#Interview #Podcast w/ Suzanne Bosanquet, RAIA of Suzanne Bosanquet, Architect

Suzanne Bosanquet, RAIA

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Last year, 2023, I had the opportunity to attend Modernism Week for the second time and though I didn't spend as much time in downtown Palm Springs like the year prior, when I did the double decker bus tour as a guest of Loewen Windows, I did attend a tour of the Lautner Compound, that had been restored and renovated as a small boutique hotel, and has since expanded the property to include adjacent land and dwellings. 

So, on that tour, I was able to meet several other people who were visiting the area and also who were architects.  Among those were the Australian Woman Architect that I have interviewed, Suzanne Bosanquet, RAIA. I have always had a fascination with Australians because, need it be said, THEY ARE USUALLY VERY FUN PEOPLE TO HANG OUT WITH, and it is always easy to find them, because they are usually the life of the party. At least the ones that I know. 

Suzanne was on the tour because she had the wonderful experience of having a client take her on this trip to the US to see some of America's Mid Century Modern and Frank Lloyd Wright's architectural masterpieces, two of those being some of her favorite buildings: The Frey House and Taliesin West, both the residences of the architects who designed them, Albert Frey and Frank Lloyd Wright, respectively. 

Suzanne also has an entire word document on the buildings that we talk about in the podcast, which I have shared with you below. 

Suzanne Bosanquet, RAIA,  of Suzanne Bosanquet, Architect
Suzanne Bosanquet, RAIA, multi-faceted professional known for her roles as an Architect, Business Owner, Sessional Educator, Artist, and Community Leader. 
Suzanne is also mother to four young men.
With an architectural career spanning since 1995, and is currently enjoying sole practice, focusing on considered and crafted residences with a few select commercial fitouts as well.
She has a broad architectural portfolio that spans close to thirty years, that includes local, national, and international award-winning projects. The scale and breadth of the portfolio range from international art installations, luxury vs  community housing and large sporting facilities including involvement with four Olympic Stadiums.  Her work has been published widely across various media formats.  
In addition to her architectural achievements, Suzanne has been honoured with numerous Community and Business Awards, underscoring her commitment to social impact and enterprise.  She has been recognized with prestigious accolades such as the Australian Government Award for Community and Business Partnership , the Griffith Australia Day Award and as a finalist in the Women In Business Australia Awards.
Currently she  holds the position of State President of Women Chiefs of Enterprise International , a significant affiliate within the global network of women entrepreneurs. Her leadership in this capacity underscores her commitment to empowering and promoting women-led businesses on a global scale.  She was on the first series of Shark Tank Australia, for a young men’s all natutal deodorant.
In 2017 she founded Little Architects in Australia which delivers built environment education and creative workshops for families and children, including sports holiday clinics.
Notably, she currently serves as the Australian Institute of Architects representative on the International Union of Architects Architecture Children Work Programme, which aims to raise awareness of the importance of built environment education, in particular to children, who are our future and will determine how it is shaped.  Her passion for education extends to her role as a National and State examiner for the Architects Accreditation Council of Australia.
Suzanne  also serves a quasi-judicial role representing the State Government in Development Tribunals, influencing decisions critical to community development. Notably, she co-founded SONA (Student Organized Network of Architecture) in the 90s, advocating for student pay rights and professional recognition within the architectural community.

Suzanne Bosanquet Architect - Architect, Design, House Plans

ART INSTALLATIONS (suzannebosanquet.com)

Suzanne's Travels and Favorite Buildings 

The Lautner Compound

Wedding Venue | The Lautner Compound | Desert Hot Springs

Modernism Week -  Lautner Compound at Desert Hot Springs, near Palm Sprins in CA

His work was concerned with the relationship of the human being to space and of space to nature.

 Lautner’s designs share a sense of drama, powerful geometry and warmth, and a profound respect for the site.

His buildings stand as functional sculpture. 

Car holiday – sadly never was completed due to the main highway by passing it.

photo: Palm Springs Museum

Albert Frey House on the Hill

Frank Lloyd Wright’s – Taliesin West – school , the theatres, the house, integration into landscape and consideration of the elements.

Poppy Project

My house – the moonlight bathroom

Favorite Buildings:

Building 1:   Japan – The Grand Shrine of Ise.    Ise Grand Shrine - Wikipedia

Ise_Shrine_Meizukuri.jpg (896×1257) (wikimedia.org)

Circa 1960s. Photo credit: Yoshio Watanabe

From Suzanne's Lecture:

"The connection to nature is important to Shinto and will be related through the architecture at Ise Shrine.

Shinto: Japan's Ancient Faith

Shinto is Japan's native and oldest religion, based on the worship of kamithe divine spirits in nature

 Kami can be anything from mountains and trees to animals and ancestors, and they influence human affairs and natural phenomena.

Shinto values sinceritypurityand harmony, and encourages people to live in accordance with the natural order and seasons.

Shinto, relies on ritualsfestivalsand shrines to connect with the kami and express gratitude and respect. It has no founder, scriptures, or dogmas.

The Ise Shrine in Japan is rebuilt every 20 years since 690 A.D. with the exception of two periods in time of war.   65 times

 The materials are grown from the surrounding forests, then harvested, purified and crafted into their final form by the monks. 

The site is rebuilt exactly the same site every 20 years, and the new site is rebuilt next to the current site in use1

The wood from the previous dismantled shrine buildings is recycled to make a new Torii gate at the shrine’s entrance and is also sent for use in shrines across Japan.

Torii Gate

The current Ise Grand Shrine buildings were constructed in 2013 and will be rebuilt again in 2033.

Construction is timber joined together via mortice and tenon and rope/ binding.


Ise Shrine is located near the coast of Japan. The local context at the site is bordered by the Isuzu River It is a large complex and entrance crossing the Isuzu River is greeted by a TORI ARCH, a simple trabeated arch with perpendicular posts and beam across the top The tori arch defines a hierarchy, separating a more important space past the arch. Reverence to water is important not only at Ise Shrine but for the Japanese culture. The country of Japan is a set of islands. Water is an important element for sustenance and connecting the culture to the outside world. Water is highlighted in various locations of the complex to cleanse and sanctify the body, particularly to clean hands and feet. Continuing past the entrance, the connection to nature is clear. Many of the paths are weaving through the heavily forested site. This natural setting enhances the sanctity of the place, reminding one about the primary religious purpose."






LE CORBUSIER – Ronchamp vs CONVENT of  La Tourette, outside Lyon

Sainte Marie de La Tourette is a Dominican Order priory.

Le Corbusier's La Tourette is a UNESCO world heritage site (dezeen.com)

Sainte Marie de La Tourette Convent by Le Corbusier | ArchEyes

Home to 100 Silent monks.  The brief:  "create a silent dwelling for one hundred bodies and one hundred hearts."

Convent of La Tourette is Le Corbusier's final building completed in Europe, and is also thought by many to be his most unique program.   1953 -1961.  It is the culmination of many of his structural and decorative motifs that he developed over his career.

Fascinating to see all of this within one building.

Modular Man

It was built to be a self-contained world for a community of silent monks, and to accommodate the unique and specific lifestyle of the monks, the monastery is made of one hundred individual cells, a communal library, a refectory, a rooftop cloister, a church, and classrooms.

Father Marie-Alain Couturier, who steered the unorthodox Ronchamp Chapel project to completion in 1954. would also sponsor Le Corbusier for the La Tourette commission.


It is Brutalist – Post Modern / International Style and  some critica have described the architecture to be like a garage.

It comprises heavy concrete rectangular boxes with penetrating light cannons, set within a sloping landscape. It sinks into the forest and into the hillside.

This building is about space and  light, inward solace, penetrating light, penetrating spaces. soul.

The brutalism -stripped things back to basics,  no adornment…  Just pure light and volumes and understanding movement and proportion of the human being.


The promenade, the experience , the descent,– the ritual, how people walk through and experience space.  Modular rhythm. This includes the modulated, rhythmical windows.

Windows along the ramp that descends into the chapel where designed by avant-garde musician Iannis Xenakis.  It represents a musical score.

One of the best moments of the architectural promenade is the ramp down to the church entrance: an austere, concrete corridor with uneven yet rhythmic glazing, a music score, which leads to a stern metal wall that rotates to give access to the dark, coloured glow to the rest of the church.  The stern metal wall pivots centrally to align with a glowing red light shelf to create a crucifix  form, composed of dark and light .

The interior of the church reveals a concrete box which is given a spiritual essence through its use of natural light and strong color, both selectively and carefully placed.

 "Light cannons" are created as the five different types of openings around the church let in daylight, several of which are graciously sculpted on the exterior.

The colours are also present in these openings, which give the church a warm and evocative glow.



CRYPT – Light Canons

 Architect is a poet who uses space and light to create theatre.

How architecture is about people, place, purpose and poetry.


Ronchamp was a rebuild of a war destroyed chapel. Remote and elevated site. Completed in 1954

Reformers within the Church at the time looked to renew its spirit by embracing modern art and architecture as representative concepts.

The chapel at Ronchamp is singular in Le Corbusier's oeuvre, in that it departs from his principles of standardisation and the machine aesthetic, giving in instead to a site-specific response.

By Le Corbusier's own admission, it was the site that provided an irresistible genius loci for the response, with the horizon visible on all four sides of the hill and its historical legacy for centuries as a place of worship.


Building 3:

Australia - Clare Design – off grid building  - Hammond House  1994

Architect that SB did here student experience within.  1996.

Lindsay Clare was

Hammond - Sustainable, Contemporary Architecture (claredesign.com.au)


KERRY HILL ARCHITECTS:  (SB worked herey, 3 years, between 2007 – 2009)

Did these projects:
New Hayman Island home comes with chef, butler, and two buggies - realestate.com.au

Hayman Island Private Residence / Hutchies (hutchinsonbuilders.com.au)


Hill founded his studio, Kerry Hill Architects, in 1979. Among his first major projects were the The Darwin Centre in Australia and the Sukhothai hotel in Bangkok, Thailand.   He did at the aged of 75 in 2018, after losing a battle against cancer.

The architect received the Aga Khan Award for Architecture for The Datai Langkawi hotel, which paved the way for many more resort projects.

These include several for high-end hotel brand Aman, in destinations including New Delhi, Tokyo and Shanghai, plus the Lalu Sun Moon Lake in rural Taiwan and the Desert Palm in Dubai.

"The significance of the work is that it responds sensitively to place through melding the local craft traditions, and cultural and climatic sensibilities of the east, with the technical precision of the modernist traditions,"

In an exclusive interview with Dezeen in 2017, Hill said his studio's approach was to always focus on creating contextually sensitive buildings that draw on local styles, building techniques and materials.

"We do not have a common architectural language," he explained. "We like to think that each building is designed especially for its context and its place."

"I don't believe in what I call 'plonk architecture'," he said. "What I mean by that is a Gehry here, a Gehry there – architecture at home everywhere and nowhere. I feel that you need to perpetuate the traditions within the culture and material of a place through your architecture, so that it is appropriate."

Hill was awarded the Australian Institute of Architects' Gold Medal, the nation's most prestigious architectural accolade, in 2006, described by the jury as "an architect of exceptional sensibility and expertise".

He was made an Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) in 2012, in recognition of his role as "an ambassador for Australian design in southeast Asia".

The architect also picked up the award for best housing design at the World Architecture Festival awards in 2012 for Martin No 38, his first residential project in Singapore.


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 An Anonymous Donor 

and Plungie

Ashleigh O'Connor

Marketing Specialist



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