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Hot Modernism: State Library Exhibition

Home > Brisbane > Free | Historic Houses | Museums | Places of Interest
by Roy Chambers (subscribe)
Lover of all things interesting and new
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How Brisbane embraced the future in the post war period
The State Library of Queensland's Hot Modernism exhibition looks at how Brisbane embraced the movement for new ways of living in the post war period. The exhibition also includes a number of films, tours, talks and even a stand-up comedy show by Tim Ross.

University of Queensland Central Library (1973)
University of Queensland Central Library (1973)

After the years of conflict during WWII much of the world was looking for a new start and tried to find 'better' ways of living. Australia, like the United States, was perfectly positioned to capitalise on this movement with a growing economy, great optimism and the space to experiment.

Lennons Broadbeach Hotel (1958)
Lennons Broadbeach Hotel (1958)

Despite its reputation as a sleepy backwater Brisbane's political leaders have always embraced a vision of growth and development for Queensland. This has been reflected in both public and private architecture.

Ravenscraig 2, Surfers Paradise (1965)
Ravenscraig 2, Surfers Paradise (1965)

The modernist movement in architecture embraces simplistic lines, colours and styles while making use of modern materials and manufacturing techniques. Some designs have since become so common now that we forget how radical and even controversial they were at the time.

Postwar modernist design has produced some amazing architectural examples along with, in my opinion, some of the most horrendous creations of any period. Brisbane seems to have escaped most of the worst excesses of this movement while also providing some great examples. I think the worst example from this period are the Riverside Expressways while the Centenary Pool at Spring Hill is one of the most interesting projects from that period.

Centenary Pool, Spring Hill
Centenary Pool, Spring Hill

This exhibition is not just for design and architecture buffs but also relevant to anyone who lives in Brisbane.
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Why? Learn about modernist architecture in Brisbane in the post war period
When: The main exhibition will be open from 9 am - 5 pm daily
Phone: 07 3840 7666
Where: State Library of Queensland, Cultural Precinct, South Bank
Cost: Exhibition and most events are free, others are ticketed
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