Buildings that shape us

It was just over 70 years ago that London architects and planners considered the most unique heritage project of the times, the rebuilding of the House of Commons following the Nazi bombing blitz.

Some wanted to modernise the building and change it, but Sir Winston Churchill would have none of it. Churchill had an insight that was ahead of his time. He said “we shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us”. Churchill wanted to retain the physical shape of parliament to reinforce the gladiatorial contest of ideas (and he got his way).

Our buildings do shape us and the industry thinks deeply about how to design buildings that enrich people's lives.

Property Council National President Mark Steinert often speaks of how our buildings and their connectedness to our communities can and do influence our physical and mental health, our sense of connectedness and wellbeing and in turn, the productivity of our lives and communities.

In this issue, Tim Costello reflects on his move from a house in the suburbs to an apartment at Southbank and how he feels more connected to his new community. As he remarks, ownership and belonging is fundamental to the human condition.

That’s why housing affordability is more than an issue about balance sheets and repayments, it’s also about ensuring as many people as possible have access to a pathway that contributes to their personal sense of security and wellbeing.

It was therefore pleasing to see the new NSW Premier identify this issue as one of her government's highest priorities. Gladys Berejiklian is a former Treasurer and Transport Minister, whom the Property Council has had a long and fruitful relationship with and we wish her well.