Inspiration from The Pantheon

Living as we do in a far outpost of Western architectural tradition, we are rarely exposed to the forces and heritage of our European architectural tradition.

The First Australians had little need of permanent structures, as their lives were nomadic, following the time-established seasonal patterns of self-sufficient hunter-gatherers.

The invading Europeans were not from nomadic cultures, and the gradual establishment of settlements, towns and cities inevitably took place as the Aboriginal people were driven from their traditional lands.

There are few examples of significant architect heritage available to the architectural student in Australia.

There are certainly no ancient buildings or monuments in Australia.

For the writer, a series of visits to the Pantheon in Rome gave an overwhelming and incredibly powerful experience of being inside one of the greatest buildings in human history, which has been providing cultural and religious experience and protection for more than two thousand years!

The largest un-reinforced concrete dome ever built and still standing!

If ever the writer needed to feel and understand the power of architecture to shape and enrich human lives, the Parthenon provided a seminal experience.

Can we use this understanding to motivate the search for better housing solutions on our Pacific coast?