After Andrew Reed's death in 1999 at the early age of 56 years, a brief obituary in Architecture Australia described him as “a precocious architect of the 1960s and 1970s”. Born in England, Andrew Gerald Francis Reed migrated to Australia with his parents when he was ten years old. Completing secondary education at De La Salle College in Malvern, he started the architecture course at the University of Melbourne in 1961. Even before his degree was completed, Reed had already secured commissions for minor architectural projects – mostly small-scale residential renovations, as well as one larger project for a lodge for a ski club at Falls Creek. In 1964, Reed won first place in a design competition sponsored by the Timber Development Association and, two years later, his prize-winning scheme (for a gable-roofed open-planned timber dwelling) formed the basis for a house at Frankston built for a private client. Published in the property column of the Herald, this so-called “all-timber house” was lauded for its bold use of natural timber, including rough-sawn oregon posts and beams, and similarly rustic hardwood cladding.
Completing his architectural studies in 1966, Reed set up practice in a studio at the rear of his parent's house at Brighton; as business boomed, he moved to an office in Carlton and then, in 1967, renovated a nearby terrace house for himself. His first major commission was the 25-unit Pathfinder Motel at Kew (1968). By the end of the following year, Reed was working on a range of high-end projects including a half-million dollar office block at Glenroy, a townhouse cluster in Caulfield, a cliff-top housing development in Sorrento and a restaurant in Sydney. His association with the developing ski resort at Falls Creek continued, with follow-up commissions for a restaurant (1967) and, later, a block of flats (1974). The latter project was widely published (even internationally, in the German journal, Baumeister) and received a citation at the 1975 RAIA (Victorian Chapter) Architectural Awards. That same year, Reed also received the Community Design Medal for his sympathetic renovation of inner-suburban terrace houses.
During the 1970s, Reed became particularly well-known for his residential projects, which were characterised by the same bold use of natural materials that had drawn attention to his prize-winning “all-timber” house in 1964. He favoured rugged finishes (rough face brickwork, raw timber and stone) and a lively interplay of forms and masses, such as irregular rooflines, angled walls and projecting/receding components in a way that reflected (or, in his earliest example, even anticipated) the local influence of the Brutalist movement in residential architecture. An almost sculptural aesthetic was expressed through the use of projecting curved stairwells, narrow windows, tall chimneys and wing walls.
In the mid-1980s, Reed re-configured his practice, elevating long-time employee Anthony Mussen to full partnership and bringing in a third partner, Anthony Styant-Browne, who had considerable experience in the United States including a stint in the office of Cesar Pelli. The resulting firm, known as Reed, Mussen & Styant-Browne, was relatively short lived, but became well-known for the Price Waterhouse Centre in Spring Street (1987), which was a joint winner in the commercial category at the 1988 RAIA (Victorian Chapter) awards.
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Andrew Reed & Associates
Reed, Mussen & Styant-Browne