Robert Woodward (architect)

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Robert Woodward
Born (1923-06-05)5 June 1923[1]
Died 21 February 2010(2010-02-21) (aged 86)[2]
Nationality Australian
Occupation Architect
Projects El Alamein Memorial Fountain

Robert Raymond (Bob) Woodward AM (5 June 1923 – 21 February 2010) was an Australian architect who gained widespread recognition for his innovative fountain designs.[2][3][4]

Woodward was educated at Granville Technical Granville and Sydney Technical College.[5] He served in the army during wartime working as an armourer.[6] Upon completion of his service he enrolled in the architecture course at the University of Sydney.[7] After graduating with honours, he worked locally for a year and then travelled to Finland to work for architects Alvar Aalto and Viljo Revell for two years.[5] Upon his return he went into partnership, forming Woodward, Taranto and Wallace, specialising in commercial and industrial architecture.[7]

In 1950, Woodward was a member of the Australian team in the British Empire Games in Auckland, competing in the 440 yards hurdles.[1][8]

In 1959, he won a competition to design a fountain in Kings Cross in Sydney to commemorate the war service of the 9th Division of the Second Australian Imperial Force. The El Alamein Memorial Fountain,[9] as it became known, was completed in 1961.[3] Combining his architectural and earlier metalwork training he developed the "dandelion" inspired fountain which became one of the world's most copied designs.[7] The fountain won the New South Wales Institute of Architects Civic Design Award in 1964.

Due to the success of this fountain, Woodward was approached for further commissions for fountain designs, significantly altering his career path.[5] In 1979, he created the Canberra Times fountain, commissioned for the newspaper's fiftieth anniversary.[5] Following this, he was commissioned to design a fountain for the High Court of Australia in Canberra, a cascade beside the ceremonial ramp.[5] In 1981, he completed a fountain for G.J. Coles and Coy for the Parliament Reserve in Melbourne.[10]

Selected works[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Robert Woodward (NSW)". Australian Athletics Historical Results. Athletics Australia. Archived from the original on 20 October 2009. Retrieved 16 March 2010.
  2. ^ a b "Woodward, Robert Tribute". Fairfax Digital. Archived from the original on 16 April 2010. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  3. ^ a b "Robert Woodward - Australian fountain designer". Landscape Australia. 3: 240. August 1982.
  4. ^ "Robert Woodward interviewed by Hazel de Berg in the Hazel de Berg collection (sound recording)". catalogue. National Library of Australia. Retrieved 2010-03-15.
  5. ^ a b c d e Neale, Ralph (July 1979). "Robert Woodward fountain sculptor". Landscape Australia. 3: 155–160.
  6. ^ Jones, Caroline Viera (16 March 2010). "Armourer and architect designed the El Alamein Fountain". The Age. Retrieved 2010-03-16.
  7. ^ a b c "People in this issue". Landscape Australia. 3: 117. July 1979.
  8. ^ "1950 Australian Team and Results" (PDF). Australian Commonwealth Games Association. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2 October 2009. Retrieved 15 March 2010.
  9. ^ Howlin, Jan (November 2006). "Luminary: Robert Woodward". indesign. Indesign Publishing. p. 126. Retrieved 2010-03-22.
  10. ^ "Coles Fountain". eMelbourne. University of Melbourne. Retrieved 2010-03-15.

External links[edit]

  • Sculptors Society (Sydney) website, with photographs, architectural drawings, and 3 essays.