Urban Typologies

The Urban Typologies Research Cluster is focused on cross-disciplinary research pertaining to cultural landscapes, urban morphology, architectural history, heritage and urban design.

Research projects

Current Project: Martin Place

The cluster’s current research and publication project is a study of the history and development of Martin Place in Sydney. Martin Place is undergoing significant change with the re-development of a number of buildings along the thoroughfare and the cluster’s research aims to contribute to the discussion of its past and present transformation. Contributing authors: Peter Kohane, Mark Stiles, Rob Freestone, Charles Pickett, Michael Bogle, Sing D’Arcy, Russell Rodrigo, Maryam Gusheh, Katrina Simon, Judith O’Callaghan, Paola Favaro, Harry Margalit, Paul Hogben, Dijana Alic, Shirley Daborn and Catherine Lassen.

2011-2014: Leisure Space: The Transformation of Sydney 1945-1970

From 2011-2013 the cluster undertook research into the spaces that were designed for leisure activity within Sydney during the post-war ‘boom’ years of the 1950s and 1960s. Over this period, leisure was looked upon an area ripe for investment and this gave birth to a wide array of spaces to facilitate and accommodate new social and consumer trends. The cluster looked at a range of privately-resourced leisure environments including hotels, motels, bars, restaurants, shopping centres and leagues clubs and how these environments contributed to the growth of Sydney as a modern cosmopolitan city. This project resulted in an edited book publication:

Paul Hogben and Judith O’Callaghan (eds), 2014, Leisure Space: The Transformation of Sydney 1945-1970, Sydney, NewSouth Publishing (www.newsouthbooks.com.au/books/leisure-space-transformation-Sydney). Contributing authors: Paul Hogben, Judith O’Callaghan, Russell Rodrigo, Sing D’Arcy, Michael Bogle, Shirley Daborn, Robert Freestone, Catherine Evans, Tracie Harvison, Harry Margalit, Dijana Alic, Maryam Gusheh and Catherine Lassen.

As recognition of its contribution to knowledge, Leisure Space was shortlisted for the 2015 NSW Premier’s History in the NSW Community and Regional History category. Judges’ comments:

Leisure Space: The Transformation of Sydney 1945–1970 is a collection of essays, mostly by architectural historians, showing how new structures transformed Sydney between 1945 and 1970. After discussing the cultural context — especially the impact of rising standards of living and new forms of leisure — it considers such elements as the transformation of tourist offices, motels, shopping centres and holiday houses. The contributors all show that the design and development of what are described as ‘leisure environments’ are closely connected to social, political, economic and technological history.

Engagingly written and presented, this book makes a significant addition to studies of Sydney’s post–Second World War history. Through its detailed attention to modernism’s role in physically altering the city’s landscape, it explains why by 1970 Sydney looked radically different in comparison with how it had appeared at the end of the war. The use of images interspersed through the text — including those by leading Sydney photographers such as Max Dupain — is highly effective.

Research for this project and the resultant book were generously supported by Faculty Research Grants and the City of Sydney’s History Publication Sponsorship Program.



Page Last Updated: 11 Sep 2015