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Modernism, Australian Modernism, International Style

Birth date / place

November 16th 1909, Melbourne, Australia

Selected Architecture


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Article last edited by maria on
December 28th, 2014

Acheson Best Overend Change this

Change this
born 1909, Melbourne

Best Overend in a 1926 Grand Prix Type 37 Bugatti

1 of 2

About Change this

Acheson Best Overend (1909-77) was an Australian architect and is considered on of the first architects to be truly committed to modernism.

Education & Early Career

Overend studied architecture at Swinburne Technical College and at the University of Melbourne Design Atelier. Following this he traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia during the thirties and attended the 1937 Paris Expo.

Overend's influence in modernism then came when he lived in London for several years, working closely with Wells Coates. It was during this time he designed the BBC interiors in London.

Australian Influence

Overend returned to Australia in 1933 and was an active writer and contributor to Australian architecture media, from 1934 he regularly wrote for The Argus often discussing modernism and the minimal housing typology.

Between 1938-1955 Overend was appointed to the Housing Commission of the Victorian Architect's Panel where he vocally advocated prefabricated housing solutions.

In 1936 Overend designed the well known ‘Cairo Flats’ which remains an important early example of modernist functionalism.

Taylor, Soilleux & Overend

After this time he joined the practice of Taylor & Soilleux who were specialists in cinemas and auditoria, but Overend's influence became immediately apparent in the work of the new partnership of Taylor, Soilleux and Overend, where new elements such as cantilevered concrete staircases came up in their designs. They were invited as participating architects on the United Nations Headquarters building in New York with Oscar Niemeyer and Le Corbusier.

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