Acheson Best Overend was an Australian architect and is considered to be one of the first architects to have truly been committed to modernism.
Education & Early Career
Overend studied architecture at Swinburne Technical College and at the University of Melbourne Design Atelier. Afterward, he traveled extensively throughout Europe and Asia during the thirties and attended the 1937 Paris Expo.
Overend influenced modernism 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.
Overend returned to Australia in 1933 and was an active writer and contributor to Australian architecture media, from 1934 on he regularly wrote for The Argus often discussing modernism and minimal housing typology.
Between 1938 and 1955 Overend was appointed to the Housing Commission of the Victorian Architect's Panel where he was vocally advocating prefabricated housing solutions.
In 1936 Overend designed the well known 'Cairo Flats' which remains an important early example of modernist functionalism.
Taylor, Soilleux & Overend
In March 1933 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 to collaborate in the project of United Nations Headquarters building in New York with Oscar Niemeyer and Le Corbusier.
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