Bunning and Madden

Bunning and Madden
Practice information
Key architects
Founded 19 May 1945 (1945-05-19)
Significant works and honors
Buildings National Library of Australia (1968)

Bunning and Madden is an Australian architecture and urban planning firm based in Canberra and Sydney. The firm was founded by Walter Bunning in 1945 in Sydney.[1] The firm's most notable commission was the design of the National Library of Australia and the firm was most prominent between 1955 and 1970s.


Walter Bunning was born on 19 May 1912 in South Brisbane. Bunning studied art at East Sydney Technical College. He attending Sydney Technical College at night and worked in the offices of Carlyle Greenwell and Stephenson & Meldrum. Bunning won the Kemp medal on qualifying in 1933 and became an associate of the college in 1936. He was awarded a Board of Architects Travelling Scholar (NSW) to study urban planning aboard during 1936-39. Bunning became an associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects in 1938 was awarded the Australian Medallion in 1939. Bunning returned to Sydney and was elected an associate of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects in 1940; and later Councillor of the New South Wales chapter, 1940–44 and Fellow in 1951). In 1945 he was appointed town planner under a Commonwealth scheme to redevelop the munitions plant at St Marys as factories. And also elaborated his view in Homes in the Sun. According to Robin Boyd, the book established Bunning as 'the best known architectural publicist in the country.[1][2][3]

Foundation of the firm

Bunning's firm was founded by him on 19 May 1945 in an office on the first floor of 15 York Street, Sydney. In the first year the practice produced many houses and number of town planning schemes. Bunning invited Charles Madden to join him and the partnership of Bunning and Madden was founded on 29 May 1946. Bunning and Madden successfully won the Australia and New Zealand-wide competition to design Anzac House, the New South Wales official memorial for returned servicemen and women in WWI and WWII.[4] In 1953 the firm was commissioned by Grace Bros. Limited to design a large suburban store at Parramatta. It was the first store in Australia with roof-top carpark.

Kevin Smith and Noel Potter were on the staff of the firm for some years and become Associates in 1955 and 1957. On 16 July 1960, Madden died and Bunning took Smith and Potter into the partnership and Arthur Robb became an Associate of the firm. In 1961 the firm was commissioned to design the National Library of Australia by the National Capital Development Commission, Potter was the project architect on the National Library and finally opened Bunning and Madden’s permanent office in Civic in 1964, and remained the firm's partner in charge in Canberra until retiring in 1996.[5][6] The firm completed International House for the University of Sydney in 1967. Robb joined the partnership on 1 July 1969. Bunning and Madden architects also work for the National Headquarters of The Institution of Engineers, Australia and Australian National University projects. Over many years the firm has carried out a large volume of work for the Department of Public Works in New South Wales and Housing Commission of New South Wales. Bunning was appointed C.M.G. in 1975 and a Life Fellow of the Royal Australian Planning Institute in 1976.[7] He died of a cerebral tumour on 13 October 1977.[1][2][3][8][9][10]

In 2006 Potter was awarded Clem Cummings Award by the Australian Institute of Architects,[5] and in 2010 he was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia for exceptional services to architecture.[6][11]

Notable projects

Completed Project name Location Award Notes
1956 Anzac House Martin Place, Sydney [12][1]
Grace Bros, Parramatta Parramatta, Sydney
1960 ANSTO Nuclear Science Buildings Lucas Heights, Sydney [13]
1960 Liner House 13-15 Bridge Street, Sydney CBD [14][5]
1967 International House, University of Sydney Camperdown, Sydney
Bruce Hall, Australian National University Canberra
1968 National Library of Australia Canberra [6][11]
1969 Indian High Commission and Birch House Yarralumla, Canberra
  • The C.S. Daley Award (1969)

Notable Project List:

Australia & New Zealand Bank, Paddington

Australian National University, Arts Buildings

Artarmon, Phyllis Burke Flats

Belgravia Gardens, Darling Point

Bellevue Hill, units, 188-190 Old South Head Road

Blakemore, Mrs Una, Pacific Road, Palm Beach

Captain Cook Memorial, Canberra

Carlingford shopping centre

Chifley Primary & Infants School, Canberra

Curtin Primary & Infants School, Canberra

Darrell Lea Chocolate, Rockdale

Humes, Rydalmere

Mr I. Jefferson, new garage, Cheltenham

Mr & Mrs Jamieson, house, Jacksonville, Florida

Lombard Manchil, Newcastle

M. Light & Sons, alterations for Grace Bros, Cessnock

Newcastle, Grace Bros

Maitland City Library

Mascot, S.A.S. Thai International

Metropolitan Water Sewerage & Drainage Board, Rockdale

Mosman, carport

North Curtin Primary and Infants School

Parkes Place development

RSL Club, Maitland

Sverre Kaaten Ltd

United Dairies

V.H.Y., Lilyfield

Villawood Migrant Hostel

Watson High School, Canberra

Whitebridge High

Wilh Wilhelmsen Agency, office building

Woden "A" High School

Woden Valley High School

Callile Pty Ltd & Yarads Realty, Coffs Harbour

Yarad's Fabrics, Liverpool

Miscellaneous (chiefly untitled), incl. offices, science blocks, schools, Stannard Place,

Red Hill, library, hostel, university [7][15]

See also


  1. 1 2 3 4 Sydney: Self-published, 1970. [this copy signed by partners Walter Bunning, Kevin Smith, Noel Potter & Arthur Robb].
  2. 1 2 Spearritt, Peter (1993). Bunning, Walter Ralston (1912 - 1977). Australian Dictionary of Biography. 13. Melbourne University Press. pp. 297–298.
  3. 1 2 Spearritt, Peter (1993). "Bunning, Walter Ralston (1912 - 1977)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. Canberra: Australian National University. Retrieved 2008-05-19.
  4. Issue of Architecture in Australia, 1957, Anzac House.
  5. 1 2 3 Clem Cummings Award 2006: http://www.architecture.com.au/i-cms?page=8227
  6. 1 2 3 "Canberra architect recognised on 2010 honours list". Australian Design Review. Niche Media. 27 January 2010. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  7. 1 2 Papers of Walter Bunning: http://nla.gov.au/nla.ms-ms5543
  8. Brown covered scrapbook, 1945-1960 Photographs of the Work of Bunning and Madden.
  9. Guard Minute Book. Newspaper clippings, Work of Bunning and Madden, Architects, 1945-1969
  10. Book of press-cuttings on the National Library, 1968-1972
  11. 1 2 "Canberra architect honoured in Australia Day awards". Architecture and Design. 2010. Archived from the original on 2 January 2011.
  12. Jackson, Davina (2015). "Charles Madden b. 1900s". Design & Art Australia online. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  13. "Nuclear science buildings at Sydney" (requires login). Architectural Review. 1961. pp. 109–111.
  14. Bevan, Robert (24 February 2005). "A reputation to build". The Age. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  15. Letters received in respect to celebrate 25 years practice dinner.
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