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.
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.
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.
Top 7 entry
‘”The low anchored cloud would be a brilliant relief from the heat for a city’s residents and ecosystems alike. Additionally, one can imagine the comfort and allure of the mist as a catalyst in activating public space at-will.”
Submission for the brief of The Sweating City; global temperatures are rising, on average, and will continue to rise for the foreseeable future. Air conditioning and shading devices may not be enough to sustain the livability of cities, where the majority of the world’s population now lives. Sweating is an automatic mechanism to regulate body temperature. Similarly, how might a city regulate its temperature through an automatic water distribution system? Where will water come from, with increasing need and diminishing sources? How might the volume of water needed during heat events be delivered through a network, or series, of devices? How might a city sweat?
Delirious City Beach: A Sarcastical Manifesto for Roachattan
in collaboration with Andrei Smolik, Amy Quach, Jessie Nguyen & Lee Ren Jian
MERGE SANDCASTLE BUILDING COMPETITION
The sandcastle competition brief calls for the imagining of sandcastles as habitat for cockroaches. Peter Eisenman’s Monument to the Murdered Jews of Europe, New York Manhattan’s city grid and Le Corbusier’s Ville Contemporaine for Paris all serves as backdrop to the urban manifesto to the insect species, that is doomed to fail, thanks to the chaotic and erratic nature of the cockroach in contrast to the imposed order and strict cleanliness of the city. It will however serve as a failed example of the parallel modernist experiment for the fellow cockroaches.