery precinct. Indeed, he welcomed the National Portrait Gallery, which he noted had managed to respect the key principles of the master plan his team had created about 40 years earlier.

He was saddened by the ongoing inability of the National Gallery, despite his significant reports and writings — some of which became increasingly intense towards the end — to comprehend his points of view. He was also saddened by the fact that three gold medal winners and the National Capital Authority supported the new designs in a peer review that silenced his lament on the matter with finality.

He is survived by his wife Ruby, son Guy, and grandson Adam.

Angelo Candalepas worked for Col Madigan in the 1980s, and again when he was an adviser to the National Gallery.

 

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