This collection of models is significant for several reasons:
It demonstrates the continuing centrality of model making to architectural design despite the development of 3D imaging and design software. The Powerhouse holds a substantial collection of architectural models documenting the work of several prominent architects and the design of numerous significant structures. However this collection comprises mainly presentation and display models rather than those created as part of the design process. Due to their ephemeral character, design models rarely survive and more rarely enter public collections. This acquisition presents an unusual opportunity to preserve the elements of the complex and lengthy design of a public building.
The collection documents significant work by an outstanding architect. Rachel Neeson's high public profile among contemporary architects is testimony to the quality of her work and that of her late partner Nicholas Murcutt, as well as her public persona, much sought after in the media, academic and professional worlds.
The City of Sydney has built or redeveloped several swimming pool complexes during the past two decades, applying the talents of high profile designers to an under-appreciated building genre. As a result the design and environmental potential of pool complexes has been invigorated by architects including Harry Seidler, Ed Lippman and Rachel Neeson.
In June 2014 the pool design received the NSW AIA Sulman Medal for public architecture and the Lloyd Rees Award for urban design.
Charles Pickett, curator.