Richard Mortlock 

on growing up with an architect father

In this edited interview with Ian Hoskins, recorded in 2015, Richard Mortlock recalls growing up in the 1950s and 1960s in a small Federation-era house that his father, Sulman-prize winning architect Bryce Mortlock, had decided to reshape rather than demolish. A process of extensive refurbishment created a Modernist home out of an old house. Richard recalls that after the arrival of the Mortlocks, Vernon Street in Cammeray became ‘architects' hollow’ as other young professionals moved into the area and ‘mimicked’ the house at No.5.

Richard talks about growing up with a hardworking father, socialising at the home of renowned architect Syd Ancher, the onset of Modernism and his parents’ eclectic aesthetics. And he reflects on the difference between the Mortlock's house - redesigned to become progressively whiter, lighter and open - and the ‘dark, small and cramped’ homes of his friends. It was a difference that was evident to the eye of a young boy in the 1960s – an era in which so much changed in North Sydney as elsewhere in Australia.

The interview is accompanied by family photographs from the 1960s.