Bill Lucas (architect)

Bill Lucas (31 December 1924 – 10 September 2001) was an Australian architect known well for the houses he designed along the Bulwark in Castlecrag, Sydney.[1] While practising as a full-time architect, Lucas also worked as a part-time lecturer at the School of Architecture of the University of New South Wales for a decade.[1]

Personal lifeEdit

Lucas was born in Sydney in 1924.[1] He was drafted into the RAAF Air Crew service in 1943, where he served for three years.[1] Lucas then went on to study architecture at the University of Sydney where he graduated with honours.[1] Lucas also studied Visual Arts at the East Sydney Technical University.[1] He then moved to New Zealand where he worked with Hugh Grierson Architects[1] There, he designed his first home with his brother, Neville at Gymea Bay, Sydney.[2] Between 1955 and 1957 he worked with Neville Gruzman, Tony Moore and Ruth Harvey where they submitted a competition entry for the Sydney Opera House.[1] He later married Ruth Harvey.[1] The couple designed and built the Glass House in Castlecrag, Sydney which became their family home.[2]

The Paddington SocietyEdit

The Lucases became actively involved in helping to prevent the suburb of Paddington from comprehensive redevelopment.[1] Paddington was the scene of many historical sites and architecture, notably Juniper Hall and Centennial Park.[3] They helped set up the Paddington Society which campaigned to prevent Juniper Hall from being renovated and revamped.[3] The Society also lobbied to prevent a sports stadium from being built in Centennial Park.[3] The society still functions today as an action group but also serves to record the historical landmarks of the area.[3]

Teaching careerEdit

Lucas helped to further develop the architecture program at the University of New South Wales, where he taught for ten years between 1965 and 1975.[1] At this time, Lucas supervised students from UNSW, University of Sydney and the New South Wales Institute of Technology who were working on projects for R. Buckminster Fuller's World Design Science Decade.[1]

Later yearsEdit

Until 1990 Lucas continued to design houses, such as the Sieverding House, where he worked on and off with Cracknell & Lonergan Architects until his death.[1] Lucas died on 10 September 2001 of a heart attack. He died at Moonbah, Thredbo where he had designed a ski lodge in his early working days with Marion Hall Best.[1] His children were with him at the time of his death.[1]

Notable projectsEdit

  • The Glass House, 1957 - designed in collaboration with Ruth Lucas.[4] This stripping down of the building to its structural components is also visible in other houses designed by Lucas in Castlecrag.
  • The Block House – Castlecrag, commissioned by Con and Addie Saltis, 1960[1]
  • 76 and 78 The Bulwark, Castlecrag with Neville Lucas[1]
  • Moonbah Ski Lodge, Thredbo with Marion Hall Best, 1956-63[1]
  • Guriganya Progressive Community School, 1970[1]
  • Ruth Lucas: Bourke Aboriginal Housing with community, 1970[1]
  • Orange Tree Grove, 8 Bennetts Grove Avenue, Paddington, (with Michael Coote) commissioned by Ian Kennedy, 1968


  • Forestry Commission Furniture Competition – 1956[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u Myers, Peter (1 November 2002) "Obituary – Bill Lucas" Archived 23 July 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Architecture Australia, vol. 91, no.6, p. 82, viewed 1 April 2010.
  2. ^ a b The Castlecrag Progress Association 2010, The Castlecrag Timeline – 1940–1959, viewed 1 April 2010.
  3. ^ a b c d The Paddington Society 2010, A brief history of the Paddington Society, viewed 1 April 2010, <>.
  4. ^ McCartney, K 2007, 50/60/70: iconic Australian houses : three decades of domestic architecture, Murdoch Books, Sydney.

External linksEdit