Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

SAW 5 – Modern Sydney

Modernity and the city.

Quick Details

  • Walking tours in Sydney led by practising architects.
  • Nominated as one of the world’s top five architecture tours by The Sydney Morning Herald.
  • Nominated as one of the world’s top ten architecture tours by The Guardian UK.
  • Winner of TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence 2012-2019.

Duration: 2.5 hours

Early Bird

Tour Details.

Guided by the spirit of interwar modernity, Modern Sydney follows a mazy path through the guts of Sydney from Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park to Circular Quay.

We will explore the urban and architectural ideals at the heart of modernism; ideas borrowed from the great Europe and North American cities in the early 20th Century, and discuss the mediating factors of distance, culture, technology, politics and environment as we search for the influence of modernity on contemporary Sydney.

Modernism’s twin strands will be our guide. The decorative, user-friendly style of art deco that concerned itself with the aesthetic or the idea of the machine rather than the machine itself – beautifully realised in Emil Sodersten’s QBE on Pitt Street. We will also look at some wonderful examples of the work of more ‘serious’ modernists like Harry Seidler, finishing with the flowering of many of these ideas in seminal projects by Renzo Piano and Jørn Utzon.

Meeting Point.

Anzac Memorial, Hyde Park. Meet on the northern side near the “Pool of Reflection”. 2 minutes walk from Museum Station

What Else.

  • If you have a Gift Card, enter the code in the next window.
  • Please bring your ticket for scanning either printed or on your phone.
  • Please arrive at the meeting point 10 minutes prior to tour departure.
  • Tickets are transferrable and cancellable up to 72 hours before the event.
  • We are COVID-Safe and follow all current NSW Government requirements. Physical distancing is required. Masks are encouraged but not mandatory.
  • Whatever happens in regards to weather – we walk – so dress for the weather! If for some reason the tour does not go ahead, you will receive a full refund. In this instance we would notify you at least 90 minutes prior to the tour by text message so a mobile number is requested in the next window.

Almost but not quite?

Does this tour almost meet your needs, but you would like to customise a few options?
Email us at

SAW is a member of Guiding Architects, the international network for high-quality architecture tours.