Andrew Benn is the Director of Benn and Penna Architecture. Andrew graduated from UNSW in 2001 with first class honours, and after numerous years working within some of the most highly regarded architectural offices in Australia and abroad, including the renowned Dutch office of UN Studio in Amsterdam, and the Sydney offices of Engelen Moore and BVN, he began his own practice in 2012.
From an early age, Andrew had an appreciation for both urban and natural environments, spending his childhood between Sydney’s Balmain, a working farm in the Hunter Valley, and his family’s holiday house in Pittwater. These experiences helped instill a love of natural beauty, the Australian countryside and coastline, combined with a fascination of dense urban environments and a particular interest in the simplicity and beauty of Australia’s early colonial architecture.
Benn & Penna is a multi-award winning architecture studio that specialises in residential alterations, new houses and small commercial projects. The studio elemental and uncluttered approach to design forges spaces with a refined sense of ease and clarity that sets their work apart. Benn + Penna has a passion for design, art and the environment, inspiring buildings that have a natural elegance and authenticity.
This episode revolves around their stunning project, Henley Clays, the winner of the 2020 Horbury Hunt Residential Award, a prestigious and highly-competitive category of the Think Brick Awards. Hosted by Elizabeth McIntyre, this interview also explores:
· What influenced Andrew to pick architecture as a profession
· His overseas travel as a scholarship student to Amsterdam at the Berlage Institute in Rotterdam
· His overseas experience of working at the internationally acclaimed UN Studio
· His motives for returning to Sydney
· What are the characteristics of Dutch architecture
· The expectations of architecture in the eyes of the public
· The exploration of his first completed project, Balmain Pair
· The challenges, experiences, and inspirations of starting his own architecture firm in 2012, Benn + Penna Architecture
· The challenges and thought process behind his award-winning project, Henley Clays
· The various benefits and qualities of using brick as a building material
· How Dutch architecture inspired by “The Amsterdam School” has influenced his architectural vision
· His outlook on future architectural approach
Thinking Brick? Have any topics you want us to discuss? Let Us Know! We want to connect with you, just like mortar connects with bricks.
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