JoCA 10


The Journal of Civic Architecture (JoCA) includes essays, visual essays, drawings and design projects that relate architecture, photography, literature and criticism to city life. Each issue is edited by Patrick Lynch, and addresses a series of unpredictable themes concerning urban culture and imagination.

Contributions are invited for the forthcoming issues from photographers, writers and designers who wish to engage in a fruitful dialogue with other creative people about the meaning, frustrations and pleasures of civic culture today. Academics are encouraged to send things that perhaps wouldn’t otherwise find an audience. Please contact us if you’ve design projects, writing, or images that you’d like us to consider for publication.

Each issue of JoCA has a limited print run of 500 copies, and is available to purchase from our website, Magma, magCulture, Rare Mags,  Margaret Howell, Charlotte Street News, The Architectural Association Bookshop in London; and at CCA in Montreal, Copyright Books in Ghent, and at Choisi Bookshop in Lugano, Inga Books Chicago, amongst others.

“This is the 10th issue of the JoCA, which feel momentous to us and somewhat incredible. The first 9 issues seemed to run naturally one from the other, appearing like clockwork every 6 months each solstice, even in the depths of the Covid 19 pandemic. As you may have noticed though, there has been a longer gap than normal between the last issue, which was published in summer 2022, and issue 10. In the meantime, Canalside have published a number of books, including Migrations from Memory by Vokes and Peters (2023), who I interviewed remotely for JoCA 8 in 2021. I was invited last year to participate in the 2022 installment of the Australasian students of architecture congress entitled “Occupy Brisbane”, where I was able to meet Aaron and Stu in person, and had the pleasure also of visiting a number of wonderful buildings by their practice and by other brilliant Queensland architects. Particularly memorable was the work of Donovan Hill, whose legendary D House is published here along with a reflective essay by its remarkable owner Geraldine Cleary. I met Brian Donovan and spoke alongside him in the practice’s amazingly beautiful and prophetic Queensland State Library.

I also met Brit Andresen, one of the architects of The Burrell Collection  - alongside Barry Gasson RIP, and John Meunier. Brit contributed to Migrations from Memory. John Meunier appeared in JoCA 2 (and co-authored On Intricacy with me in 2020), and writes here about his reaction to recent changes to The Burrell. Brit suggested, I’m told, that I ‘found my tribe in Brisbane.‘ Why? Well, I think that it is pretty obvious that questions of climatic architecture lie at the heart and soul of Australian architecture. Simultaneously, the primacy of architectural atmosphere has evolved into a poetics of air and acoustics, evolving not out of a bluntly superficial technical sensibility, but from an attitude attuned towards the entangled physical and imaginative character of place and of dwelling. This aerodynamic and poetic architectural attitude is embodied in the timber Queenslander houses that line the hillsides, and hang suspended above river valley. These houses are infused with a richly complex spatial character, one that the supremely talented Brisbane poet David Malouf, who I also met last year (at the launch of The New Queensland House by Cameron Bruhn and Katelin Butler), describes in his essay “The First Place: A Mapping of a World” (1985). Brit gives this essay to her architecture students at The University of Queensland, to be read as a primer in Brisbane spatial qualities and effects. The character of the Brisbane imagination, Malouf argues, is infused with weather, topography, animals, etc., and so human ecology and the resulting architectural urbanity, “offers a different notion of what the land might be”, he suggests. “You learn in such houses”, Malouf observes, “to listen. You build up a map of the house in sound, that allows you to know exactly where everyone is and to predict approaches. You also learn what not to hear… Wooden houses in Brisbane are open. That is, they often have no doors… you can see right through it to trees or sky… verandahs, mostly with crossed openwork below and lattice or rolled venetians above; an intermerdiary space between the house proper, which is itself only half closed-in, and the world outside - garden, street, weather.” In a nutshell – or rather in a Mangrove seed perhaps – I found an architectural culture full of life and refreshingly open, in every sense.”

Patrick Lynch

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