Glenn Murcutt's story is a bit unexpected. The Australian architect began his career about 50 years ago designing simple, Modernist buildings. Then, in the mid-'70s, he started gleaning inspiration from his country's traditional buildings, such as the wool sheds common in New South Wales. These long, narrow buildings were sensibly and sustainably built: set on stilts and positioned to take advantage of the sun and winds for heating and cooling, and with open floor plans to ensure good air circulation. Murcutt went to work creating homes based on these principles [source: Lewis].
For many years, Murcutt, who works alone out of his home and only builds in Australia, wasn't widely known throughout the world. But in 2002 -- by which time he was considered Australia's most famous architect -- Murcutt won the prestigious Pritzker Prize. In the award citation, Thomas Pritzker noted how all of Murcutt's designs are "tempered by the land and climate of his native Australia," and that while he normally builds homes, critics consider the Arthur and Yvonne Boyd Education Centre that Murcutt designed a masterwork [source: Ozetecture].