John Andrews AO, an internationally acclaimed architect and former RAIA Gold Medal Winner, has sadly passed away at the age of 88.
Overseeing projects in Canada, the USA and Australia, Andrews is known internationally for his designs of Harvard University’s Gund Hall in 1968, the Miami Seaport Passenger Terminal in 1967, the Canadian National Tower which opened in 1970 and Australia's The Cameron Offices and Toad Hall in Canberra.
Australian Institute of Architects National President Tony Giannone describes Andrews as a “giant of Australian architecture.”
“I remember studying the octagonal forms of the Adelaide Hyatt in my final years of university. I remember the student tour of the Cameron Offices and all of us wanting an architecture school that reflected the studios of Harvard,” he says.
Andrews was born in 1933 in Sydney and studied at North Sydney Boys’ High School, before studying a Bachelor of Architecture at Sydney University and Harvard University, where one of his professors was Spanish architect and urban designer Jose Luis Sert.
Throughout the 1960s he established his practice John Andrews Architects in Toronto and taught at the University of Toronto. His time in the Canadian city saw him design university residences for the University of Guelph and Brock University, Ontario in 1965 and 1967 respectively, the University of Toronto; the Weldon Library for the University of Western Ontario and the Smith College Art Complex, Massachusetts, all in the year of 1968, and Kent State University’s School of Art in 1970.
Andrews returned to Australia in the 1970s and subsequently established John Andrews International in Palm Beach, Sydney. In this time, he created designs for The Cameron Offices, regarded as one of the most inventive buildings of its time. His other Australian buildings included Sydney’s King George Tower (1970), Garden Island Parking Structure (1980), Eugowra Farmhouse (1980), Little Bay Housing (1981), Perth’s Merlin Hotel (1983), the Sydney Convention Centre (1989), the World Trade Centre and Hotel in Melbourne (1989), and the Veterinary Science complex for Sydney University (1995).
Giannone says it is time to celebrate and recognise Andrews’ contribution to the built environments of Australia and North America.
“We often fail to listen to the elders and statesmen of our profession,” he said. We are too busy trying to disrupt everything and anybody. Perhaps the greatest lost opportunity of the year was to not reconnect with John Andrews.
“I extend a big thank you on behalf of the Institute to Tim Ross and Shelley Kemp for recording conversations with Mr Andrews in recent years and reflecting on his enduring nature.”
Andrews was the recipient of Canada’s Centennial Medal in 1967, the US Academy of Arts and Letters Arnold Brunner Award in 1971, the American Institute of Architects Honour Award and Bartlett Award in 1973. In 1980 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the University of Sydney and the RAIA Gold Medal in 1980. He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his services to architecture in 1981.