Glenn Murcutt AO's Picture

Glenn Murcutt AO

Professor of Practice - Architectural Studies








Campus Kensington


Glenn Murcutt graduated from UNSW in 1961.

Glenn's early work experience was with various architects, such as Neville Gruzman, Ken Woolley and Bryce Mortlock which exposed him to their style of organic architecture focussing on relationships to nature. By 1969 Murcutt established his own practise in the Sydney suburb of Mosman.

Glenn works as a sole practitioner, producing residential and institutional work all over Australia. Although he does not work outside the country, or run a large firm, his work has a worldwide influence, especially since Murcutt teaches master classes for beginning and established architects. Filmmaker Catherine Hunter, who is making a documentary on the architect, has said: “He gives everything, he can’t help himself. He’s unstoppable, he’s this force. Long before we started talking about things such as sustainability, Glenn was practising those things.”

Glenn's motto, 'touch the earth lightly', convinces him to design his works to fit into the Australian landscape features. His works are highly economical and multi-functional. Murcutt also pays attention to the environment such as wind direction, water movement, temperature and light surrounding his sites before he designs the building itself. Materials such as glass, stone, timber and steel are often included in his works.

Testament to his influence internationally, Glenn was awarded the 2002 Pritzker Prize one of the highest distinctions in architecture. In the words of the Pritzker jury: "In an age obsessed with celebrity, the glitz of our 'starchitects', backed by large staffs and copious public relations support, dominate the headlines. As a total contrast, Murcutt works in a one-person office on the other side of the world ... yet has a waiting list of clients, so intent is he to give each project his personal best. He is an innovative architectural technician who is capable of turning his sensitivity to the environment and to locality into forthright, totally honest, non-showy works of art." In 2009 Murcutt won the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal.

Professor Murcutt currently lectures and teaches architectural studies at the UNSW Faculty of Built Environment.