Despite a European training and an early career working with Peter Behrens, a migration from Vienna to the Australian state of Queensland positioned the architect Karl Langer (1903-1969) at the very edge of both European and Australian modernism. Confronted by tropical heat and glare, the economics of affordable housing, fiercely proud and regional architectural practices, and a suspicion of the foreign, Langer moulded the European language of international modernism to the unique climatic and social conditions of tropical Australia.

This book will tell Langer's story through a series of edited essays focused on key themes and projects. Published as part of the Bloomsbury Studies in Modern Architecture series, which brings to light the work of significant yet overlooked modernist architects, it is both an examination of an architect's work and international legacy, and also a case study in the trans-global dissemination of design ideas.

Studying the architect's built and proposed work, both regional and metropolitan, the scale and reach of Langer's practice will be considered for the first time, showing how, given his continued influence on the contemporary culture of tropical design, Langer has been unjustly ignored by the historiography of both Australian and Modernist architecture to date.

Edited by Deborah van der Plaat and John Macarthur, with assistance from Lloyd Jones, the book includes essays from the editors as well as Andrew Wilson, Don Watson, Fiona Gardner, Robert Riddel and Janina Gosseye. 

Project members

Professor John Macarthur

Director of Research & Professor in Architecture
School of Architecture, Design and Planning

Dr Andrew Wilson

Senior Lecturer in Architecture
School of Architecture, Design and Planning

Adjunct Professor Donald Watson

Adjunct Professor
School of Architecture, Design and Planning

Ms Fiona Gardiner

Adjunct Associate Professor
School of Architecture, Design and Planning
Janina Gosseye

Dr Janina Gosseye

Honorary Senior Fellow
School of Architecture, Design and Planning