Iconic Buildings update

You may not be aware that I am currently doing a series on iconic buildings for ABC Radio National’s Saturday programme Blueprint for Living. You can find podcasts of these on its own Podcasts page (along with previous Design Files) and the transcripts with some stunning images on the Blueprint for Living page in Writing. Any feedback is always gratefully received as well as ideas for further buildings you’d like to see covered.

Categories: Architecture, Design, Other, TravelTags: , ,


  1. A brilliant selection of buildings, Colin. I had never heard of Neuschwanstein, so thank you for that. Your podcasts are always so chock full of interesting facts that I never fail to learn something new.

    How about the Carreras Cigarette Factory in Camden (bonkers), the Villa Rotonda near Vicenza (sublime) or the Rashtrapati Bhawan (a vision of 2 countries) in New Delhi.

    Keep up the good work!

    • Thank you! And thanks for your suggestions – the Carreras building is wonderful and they’ve done it up a treat. I remember it as a rather dusty building, peeling paint, the lot. Those old companies really had pride in their HQs in those days. Anything by Palladio is superb – I’ve got a piece on one of his churches coming up. And I will definitely do something on Lutyens – his buildings always make me sit up straight and I’d love to visit New Delhi to experience those wide boulevards and his imperial buildings. There are just so many iconic buildings – I’m in heaven!

  2. Readers’ Digest Building in Surry Hills? Only joking, but as I stare at it from my living room window every day I had to add it. Kind of brutalist, but I like it.

    • It’s a great suggestion! I visited the building once to view its roof garden which was surprisingly luxuriant – such a tranquil space. I keep waiting for a developer to get hold of the site and rip out all its wonderful 1970sness. Brutalism is always hard to love but I sense change is in the air.

      • Now here’s something to think about … while the Readers Digest company was still in the building, they had their logo – a large white pegasus – affixed to the upper left-hand side of the building. It was removed when they left the premises. Should a building commonly known as ‘the Readers Digest Building’ retain something that is associated so strongly with its brand for the public to share? And besides, I used to like looking at it.

      • I wonder where it went. I agree, it seems such a shame when a logo disappears – the jewels of the city skyline.

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