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Open 3 December 2021 to 24 July 2022
Monday to Tuesday: 8am to 7pm
Wednesday to Friday: 8am to 5pm
Saturday and Sunday: 12 to 5pm
Closed public holidays
State Library Gallery, Spence Wing, (Ground floor)
Free entry
Our partners

Explore the allure of modern living in a changing South Australia after World War II. A booming economy and emerging consumer culture led to a desire for enjoyment and a celebration of the pleasures of ‘everyday life’. A new generation of socially mobile individuals sought to define themselves through modern architecture.

Discover what the relationship was between the owners and their new homes. Who were these people and what inspired them to leave (or demolish) their traditional family home to commission or move into a modern, architect-designed home? What were their backgrounds and social network?

Bringing together photographs, drawings and plans, and newspaper and magazine articles from the State Library’s collections, as well as material from other organisations and private family records, this exhibition celebrates the diverse work of architects and firms, including John S Chappel, Robin Boyd, Dickson & Platten, Peter Muller, Lawson, Cheesman & Doley, and others.

Also features video interviews with people who lived and worked in these remarkable buildings.

Curated by Dr James Curry (School of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Adelaide), and the State Library of South Australia.

Presented by the State Library of South Australia in partnership with the University of Adelaide.

We are very pleased that, due to popular demand, the exhibition has been extended until 24 July.

How do I get to the State Library by public transport?

The 'State Library, Art Gallery, Museum' tram-stop is just outside the State Library. There are bus stops close by near the War Memorial on North Terrace. The closest train station is the Adelaide city station on North Terrace.

You can plan your journey via Adelaide Metro.

Is there car parking near the State Library?

The nearest car park is Wilson's Adelaide Central car park, 225 North Terrace, next to David Jones.

There is paid metered street parking along Kintore Ave and Victoria Drive.

Where is the wheelchair and stroller access?

Access to the Spence Wing first floor and the Mortlock Chamber is via the lift in the glass foyer entrance of the library.

There is on-street disabled parking available in the nearby roads. View more information and maps of Adelaide City Council's Disability parking for permit holders.

How do I check if the Mortlock Chamber is open when I plan to visit?

The Mortlock Chamber may close for private events, check our opening hours for any closure times.

When it is open you can visit the Mortlock Chamber on the ground floor to look at the exhibition bays.  The upper levels of the Mortlock Wing include quiet study areas.

Is there a cafe at the State Library?

Yes, the State Library Cafe is open Monday to Friday from 8am to 4pm and Saturdays from 12 to 4pm.