Charles Fulton: the regional reach of modernism in Australia





Modern Movement, Modern architecture, Modern housing


Charles Fulton (1905-1987) was an Australian architect who applied influences of European Modernism, particularly the civic architecture of Willem Dudok, into the design for several hospital projects in regional towns across Queensland, at the same time adapting a climatic responsive rationale to the projects. As with many remote contexts that have been overlooked by a European and American centric focus upon Modern architecture, the account of Australian Modernism has not been widely acknowledged outside its borders, despite a local momentum to effectively document and publish its achievements. Compounding this predicament, Queensland has suffered from its own exclusion relative to the southern states of New South Wales (Sydney) and Victoria (Melbourne), which have always been the dominant centers of the national profession, its conferences and publications. This paper seeks to address these schisms through the presentation of the work of Fulton, demonstrating how even in remote areas of Queensland, thousands of kilometers from major cities, the reach of Modern architecture found a place. Mobilized by the national federal body, the Office of Health and Home Affairs, drive to improve health services across the country post WWI, Fulton became a leading architect to modernize health facilities and brought about a cultural shift in the reception of Modern architecture across the regions.

How to Cite

Sanders, P., & Lindquist, M. (2021). Charles Fulton: the regional reach of modernism in Australia. Docomomo Journal, (62), 86–93.





Documentation Issues


Author Biographies

Paul Sanders, Deakin University

Professor of Architecture at Deakin University in Australia. His research interests are in the topics of Regional Modernism, Urban Morphology, and Intergenerational Living. He has been an academic since 1998 and has been published in international journals in the fields of architecture and urban design. Paul established his expertise as an architect in professional practice (1988-2003) having extensive design experience through built work, as well as international design competitions. His research is in the field of urban morphology, and completed a PhD titled “Consonance in Urban Form; The Architectural Dimension of Urban Morphology”.

Marissa Lindquist, Queensland University of Technology

Award winning architect and lecturer at the School of Design, Queensland University of Technology. Marissa is Chief Investigator of Cat 1 NHMRC Grant 2019: An Inter-generational Learning and Living Campus: A New Model for Healthy Senior Living and Integrated School Communities across Urban and Regional Australia. In 2008 she was awarded the National Dulux Study Tour for emerging architects in Australia. She formed part of the editorial team for the international IDEA Symposium (2010) entitled Interior Spaces in Other Places Brisbane, Australia, and is recognized for her creative practice through publication within the 2012 Venice Biennale Australian Pavilion. In 2017 Marissa was awarded a Women in Research Grant QUT. Marissa is currently undertaking her PhD focusing upon neuro-imaging, architecture + emotion. Her teaching practice dwells on the margins of interiority, perception and material making.


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Interviews, 2017/2018, conducted with: Jack Gilmour, Ivan McDonald, Frank Moss, Phil Tait, Mark Trotter, and Paul Trotter.