Functional modernism | State Library of New South Wales

Functional modernism

With its love of simplicity and uniform lines, architectural modernism naturally lent itself to the functional design of industrial, commercial and warehouse buildings.

Samuel Lipson (1901-1996), with his partner Peter Kaad, was a prominent architect in Sydney from the 1930s to 1960s. He was one of only a handful of architects in Sydney at the time devoted to early modernism, specialising in commercial work including warehouses, office buildings and car show rooms. Now regarded as one of the avant-garde designers of the 1930s, he was part of the movement to introduce European-derived modernism into Australia.

His innovative designs for the Hastings Deering building (now City Ford) were streamlined and modern. Built in 1938 as a car showroom and service centre for Ford vehicles, it pioneered a number of design and structural innovations in Sydney at the time.

> View photographs and elevations of the Hastings Deering building

Hastings Deering building

The Hoffnung & Co. building (later Red Cross House) is one of the earliest and finest examples of a functionalist style building designed for warehouse and retail activities. Built in 1939, it was the new flagship headquarters for large wholesale company S. Hoffnung & Co.

> View photographs and elevations of the Hoffnung & Co. building

Hoffnung & Co. building

Sydney had many fine commercial industrial buildings. However being industrial, they have not always been well maintained or well regarded. Some have been renovated into multi-purpose buildings, losing many of their original features.

> Find more of the Library’s Lipson, Kaad, Fotheringham & Partners architectural collection, 1929-1971 catalogue link





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