Sunday, January 1, 2012

Don College Devonport - Landmark Island Brutalism

Don College is one of Tasmania's largest and most significant Brutalist period buildings.  The staircases create a fortified fortress feel to the design.
Don College is located in the coastal township of Devonport in Northern Tasmania.  It's whereabouts isn't immediately apparent as it's hidden alongside a river, surrounded by bushland.

This school is one of Tasmania's largest examples of Brutalist architecture and is one of the best to be found in Tasmania.  Don College was constructed during the early 1970s, and many other fine examples of Brutalism were emerging in the 60s and 70s in Tasmania including Rosny College, Hobart, Henty House Government Offices in Launceston, Reece House Government Offices in Burnie, City Block in Launceston and 10 Murray Street Government Offices in Hobart.

As you walk down off the main road, and down a series of stairs into Don College, the sheer size and impressive dominance of Don College greets you.  There are so many wonderful geometric angles and different textures of concrete patterning that are synonymous with Brustlist design.

There are several staircases that are able to be viewed externally, allowing the sharp geometric lines of the facade to be broken by the sweeping spiralling pattern of the staircases.. This is one impressive example of Brutalism and I urge anyone with an interest in Modernist 20th Century architecture when visiting the region to check it out.

Happy 2012 and thanks for checking out my blog throughout 2011!


  1. I never had an appreciation of such buildings. I do now.

  2. My immediately response would normally be that Brutalist architecture was a] of its time and b] based on sensible use of materials, but not that c] it was lovely to look at.

    However the geometric angles and different textures of concrete patterning ARE impressive, and the stairs' sweeping spiralling pattern is very eye catching. Plus the building still looks in good nick 35-8 years later.


About the project

Join me (Thomas Ryan Photography) on a photographic project documenting Tasmanian 20th Century Modernism from the 1930's to the 1980's. The entire project gallery of 1000+ images and counting can be viewed on my website under art projects. I have been undertaking this project for over a decade.

My portfolio of commercial and art projects can be seen on my website and I can be contacted here as well. All photographs are copyright of Thomas Ryan Photography. Unauthorised use is prohibited. Contact me for all enquires

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