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Leisure Space: The Transformation of Sydney 1945–1970 is a collection of essays, mostly by architectural historians, showing how new structures transformed Sydney between 1945 and 1970. After discussing the cultural context — especially the impact of rising standards of living and new forms of leisure — it considers such elements as the transformation of tourist offices, motels, shopping centres and holiday houses. The contributors all show that the design and development of what are described as ‘leisure environments’ are closely connected to social, political, economic and technological history.
Engagingly written and presented, this book makes a significant addition to studies of Sydney’s post–Second World War history. Through its detailed attention to modernism’s role in physically altering the city’s landscape, it explains why by 1970 Sydney looked radically different in comparison with how it had appeared at the end of the war. The use of images interspersed through the text — including those by leading Sydney photographers such as Max Dupain — is highly effective.