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Urban Sanctuary – Sold Out

Wed November 7, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm AEDT

Free – $25.00

Join co-authors Anna Johnson and Richard Black to celebrate the launch of their latest book Urban Sanctuary : The New Domestic Outdoors, with short presentations on ideas and themes drawn from the book by seven of Melbourne’s most significant practicing architects.

Book synopsis

To live in the city is to be immersed within increasing pressures of urban density – a mix of tightly packed dwellings, noise, threatened natural ecologies, diminished connection to nature and less outdoor space, while still being close to the metropolis and all that it offers. Within this context the desire to find refuge from our busy lives is one of the most significant requirements of home – refuge that takes the form of rooms for rest and spaces for interacting with family and friends, as well as outdoor spaces.
Urban Sanctuary brings together outstanding contemporary houses from Australia and New Zealand situated in urban contexts that explore and demonstrate new, inventive ways of living with the outdoors and contemporary urban landscapes. Taking the form of vertical gardens, micro-green spaces, rooftop gardens, courtyards, borrowed landscapes and reworked traditional gardens, these projects reveal how a home can interact with garden spaces – in whatever form they might take – while strengthening the natural landscapes and ecologies of these urban settings.


Available to buy: $70
(Student concession $55)

About the Authors

Richard Black is an associate professor with RMIT School of Architecture and Urban Design. His design practice, teaching and research activities explore overlaps and adjacencies between architecture and landscape. He is co-author with Anna Johnson of Living in the Landscape published by Thames & Hudson 2016.

Anna Johnson is a senior lecturer in architecture with RMIT School of Architecture & Urban Design. Her research, teaching and design practice has been concerned with relationships of landscape, context and architecture, as well as in narrative and architecture. She is also an author of several books on architecture, including Living in the Landscape, co-authored with Richard Black and published by Thames & Hudson 2016.


Martyn Hook, Iredale Pedersen Hook

Kerstin Thompson, (KTA)

Nigel Bertram, NMBW Architecture Studio

Anthony Clarke, BLOXAS

Albert Mo, Architects EAT

Mel Bright, Make Architecture

Louise Wright and Mauro Baracco, Baracco + Wright Architects (TBC)

Anna Johnson

Richard Black

(Confirmed speakers for the launch are 7 practitioners included in the publication briefed to speak for 5 minutes each in response to our provocation listed below).

To live on the city’s edge is to live in a type of pause – an intersection – a slice between environments and experiences. Proximate to the metropolis and all that it offers culturally, socially and economically, but far enough away to reflect, to imagine and to experience the landscapes of the city….No longer is the house the dominant assertive figure, commanding presence on site within the broader streetscape. This new approach is characterised by an interchangeable relationship defined by the equal importance of house and garden…

 In real estate at least, the sophistication of a dwelling is often measured in terms of the number of bathrooms and bedrooms and how big the living spaces are. What if in future sophistication and value was measured by the number of outdoor spaces, of garden area and instead of valuing built volume, we might value outdoor space. It is this territory where urban sanctuary resides. In this collection of projects we see how architects have created the provision for shelter, protection and comfort within the city – a basic human requirement – while simultaneously making the city more present. These are projects that are forging relationships between their settings and the private worlds of the interior. It is between these realms that urban sanctuary is found.

Excerpt from the book’s framing essay:

 ‘Domestic Urbanism: Inside out: the new domestic terrain.’



Wed November 7, 2018
6:30 pm - 9:30 pm AEDT
Free – $25.00



Robin Boyd Foundation


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