in collaboration with Louise Allen 2020, BRING BACK BROOKES JETTY ST KILDA COMPETITION
There is a strong sense of nostalgia in regards to the demolished Brookes Jetty, St Kilda. The old jetty was a narrowly intimate 1.2 meters wide beautiful timber structure, characterised by its thick timber boards and rhythm of timber piling; aging with time, extended over the existing concrete stormwater drain. Many memories are made here; walk out to the sea, reconnect with nature, picnic and swim, propose or get married, scatter ashes, meditate and daydream. Hereby the intention of this proposal is to somehow bring back the beloved jetty, building upon the characteristics of the old jetty whilst also acknowledging that this will be a new jetty over the old. The new jetty is meant to rekindle those memories made, and also allowing the making of new memories.
For one, the plungeboard is designed specifically for friends to leap into the water, with a metal ladder on the side to climb back to the jetty. A series of ledges, for akin fishing mates to sit on, with their feet dangled in the air. Swimming below the jetty, the gaps between the timber boards allow playful light to glimpse through. This proposal also acknowledges that the concrete stormwater drain will need to be rebuilt. If budget permits, an ecological solution to stormwater is presented. Rather than a straightforward drain to divert stormwater as quick as possible, the drain is allowed to spill through the sides, akin to a river, bringing back native planting and land formation around and beneath the jetty.
The first part of the jetty is intended to be built with concrete, reminiscing the engineering history of the drain; but formed with timber boards – alluding to the next structure. The main part of the jetty is then built with treated timber similar to the old jetty, as timber weathers characteristically with the passing of time. Nevertheless, the timber posts are accentuated on the sides of the jetty, a nod to timber carpentry. The rhythm of timber posts is foreshadowed as poles wrapping around the initial concrete structure as well as bollards leading from the Burley Griffin pillars. Knowing that the timber would need to be replaced in the future, a masterplan is envisioned. Replaced timber poles can perhaps be reinstated as bollards further back towards Shakespeare Grove, reinforcing the axis of the jetty and also renewing the material memory of the jetty. These reclaimed timber can also be constructed as solid timber benches along the axis – like the one at the end of the jetty; as a place to sit and daydream.
In a deliberate manner, the timber posts continues rhytmically past the jetty and slowly descending in height, evoking an image of the previously demolished jetty towards the ocean, a melancholy. The series of timber posts lowers itself towards the ocean, a gesture to the horizon and the sunset. Then, a series of recessed solar lights atop the posts, illuminating the jetty and the ocean beyond. Here at the end of jetty, the strongest memories are made; a couple proposing in matrimony, or the scattering of ashes, expressions of love – with the ocean, the sunset and the horizon as witness. Hence, the name Memory Jetty.
Our proposal is born from the question of safety in cities in our era of Trumpian xenophobia, the overreaction of the city installing anti terror bollards in response to car attacks and the perception of building walls and fences are necessary for safety at the sacrifice of sense of welcoming and openness in public spaces. While the discussion of urban security remains an issue of complex dimensions, with this pavilion we have intended to hark back to the humble garden bollards, simple and low natural timber poles that lines our parks that while also preventing car access to parks, they lies within our psyche of public parks, defining a malleable and soft territory within parks and the playful juvenile imaginations of garden bollards as stepping stones and zig zag runs.
The garden bollards dotted in a serial and linear manner, forming an invisible line that only exists in the mind. Bounding in response to the geometry of the surrounding buildings, regions of open air garden rooms defined within the park. The diagonal transverses the paved and the lawn seemingly joining and inviting passers-by to walk across the lawn. Then the bollards connects park paraphernalias, the sculptures, trees, playground not unlike a walking trail, reacting, marking and carving spaces around such objects in the landscape.
At one moment the bollards are arranged in a grid-like manner, marking a region of a space rather than an imaginary line, in the hopeful intention of being a gathering space, where the bollards present themselves as seats. And the other, tall bollards or rightfully poles in a grid, evocations of tree trunks in a forest setting. Childlike imaginations of playful running among the trunks, or of aimless meandering. The third structure, a culmination of bollards slowly merging into a mass structure, a stepped hill. A prompt for climbing experiences and standing on the top of the plinth.
The densities of the bollards change, denser and intensifies the enclosement of boundaries. And serendipitously the height of the bounding bollards grows taller and slowly morphs into a fence. Impeding movement and visual transparency, objects beyond the fence becomes landmarks of curiosity and hopeful pedestrians trail along the bollards to eventually breach into the forbidden territory.
2018, SUBMISSION FOR LAND ART GENERATOR INITIATIVE COMPETITION
ST KILDA, MELBOURNE
HISTORY OF ST KILDA – A CATALYST
The starting point of the scheme is framing the question of how energy generation infrastructure can be embedded into the unique locality of St Kilda, its history, culture and place. To start the research about history of St Kilda beginning with the traditional owners of the Bunurong people and in particular the St Kilda Corroboree Tree or ‘Ngargee’ red gum tree that predates the European settlement. The tree is one of the oldest living things in Melbourne, though to be between 300 – 500 years old and serves as an important cultural meeting location for the Bunurong people and for the annual corroboree dreamtime ceremony.
Subsequently the name St Kilda for the neighbourhood is named in 1841 after a ship that moored on the beach on the same year. Even in the early maritime history the sight of the St Kilda beach is a view to be reckoned prior to the arrival to Port Melbourne. Very quickly the location became a favoured location for the wealthy to move in for the proximity to the beach and soon the delta wetlands landscape is developed into a neighbourhood of exquisite Victorian and Edwardian mansions including the Esplanade Hotel overlooking the beach. This is expedited with the construction of tramlines along the bay that stops at the triangle site nominated.
It was not until the Great Depression that St Kilda began to decline with the seashore becoming the popular entertainment and red light district for the working classes. The wealthy moved out and thus began the bohemian culture for St Kilda. This is vividly denoted by the construction of Luna Park and Palais Theatre by Carlo Catani. It should also be worth mentioning that St Kilda became a focus of Melbourne’s social issues including prostitution and drug abuse during this era while the bohemian arts and culture grew. Compared to Brighton Beach, the bohemian St Kilda is rather known for its calmer seas – hence the mooring point for sailing boats at the pier that sits in front of the skyline of Melbourne today.
WIND ENERGY & ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT
Compared to other states in Australia, Victoria is less known for its sunny days but rather the gusting winds. With the maritime history of St Kilda from the marooned schonner to the landscape of the sails over the skyline, it felt appropriate to harness the energy of the wind and to store them into battery packs to increase reliability. Rather than being individual turbines dotting over the landscape, a long veil-like structure echoing the linear nature of the bay and the tramline is carefully placed along the site avoiding trees and other suspended infrastructures. The veil is envisioned as a semi-transparent tapestry that gradually becomes less solid closer to eye level to preserve visibility of the horizon from the esplanade. The bottom part of the veil is composed of loose strings, thus minimizing entanglement and obstruction to traffic and public. The energy is harnessed by a simple four bar linkage mechanism not dissimilar to a scalable version of Theo Jansen’s Strandbeest. The rotating turbine themselves are located underground perhaps visible and easy to access with removable steel grating. With St Kilda’s average wind speed of 20km/h the 25 rotors of 40kwh each are estimated to generate the amount of 1 mwh.
The battery packs rather than being laid across the site is minimally stacked into a form of tower echoing the heights and length of the Palais Theatre and is arranged in a herringbone manner to become a visible infrastructure almost like an archival library setting with a public thoroughfare. The battery tower is also possibly proposed to store even external capacity of power generated elsewhere.
ST KILDA’S VEIL – BOHEMIAN WIND CURTAIN
The St Kilda’s veil is the manifestation of diverse history, culture and place of St Kilda. Arranged in a linear manner the veil draws upon the maritime image of St Kilda prior to arriving in Port Melbourne – elongates in the landscape like the tracks of the tramline leading to the city. The twenty five 30 meter poles, like the numerous sail poles of the yachts anchored in St Kilda Pier holds up the continuous veil. The colours, the red and orange reflecting the colours of the traditional land – the red gum of the St Kilda Corroboree Tree, the bright colours of the red-light entertainment district of the St Kilda history. The deep purple – the bohemian and LGBT culture of St Kilda. The tapestry of the veil long drawn and visibly composed of strings perhaps alluding to the unashamingly unconventional Bohemian tapestry. The bottom of the veil – composed loosely of strings evokes akin to a Bohemian doorway of beaded curtains. Wavering slowly against the winds these strings billows slowly and invites the passersby to walk across and touch the soft tapestry, inviting playfulness evocated by Luna Park. At night, different brightness of animating lights elucidates the waving speed of the curtain against the wind. From the compositing identities of the indigenous, maritime and Bohemian, St Kilda’s Veil – the wind curtain foretells St Kilda as a visual prelude to Melbourne and Victoria’s energy overlaying initiative.
in collaboration with Louise Allen
2018, TAPESTRY DESIGN PRIZE FOR ARCHITECTS COMPETITION
PHAROS WING, MUSEUM OF OLD AND NEW
Etienne Louis Boullee’s design for Cenotaph for Newton manifests the understanding of the universe at the time into a visionary work of architecture. The shape of the massive sphere recollects the almost fully discovered known world globe and known shapes of most celestial objects. At daytime; the sphere casts pinhole lights into the interior like stars among the cosmos and at night; a lantern in the center of the sphere shines bright light like the sun in the solar system. In the same honorific spirit, our proposal for the tapestry imagines to exemplify the zeitgeist of our knowledge of the universe not dissimilar to Jean Tinguely mechanical reconstructions – to dedicate to the passing of the greatest mind of our time – Stephen Hawking.
Our investigation begins with the questioning of the flatness of a tapestry work – to equal the relative flatness of the known universe in the cosmic scale. Like Einstein’s theory of general relativity of how gravity of planet Earth warps the space-time like a ball in a trampoline – we draped the tapestry around the globe, distorting the flatness of the tapestry into a surface that envelops spatially. The curvature and transparency is manipulated through elements of tapestry; the weaving of threads through the forces of tension and gravity pulling the tapestry needle to the ground. Like a strong gravitational pull, the observer is drawn into the curvature defining the entry and inherently the spacetime around him.
Inside the shroud, the form that has always been the lifetime fascination of Stephen Hawking reveals itself – a singularity, the vortex of the black hole where the gravity is so immense that light will not be able to escape. Such intriguing form in its grandiose scale manifests itself in the engineering necessity of nuclear cooling towers. Being inside one, the observer is drawn into the accentuating light, except in a black hole – into the unescapable abyss. The semi invisible cosmic colours of the microwave spectrum drawn into the blackness escaping comprehension; the likes of the fleeting aurora, or the blurry nebula. From the threads of gravitational and electromagnetic waves. Emblematic of Stephen Hawking’s life, we invite the observers to look up not into the angst of existential black hole; but to be humbled with the mysteries of the cosmos and to persevere towards the unknown edge of the universe.
runner-up submission entry for installation
in collaboration with Jacqueline Armstrong & Nicholas Putrasia
2013, PERTH CONCERT HALL
How do we perceive sound spatially? A three dimensional sinusoidal wave consisting of individual paper rolls suspended in space by helium balloons. The wave peaks in the center of the void, simultaneously appreciating the spiral staircase. The observers may interact with the installation by rolling up and down individual paper rolls, generating a moving visual rthym in space.
The installation puts forward that a sound element, the sound wave such as a set of rthym or even a musical note is a collection of smaller units making up a discernible composition. Like the suspending paper rolls, they are a series of oscillations making up a perceptible pattern. The visual perception of the wave also depends on the position of the observer in space, whether you are on the foyer, the staircase or the mezzanine, not dissimilar to our relativistic perception of sound. This illustrates the fact that the sound that one hears is slightly different than another individual depending on just where they stand in relation to the source of the sound.
We all understand that sound is produced by oscillations, which is usually graphically represented as waves. However, this is only two dimensional. Sound does not just travel in two dimensions, it travels in four, including space and time.
Sound moves through space in a series of oscillations, warping and compressing itself around bodies in space not unlike a gravitational field. Here the spiral staircase in the void acts as a body that disrupts the travel of sound wave, being compressed and appreciated around the object, as compared to the sound wave that travels through an objectless space.
Sound henceforth is thus subtly modified, appreciated and heightened to us just by being there, as our bodies in space demands the warping of the sound wave around us.
Our architectural proposal to the current and foreseeable issues of sea level rise and land subsistence is not one of defence strategies such as sea wall or land filling that requires continuous effort but rather working in tandem with the nature. Mangrove will be planted to stabilise the soil and improve sedimentation whereas the floating platform will be built around mangrove trees – that rises and ebbs according to the sea level.
Starting with a single mangrove tree, a floating platform is constructed around it, using the tree as an anchor and support. This platform can then be used for landing of boats, and for fishing, hanging nets from the platform. As the tree grows, the tree can be pruned to grow straight up. Steps can then be constructed and a second platform can then be built to form the second level. This platform will then be connected to other platforms via a broadwalk spanning across the mangrove forest, creating a new layer above the water.
The proposal utilises the local construction method of simple timber construction typical of fishermen villages, enabling the roll-out of the urban plan at little to no cost and immediately. All the construction components are derived in a modular construction grid of beam and post and are expected to develop organically depending on the needs and placement of mangrove seedlings.
Four main ingredients are proposed for the urban design strategy; the mangrove floating hub, building units, pavilions and boardwalk decking each playing their own role. Taking upon the Indonesian urban typology of a fishing village and the cooperative ‘gotong-royong’ the mangrove hub and the pavilions acts as urban centers for the community. The elevated boardwalk serves as the primary pedestrian level whereas the canals and sea level acts as landing and movement of boats.
The pavilions looming over as urban centers of the organically developed city provided by the modular framework, and local timber construction engrained within fishermen villages. Mangrove tree courtyards provide relief to otherwise heavily dense settlement sitting harmoniously within the city. Overarching canals and boardwalk act as fingers towards the ocean, guiding the replanting of mangroves hand in hand with the continual sustainable development of the city that is always under construction.
The urban strategy roadmap outlines the future development from a fishing village into a Mangrove City into a fully fledged self-sustainable economic city in fifty years timeframe. The main areas of focus would be fishing industry, mangrove reforesting and sea level climate research to be developed into an international hub with both development and environment improved hand in hand as opposed to against each other.
The urban architecture proposal of employing the mangrove tree in conjunction with the floating decking platform tackling both the threats of sea level rise and land subsidence at both fronts in a symbiotic manner instead of a defensive nature. The architectural form and construction embosses the culture and tradition of that of a Southeast Asian fishing villages, restoring honour and pride to that of the honest fishermen’s work while the urban strategy roadmap progressively advances the local economy of the fishing industry and mangrove ecology into the future of a internationally recognized fishing hub and sea level & climate change response headquarters.
2015, SUBMISSION FOR TAPESTRY DESIGN PRIZE FOR ARCHITECTS
Proposed for the 2015 Australian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale, this piece of tapestry is a figurative collage of major Australian skylines and landscape. Like New York City’s diorama at the 1939 – 1940 World’s Fair, a large wall tapestry envelops a grandroom, extending observer’s perception to that of the image. Unlike a picture window, the image do not have to simulate a reality that we know, but rather offers a visual interpretation.
Similar to an actual woven tapestry, the collage is a carefully joining of patchworks that defines a whole. As a nation cannot be adequately defined by the skyline of a city, this piece collages skylines of the major Australian cities; namely Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Gold Coast as well as Hobart, Darwin and Cairns. The word ‘skyline’ is a rather oxymoron when compared to the predominantly flat landscape of Australia. The image here then reflects the central flat plains of Australia, with the foreground dominated by major Australian coastal cities. Canberra, the Australian capital, designed by Walter Burley Griffin and planned between the two largest cities of Sydney and Melbourne is an etching into the inland Australian landscape. While a typical image of a city’s skyline focuses on a tall well-known skyscraper, this collage fixates itself into the natural rock formation of Uluru / Ayer’s Rock – an affirmation that natural landscape defines Australia as much as the skyline of cities.
Our proposal looks at the possibility of ‘infiltration’ as a means of making available good design and basic amenity to a large number and range of people who cannot typically afford a custom-designed home. Architects have for a long time been trying to make the individual, custom-designed home affordable, however, have been unable to compete with the mass housing (project home) market, which operates on repetition and volume. Sadly this market delivers generic homes that are gravely deficient in terms of fundamental amenities (which we believe are ‘basic rights’ that persist regardless of generation), and in their response to place and the individual occupant.
We believe there is a viable hybrid.
Our proposal suggests that a relationship may be possible between architect and the project home sector, which allows the above deficiencies to be remedied in a way that is ‘low-impact’ on the existing delivery methodology of the project home-a method which is inherent to its affordability (repetition and volume). Such low-impact infiltration is premised on a deep knowledge of this delivery process and typical construction details, structural member spacings, sequencing, etc. to ensure that any intervention minimises disruption to “business as usual”. The aim is to ‘slip’ good design into an existing framework almost unnoticed and thereby continue to reap the affordability benefit of mass-production whilst providing fixes to some fundamental deficiencies such as access to north light, cross ventilation, views of the sky, etc. The affordability of these interventions themselves lies in their proposed universality. We do not foresee individually designed interventions, rather a scalable solution that is designed once and applied in volume. The proposed universality is made possible by the consistency of the ‘host’ dwelling -the project home -which relies on the repetition of identical details, identical processes, identical materials, from one home to the next in order to offer affordability.
The proposed interventions are therefore envisaged as ‘plug-ins’ that are selected by the client in response to a particular need, at one of the available scales (which have been derived from relevant construction modules in the host dwelling, eg: rafter bays, joist bays, etc), and are installed according to illustrated instructions that cater to the limited variables that exist in a project home (eg: varying substrates, roof pitches, etc). The plug-ins are pre-wired (builder provides an additional circuit and a junction box), pre-insulated, pre-rated for energy efficiency and fire separation (if required). Plug-ins allow members of the Gen Y public to individuate their base project home (or established dwelling) by engaging in a familiar process that speaks to their expectation of (quality) choices and their pursuit of individuality.
The immediacy of goods and information via the smart phone allows an arising need to be met promptly. GenY no longer needs to plan ahead. The expectation is that a solution will be accessible as the need arises. However, the project home does not offer this flexibility. It asks them to anticipate all future needs and make a selection on this basis. A contract is then signed, and a home built. Our hybrid typology seeks to compensate for this inflexibility by overlaying the linear process offered by the project home market with a more familiar procurement pattern according to the following possible scenario:
The GenYer finds a project home (or existing home) that addresses as many needs as possible and as currently identified. The home is affordable and offers maximum space for money. It is acknowledged that it doesn’t tick all the boxes. The Gen Yer has an understanding of good design and wants access to it, but cannot afford a custom designed home. Our proposition: the deficiencies of the base project home are remedied individually by a series of ‘plug-ins’. Their cost is minimised on the same basis as the project home. It is further offset by deletion of ‘feature’ elements (eg: faux stone facade) that are of no value to the GenY client. The home is initially built with a series of plug-ins, then retro-fitted with others as needs arise. These plug-ins give the Gen Yer access to architecture affordably to address their expectation of good design. These components intervene on their host dwelling to remedy its deficiencies and individuate. Finally, they address the GenYer’s expectation that needs can be gratified as they arise: plug-ins can be retro-fitted easily as they are designed inherently to respond to the standard construction techniques, dimensions and practices of the local mass housing industry.
The proposed dwelling typology by its nature easily addresses varied living requirements/ occupancy configurations. Whether accommodation is required for a family comprising 2 adults+ 2 children, 2 couples or 4 individual adults, the methodology of individuating/ tailoring an affordable base with needs-specific plug-ins, is inherently versatile. The inaugural range of plug-ins will focus on basic amenities. They will include a ‘north-light’ plug-in, a ‘cross-ventilation’ plug-in, ‘green roof’ and ‘stepped roof terrace’ plug-ins designed to reclaim basic amenities that are typically ill-addressed in the project home. By nature of their design these plug-ins will bring delight to the otherwise generic environment of its host, with a focus on occupant well-being.
The sustainability of our proposal is rooted in the fundamental transformation of the host project home from a climatically and socially unresponsive building into one that reclaims the basic amenities through innovative plug-in designs. Its sustainability is further cemented when considering the relevance of this typology to existing homes with fundamental deficiencies. Rather than being demolished, they are retro-fitted with plug-in remedies. However, the ultimate sustainability of our proposal lies in its parasitic nature. We are not offering a dramatic sustainability or proposing a paradigm shift. Rather, the success of our proposal relies on a quiet transformation of the existing (and upcoming) housing stock by infiltrating the status quo.
Finally, the proposed methodology allows the resultant hybrid dwelling to enjoy greater connectivity with its context by augmenting its environmental and social relevance by way of appropriate plug-ins. The generic project home is anchored to its ‘place’ through an architecture of specific manoeuvres.
2014, SUBMISSION FOR CANTERBURY EARTHQUAKE MEMORIAL COMPETITION
The quake unforeseen.
A reminder, mother nature’s fury.
The earth is to be respected, the ground sacred.
Following the groundline –
The plates, the plateaus emerge from the terrain.
Amongst low wall seats, the serene lawn.
Ramps carving slightly into the earth.
Steps terracing the ground.
Descending slowly into the river.
Water ebbs and flows against the plates.
Touching the water, a reflection. A contemplation.
The plateau, memorial ground. Local stone, Waitaha pavers.
Gold etched into the stone, 185 names.
To the earth, we remember.
proposal for pop-up bookshop design in corrugated steel
SUBMISSION FOR ARCHITEXT POP-UP BOOKSHOP DESIGN AT THE NATIONAL ARCHITECTURE CONFERENCE
2014, PERTH CONFERENCE CENTER
A single sheet of paper if folded correctly can support a brick. This is the initial idea of the work, where corrugated metal sheet are folded upon itself to give itself structural integrity to support weight. A single sheet of corrugated metal is cut across the ribs, leaving the pans intact thus enables the folding of the continuous sheet. The metal sheet is then folded into a looped shape that stands on its own without any other structural support apart from some stiffeners. Sharp edges are either buffed, flashed or covered with proprietary tools or products.