Walter Burley Griffin and Castlecrag

“The suburb of Castlecrag incorporates Australia’s most significant and complete urban landscape designs and buildings by the architect Walter Burley Griffin….

The early houses were constructed of sandstone quarried from the roads, but from 1924 several houses were constructed using knitlock roofing and wall tiles. These concrete blocks had been developed by Griffin in Canberra with assistance from David Jenkins and Malcolm Moore and were patented in 1917. The machines to make the bricks were designed by Moore and a simple factory was established in Castlecrag to manufacture the knitlock tiles.

Walter and Marion Griffin moved permanently to Castlecrag in the autumn of 1925 and the following year they purchased two additional portions to the east of the Castlecrag Estate. Named The Haven Estate, this land was developed as an extension of the existing sub-division. In both the Castlecrag and The Haven Estates, the foreshore land was designated as bushland reserves. The Griffins’ vision for Castlecrag was of a community quite different from a typical Sydney suburb. The design of the roads and allotments responded to the rocky landscape with the winding roads following the contours of the landforms. Communal areas were linked together with a network of walkways and reserves to provide open spaces, retain views and achieve maximum amenity for all residents. Equally important was respect for the native Australian landscape which the Griffins had come to understand and admire.”


Historical Willoughby, ‘Castlecrag’, Willoughby District Historical Society & Museum Inc |