Architecture Museum

About the Architecture Museum

The Architecture Museum is a unique repository of architects’ and allied professionals’ records and a dynamic hub of research into South Australia’s architectural and built environment history.

The Architecture Museum is located in the Kaurna (K) Building at the City West Campus of the University of South Australia in Adelaide, South Australia. Link to campus map.

Link to Map of Adelaide, South Australia

The Architecture Museum @unisa.architecturemuseum posts regularly on Instagram where you can see a selection of our collection items

Front of Architecture Museum

Architecture Museum, Kaurna Building, photographer Sam Noonan 2012


Latest News and Events

Reading Room is currently closed.

Please contact the Architecture Museum at or 8302 9235 if you would like to use the collections.


The Architecture Museum reading room will be closed to the public due to Covid-19 management and the need for social distancing.. This is to minimise the risk of infection and to ensure the health and safety of everyone.


Future Exhibitions

Modern Living: at home in South Australia, 1890-1960

This exhibition will examine some of the houses designed for modern living in South Australia, ranging from model cottages to architect-designed modernist houses. Architectural drawings, books, posters and pamphlets from the collections of the Architecture Museum will illustrate the emergence of modern ideas of home and their expression in our houses.

F.Kenneth Milne designed house 1912, Architecture Museum, UniSA.
F.Kenneth Milne designed house 1912, Architecture Museum, University of South Australia.



Archiving Digital Architectural Records: Towards a National Framework

One of the current research projects being undertaken by the Architecture Museum aims to develop a framework for archiving born digital architectural records. The key challenges associated with archiving these records include: (1) establishing the rationale for collecting records produced in a digital environment; (2) which records to archive and (3) how to archive them; and (4) how to achieve digital continuity in rapidly evolving and changing electronic environments.

This research is funded by NATSPEC, a national not-for-profit organisation whose objective is to improve the construction quality and productivity of the built environment through leadership of information.

Research team: Mr Chris Burns, Assoc Prof Christine Garnaut, Dr Julie Collins


 Follow @unisa.architecturemuseum on Instagram 


Our Focus

The Architecture Museum is a facility for the acquisition, preservation and management of architectural and related records produced by private practitioners based in South Australia. It aims to:

  • promote scholarly enquiry into South Australia’s built environment history
  • secure funding to conduct research projects based on its collections
  • publish research outcomes from Museum-centred projects
  • arrange public exhibitions of its holdings.

Using the Museum collections

The Architecture Museum is an invaluable resource for researchers, students and practitioners from a range of disciplines, architects, planners, engineers, heritage consultants, historians and all those interested in the state’s built history and heritage.

Our research collection comprises more than 200,000 items including architectural drawings, correspondence, photographs and architects’ personal papers as well as a library of books, research reports, journals and trade literature. These items have been donated by architects working in private practice in South Australia during the 20th century, particularly in the period circa 1910 to 1980.

The Architecture Museum is housed in a purpose-built facility in the Kaurna Building at the City West campus of the University of South Australia.  It is open by appointment Monday to Wednesday 10am-4pm. Please contact us with enquiries about the collection and/or to arrange an appointment.

Our History

In the 1970s, in the absence of a repository in South Australia for retired private architectural practitioners to deposit their records, architectural historian Donald Leslie Johnson began collecting their archives. In 1990 he donated the collection to the School of the Built Environment at the South Australian Institute of Technology, a predecessor institution of the University of South Australia. This collection of architectural drawings, ephemera and books was renamed the Architecture Museum in 2005.


The Architecture Museum is located in the School of Art, Architecture and Design and is managed by academic staff. It has an Advisory Group comprising members external to the University of South Australia and key internal personnel. The Museum is a member of the International Confederation of Architecture Museums (ICAM).

Higher Degree by Research opportunities at the Architecture Museum

The Architecture Museum offers a diverse and rich array of sources for Higher Degree by Research (both PhD and Masters) projects in fields including: architecture, planning, built environment history and theory, interior architecture, visual art and design, social and cultural history. Architecture Museum staff are supervisors for higher degrees by research.

Our People

Dr Julie Collins, Collections Manager
Phone:  8302 9235

Mr Chris Burns, Research Assistant

Dr Christine Garnaut, Adjunct Associate Research Professor

Dr Anna Leditschke, Research Assistant

Dr Louise Bird, Research Assistant

Dr Jack Wilde, Research Assistant


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Architects of SA

Architects of South Australia Database

Search this selection of South Australian architects biographies and works from 1836 to the present day. This database contains historical information on individuals, architectural practices, built works and lists of sources.

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