Winging It

Few architects of the last century worked at the same scale as John Andrews. What’s surprising is how unfazed he seemed by it all.

Scarborough College Courtesy the Canadian Architectural Archives

The February 1970 issue of Architectural Record devoted fifteen pages to analyzing “four buildings or additions to cities” by the Australian Canadian architect John Andrews. The awkward phrasing was fitting: two of the projects were educational buildings–Gund Hall at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and Sarah Lawrence College’s Library-Instructional Center–and two planned large urban zones–Toronto’s 200-acre Metro Centre and Belconnen, a satellite city on the edge of Canberra. The Record feature marked a career peak for Andrews, who died in 2022. But it also correctly identified the two preoccupations of his design practice: large buildings for universities and other institutions and urban plans for new districts or towns. Andrews and contemporary critics saw academic campuses as potential models for new cities and essential elements of a new society, what Joseph Rykwert called “universities as institutional archetypes of our age.”


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