Bunning and Madden

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Bunning and Madden is an architecture and urban planning firm based in Canberra and Sydney.The firm was founded by Mr. Walter Bunning In 1945 in Sydney.[1]


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 Board of Architects Travelling Scholar (NSW) and study urban planning aboard during 1936-39 under terms of scholarship. Bunning An associate (1938) of the Royal Institute of British Architects and Awarded Australian Medallion in 1939. Bunning back to Sydney and he was elected an associate (1940) of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects (councillor, New South Wales chapter, 1940–44 and fellow 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]

The Firm[edit]

Bunning's firm was founded by him on 19 May 1945 in an office on the first floor of No.15 York Street, Sydney. In the first year the practice produced many houses and number of town planning schemes. Mr. Bunning invited Mr. Charles Madden to join him and the partnership of Bunning and Madden was founded on 29 May 1946.The Australia and New Zealand-wide competition "Anzac House" is the NSW official memorial for returned servicemen and women in both world wars. Bunning and Madden successful in the competition which have 39 competitors.[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. Mr. Kevin Smith and Mr. Noel Potter were on the staff of the firm for some years and become Associates in 1955 and 1957. On 16 July 1960, Mr. Charles Madden dead and Bunning took Mr. Kevin Smith and Mr. Noel Potter into the partnership and Mr. 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 Commition, Mr Noel 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] The firm completed International House for the University of Sydney in 1967. Mr. Arthur Robb was taken into 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 died of a cerebral tumour on 13 October 1977 at Eastern Suburbs Hospital.[1][2][3][6][7][8]

Notable Project[edit]

The National Library of Australia (1968, design approved 1964), said to have been inspired by the Parthenon after his visit to Greece, remains Bunning's best-known building.

Notable Project List:

Anzac House

Australia & New Zealand Bank, Paddington

Australian Atomic Energy Commission, Nuclear Science Buildings & Canteen

Australian National University, Arts Buildings

Australian National University, Bruce Hall

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

Grace Bros, Parramatta

Humes, Rydalmere

International House, University of Sydney

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

National Capital Development Commission

National Library of Australia

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 and Liner House [9][10][11]


1. Anzac House, Martin Place, Sydney Royal Institute of British Architects Bronze Medal (1958),[1]

2. Liner House, Bridge Street, Sydney The Sir John Sulman Medal (1960)[5] and

3. Indian High Commission and Birch House, Yarralumla, Canberra The C.S. Daley Award (1969)

4. Bunning was awarded the C.M.G. in 1975 .[2][3]

5. Certificate of Bunning's election as a life fellow of the Royal Australian Planning Institute, signed by the President and Secretary of the Institute 14 August 1976 [9]

6. Noel Potter was awarded Clem Cummings Award 2006 [5]

7. Canberra architect Noel Potter has been recognised in this year's Australia Day Honours for exceptional services to architecture 2010 [12]


  1. ^ a b c d Sydney: Self-published, 1970. [this copy signed by partners Walter Bunning, Kevin Smith, Noel Potter & Arthur Robb].
  2. ^ a b c Peter Spearritt, 'Bunning, Walter Ralston (1912 - 1977)', Australian Dictionary of Biography, Volume 13, Melbourne University Press, 1993, pp 297-298.
  3. ^ a b c 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. ^ a b c Clem Cummings Award 2006: http://www.architecture.com.au/i-cms?page=8227
  6. ^ Brown covered scrapbook, 1945-1960 Photographs of the Work of Bunning and Madden.
  7. ^ Guard Minute Book. Newspaper clippings, Work of Bunning and Madden, Architects, 1945-1969
  8. ^ Book of press-cuttings on the National Library, 1968-1972
  9. ^ a b Papers of Walter Bunning: http://nla.gov.au/nla.ms-ms5543
  10. ^ Nuclear science buildings at sydney. (1961). Architectural Review, 129, 109-111. Retrieved from: http://search.proquest.com/docview/55470276?accountid=13552
  11. ^ Letters received in respect to celebrate 25 years practice dinner.
  12. ^ Canberra architect honoured in Australia Day awards: http://www.architectureanddesign.com.au/article/Canberra-architect-honoured-in-Australia-Day-awards/510052.aspx