New Book: All the Buildings in Sydney
If the illustrations in All the Buildings in Sydney look a little familiar, you might recall James Gulliver Hancock’s inimitable style from his remarkable first book, All the Buildings in New York. Dedicated to his one-time home, the book was the result of Hancock’s desire to familiarise himself and ‘map’ the streets of New York by drawing it. One building at a time. He subsequently blogged about it, people raved about it, and of course, the book publisher came knocking at his door.
Back then, his name was also familiar to my husband, who remembers Hancock in his classes while studying for a Bachelor of Design: Visual Communication degree at Sydney’s UTS.
Hancock’s Sydney homecoming and subsequent book is a personal project, starting with his childhood home in Balmain. What follows is a veritable field guide to Sydney’s unique architectural history, from the small and anonymous residential cottages in Sydney’s inner west to art deco buildings in Potts Point and modernist masterpieces like Rose Seidler House. It’s been described as a “love letter to Sydney’, and is a must-have for lovers of architecture and Sydney alike (pssst… Mother’s Day is this weekend).
Naturally, he revisits his former brutalist Alma Mater on Broadway. He said in an interview with Fairfax that “I hated all that brutalism stuff before I started drawing buildings; now I love it. I don’t love interacting with it daily, but as a sculpture, they’re amazing.”
Happily, Hancock has drawn most of my favourite buildings in Sydney, which I’ve included in this post, including the space-ship house I stare at every time I cross The Spit bridge in Seaforth.
More of Hancock’s work can be found at jamesgulliverhancock.com and allthebuildingsinnewyork.com, and he’s also running a workshop at Sydney’s Finders Keepers market this weekend. You can follow him on Instagram here.
This is an edited extract from All the Buildings in Sydney by James Gulliver Hancock, published by Hardie Grant RRP $29.95, available in stores nationally.