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date: 17 October 2019

Knox, Alistairlocked

(b Melbourne, April 8, 1912; d Mildura, July 30, 1986).
  • Philip Goad

Extract

(b Melbourne, April 8, 1912; d Mildura, July 30, 1986).

Australian architect and writer. Inspired by a visit in 1940 to the adobe and pisé buildings of Montsalvat, the artists’ colony at Eltham, Victoria, he became a leading designer of mud-brick houses. His participatory building process and the alternative lifestyles of his artistic clients complemented the earth-building tradition of Eltham and the surrounding areas, which was to blossom in the late 1960s and 1970s. Notable mud-brick designs at Eltham by Knox include his first, the Frank English house (1947); Phyllis Busst house (1948); Downing/La Gallienne house complex (1948–58); his own house (1965); and the Pittard house (1979). Knox was considered by many to be the originator of the Australian environmental building movement, which relied on the use of traditional materials (often recycled), largely unskilled workers and a minimum of machinery, factory-made components or expensive finishes. His writings were highly influential and popularized a sympathetic response to living and building in the Australian bush. He received an honorary PhD from the University of Melbourne in ...

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