Sean Godsell: An antipodal architecture

Australian architect Sean Godsell will speak as part of the Current Work series.

October 17, 2018
7:00 p.m.

Sean Godsell Architects | St. Andrews Beach House, Victoria, Australia, 2006. Credit:

Current Work is a lecture series featuring leading figures in the worlds of architecture, urbanism, design, and art.

Australian architect Sean Godsell will discuss four of his firm’s projects that range in scale from a mass-produced relocatable dwelling for emergency housing to a new “Design Hub” for RMIT University in Melbourne.

  • Vatican Chapel, one of 10 projects commissioned by the Holy See for the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, constructed on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.
  • RMIT Design Hub, a Melbourne center for design education and research whose skin incorporates automated sun-shading that includes photovoltaic cells, evaporative cooling, and fresh air intakes.
  • Future Shack, a mobile structure utilizing a recycled 20’ steel shipping container which holds a deployable shading structure and elements including water tanks, solar power cell, and satellite radio.
  • St Andrews Beach House. Set on an elevated coastline site, the linear structure has an outer skin of perforated oxidized steel hinged panels which open to form a brise soleil.

Godsell received his BArch and MArch from The University of Melbourne. After working in London for Sir Denys Lasdun and in Melbourne for the Hassell Group he established Godsell Associates Pty Ltd Architects in 1994.

Godsell’s work, characterized by its emphasis on simplicity and sustainability, including projects that address homelessness and refugee displacement, has been recognized nationally by the Australian Institute of Architects (AIA) and internationally, including the National Award for Public Architecture, the Victorian Architecture Medal, and, most recently, the Papal Silver Medal for his Vatican Chapel. He has taught at RMIT University, the University of Melbourne, and IUAV University of Venice, among other institutions.

A discussion between Godsell and New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman will follow the lecture.


This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

The event is co-sponsored by The Irwin S. Chanin School of Architecture of The Cooper Union.