Cultural and creative life

5 modernist masterpieces in Sydney

Take a walk through the marvels of Sydney’s post-war architecture – our very own Mad Men era

  • MLC Centre, Martin Place

    You might know this one as ‘the mushroom,’ although the MLC Centre also takes in the skyscraper behind.

    Here’s a fun fact about the Harry Seidler-designed building: quartz particles were added to the precast concrete components for a bright finish.

    Credit: Katherine Griffiths, City of Sydney
  • Liner House, Bridge Street

    Here’s one you might have never noticed just walking past – and what a shame it would be. The open-framed design was completed in 1960 and features a subtle mix of black granite and black glass. One more reason to look up.

    Credit: Katherine Griffiths, City of Sydney
  • Agriculture House, Macquarie Street

    Despite the name, ‘sleek’ is the operative word when you consider Agriculture House. It’s an early example of glass curtain-wall construction in Sydney and it’s as glossy now as it was when it was completed in 1959.

    Credit: Katherine Griffiths, City of Sydney
  • Qantas House, Chifley Square

    The curved design of Qantas house was futuristic for 1957 and still looks like it could have been built last week. It’s heritage listed to protect it for years to come.

    Credit: Katherine Griffiths, City of Sydney
  • AMP Building sculpture

    Have you ever wondered about the meaning of the Tom Bass sculpture on AMP Tower? It depicts the Goddess of Plenty watching over an unhappy family. The hat, produce and tractor wheel signify the father’s life as a farmer. The inscription ‘amicus certus’ means ‘a true friend in uncertain times’.

    Credit: Katherine Griffiths, City of Sydney