Emil Sodersten

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Emil Sodersten
Emil Sodersten.jpg
Studio portrait of Emil Sodersten in 1940
Born
Emil Sodersteen

(1899-08-30)30 August 1899
Balmain, Sydney
Died14 December 1961(1961-12-14) (aged 62)
Manly, Sydney
NationalityAustralian
Alma materSydney Technical College
OccupationArchitect
Spouse(s)
Elsie Vera Wynn
(m. 1951)
Parent(s)
  • Emil Sodersteen (Snr)
  • Julia Sodersteen
Buildings
Design
Military career
AllegianceAustralia
 Royal Australian Air Force
Years of service1942 – 1945
RankFlight lieutenant
Service number266387
Battles/warsWorld War II

Emil Lawrence Sodersten (30 August 1899 – 14 December 1961) was an Australian architect active in the second quarter of the 20th century. His work encompassed the Australian architectural styles of Art Deco and Functionalist & Moderne. His design for the Australian War Memorial was "the first national architectural monument in Australia".[4] The Australian Institute of Architects presents the Emil Sodersten Interior Architecture Award annually in his honour.[7]

Early life and background[edit]

Sodersten was born in the inner-Sydney suburb of Balmain, the second of seven children born to Julia (née Dolleen) and Emil Sodersteen. Emil Junior and his brothers, Erik and Karl, later changed their surnames by deed poll to Sodersten.

In 1915 Sodersten was articled in architecture to Ross & Rowe and in the ensuing five years studied at Sydney Technical College. During 1921 he attended lectures at the University of Sydney given by the new Dean of Architecture, Leslie Wilkinson.

Career[edit]

The Queensland firm Hall & Prentice were commissioned to design Brisbane City Hall in the early 1920s and Sodersten worked on the project with Bruce Dellit and Peter Kaad.[4] He returned to Sydney in 1923 and was registered as an architect whilst working for John P. Tate & Young. Two years later Sodersten went into private practice. In 1927–28 he became a council-member of the Institute of Architects of New South Wales and was made a fellow of the Royal Australian Institute of Architects in 1931.

He entered the international competition to design the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. His design was considered exceptional but, as with most of those entered, was over budget. The only entry within budget was by John Crust and so the two architects were commissioned to work together on an amended design. Crust project managed the new building to Sodersten's even more monumental design. After conflict arose with Crust, Sodersteen withdrew in 1938.

In Sydney he designed numerous apartment blocks, including Birtley Towers at Elizabeth Bay,[8] and office buildings, including the City Mutual Life Assurance Building, also with Crust.[9] During the 1930s he worked in association with his brothers Erik, an architect, and Karl, a structural engineer. When Emil visited Europe in 1935 he was impressed with the work of Willem Marinus Dudok and Hendrik Petrus Berlage and from then on worked in the functionalist style. In the late 1930s Nesca House, Newcastle was his major project.

During World War II, Sodersten served with the Royal Australian Air Force in Papua and New Guinea and Queensland as a flight lieutenant.[10]

After World War II he designed several shopping centres for the Housing Commission of New South Wales, including the Oakes Centre in Westmead and the Broad Oaks building in Ermington.[11][12] In 1951, he designed a Canberra chancellery and residence for the High Commissioner of Pakistan but the project remains unbuilt. Sodersten designed the Reid Building for St Andrew's College, University of Sydney, completed in 1953.[13]

Personal life[edit]

Sodersten married a 37-year-old secretary, Elsie Vera Wynn, in the Catholic Church in 1951.

He died of a coronary occlusion at home in Manly and was survived by his wife.

Notable projects[edit]

Work Suburb/city Type Style Completed Involvement Heritage status Image Notes
Brisbane City Hall Brisbane Civic building Italian Renaissance 1920s Co-design StateLibQld 1 190023 City Hall in Brisbane around ca. 1930.jpg [4]
Gwydir Flats Darlinghurst Residential apartments Inter-War Georgian revival 1926 Architect City of Sydney local register [14]
St Peter's Theatre Erskineville Cinema Federation Romanesque 1927 Architect City of Sydney local register [15]
Birtley Towers Elizabeth Bay Residential apartments Inter-war Art Deco 1935 Architect City of Sydney local register [16]
Wychbury Potts Point Residential apartments Inter-war Art Deco c. 1935 Architect City of Sydney local register [17]
City Mutual Life Assurance Building Sydney CBD Commercial office building Inter-war Art Deco 1936 Co-architect NSW SHR City Mutual Building on the corner of Bligh and Hunter Street.jpg [9]
The Hermitage Vaucluse Mansion Victorian Gothic 1936 Restoration
(following fire)
Woollahra local register (1)The Hermitage Vaucluse Sydney.jpg [18]
Segenhoe Flats Newcastle Residential apartments Inter-war Art Deco 1937 Architect NSW SHR [2]
Marlborough Hall Elizabeth Bay Residential apartments Inter-war Art Deco 1938 Architect City of Sydney local register [19]
Nesca House Newcastle Commercial office building Inter-war Art Deco 1939 Architect
  • NSW SHR
  • City of Newcastle local register
217 - Nesca House (5045739b2).jpg [3][20]
Bryant House Sydney CBD Commercial office building Inter-war Art Deco 1939 Co-architect City of Sydney local register [21]
Seven Elizabeth Street Sydney CBD Residential apartments Inter-war Art Deco 1940 Architect City of Sydney local register [22]
Oakes Centre Westmead Shopping centre Architect
Broad Oakes building Ermington Shopping centre Architect
Australian War Memorial Canberra War museum Inter-war Art Deco 1941
(Involved: 1925-1938)
Design Commonwealth Heritage List AWM canberra 1.jpg [5]
Reid Building, St Andrew's College, University of Sydney Sydney Residential college 1953 Architect City of Sydney local register [13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Art Deco Sydney Archived 12 September 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  2. ^ a b "Segenhoe Flats". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Nesca House". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d Biazos Becerra, Poppy; Reynolds, Peter (2002). "Sodersten, Emil Lawrence (1899–1961)". Australian Dictionary of Biography. National Centre of Biography, Australian National University. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Australian War Memorial, Anzac Pde, Campbell, ACT, Australia (Place ID 105469)". Australian Heritage Database. Department of the Environment. 22 June 2004. Retrieved 20 May 2020.
  6. ^ The Twentieth Century Heritage Society of NSW
  7. ^ Architecture Australia
  8. ^ "Inter-war architecture". The history of Sydney: Inter-War Sydney (1918-1945). 2019. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  9. ^ a b "City Mutual Life Assurance Building". New South Wales State Heritage Register. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  10. ^ "World War Two Service: Veteran Details: Sodersten, Emil Lawrence". Service Record. Department of Veterans' Affairs. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  11. ^ "Manuscripts, Oral History, & Pictures". State Library of NSW. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  12. ^ "Tenders". Trove. Sydney Morning Herald. 6 October 1951. p. 18. Retrieved 27 August 2016.
  13. ^ a b "St Andrew's College, University of Sydney including main building and interior, quadrangle and grounds". New South Wales Heritage Database. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  14. ^ "Sydney Church of England Girls Grammar School Group Includes Barham; Wilkinson House (Formerly Gwydir Flats) and Chapel Building". New South Wales Heritage Database. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  15. ^ "Former St Peter's Theatre Façade". New South Wales Heritage Database. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  16. ^ "Birtley Towers". New South Wales Heritage Database. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  17. ^ "Flat Building "Wychbury" Including Interior". New South Wales Heritage Database. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  18. ^ "The Hermitage". New South Wales Heritage Database. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  19. ^ "Flat Building "Marlborough Hall" Including Interior". New South Wales Heritage Database. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  20. ^ "Nesca House". New South Wales Heritage Database. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  21. ^ "Former "Bryant House" Including Interiors and Grounds". New South Wales Heritage Database. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 24 August 2020.
  22. ^ "Flat Building Including Interiors". New South Wales Heritage Database. Office of Environment and Heritage. Retrieved 24 August 2020.

Bibliography[edit]

  • "no title". Architecture (16): 57. April 1927. Cite uses generic title (help)
  • "no title". Architecture (23): 79. April 1934. Cite uses generic title (help)
  • Art in Australia. 15 November 1934. p. 91.
  • Biazos (Becerra), P. (1987). The Life and Works of Emil Lawrence Sodersten (BArch). University of New South Wales.
  • "no title". Building (Sydney) (57): 24. January 1936. Cite uses generic title (help)
  • "no title". Building (Sydney) (59): 28. October 1936. Cite uses generic title (help)
  • McKernan, M. (1991). Here is Their Spirit. Brisbane.
  • Sodersten, K. (1967). Emil Sodersten FRAIA (BArch). University of Sydney.
  • Tanner, H., ed. (1981). Architects of Australia. Melbourne.