AIA Architect Award NSW - single housing 2006
" The existing late 19th century house is within the Hill Heritage Conservation Area of Newcastle, with 180 degree views to parks, the Pacific Ocean to the northeast and the working port of Newcastle. Although designated as a contributory element of the streetscape, little of the late Victorian detailing of the house remained. The existing house occupied the whole of its 6m x 13m site. The garden had been built out with subsequent additions.
In the new design the reworking of the house was extensive. The Living areas are inverted in section and located on the upper level around a glass-floored courtyard. Open to the sky, the small courtyard - just 3m x 3.5m – clarifies the circulation, allows maximum use of the space, invites winter sun and almost explodes the perception of space. Glass sliding doors around the courtyard retract fully to further extend the ways that the space may be conceived and used. The original timber roof structure over the living space has been revealed and strengthened by new steel portal frames.
The original timber roof structure over the living space has been revealed and strengthened by new steel portal frames. The dark rustic quality of the old rafters, revealed by removing the old ceilings, contrasts with the new honey-coloured timbers and subtly reveals the play of new and old. Similarly, the pattern of new openings - designed to take advantage of the views, cooling breezes and northerly aspect – clearly and unselfconsciously expresses the reworking that has occurred. At the lower level, which is bounded by the footpath on one side and the driveway of a neighbouring property on the other, the sills of the openings are relatively high to provide privacy to the bedrooms. Along the side walls, the window sash and screens ingeniously slide into the wall cavity.
The bedrooms and bathrooms on the ground floor are simple compartmentalized spaces. Filtered light from the glazed courtyard above gives the rooms a special quality that the constrained site would not otherwise allow." - Jury report
Wallaroy Road house Woollahra is an existing old house with tennis court that was extensively re-worked to locate all the sleeping in the roof freeing the downstairs of the house for modern living. The two levels are connected by an atrium space under the old roof. At the front garden adjoining the street a triangular entry court was carved out of the rock allowing for the new pool.
The house is an 'E' type plan located in Vaucluse Sydney. It was designed by Neil Durbach Architects. David worked on aspects of the design and documentation. Sited on a tennis court the house enjoys distant views west across Sydney Harbour with the harbour bridge seen in the far distance. The 'E 'shaped plan creates courtyards between the rooms and allows light to penetrate deep into the house and the rooms to cross ventilate.
It is essential to understand that the building contains two segregated circulation systems. One serves the exhibition centre program and the second the public circulation system. This vertically connects the carpark to the plaza level and then up to the proposed cable car and bridge. This system is generally open to the elements. It is a continuous extension of the public space.
At plaza level the public circulation runs east west connecting the old Beton Hala to the new. The second circulation system allows the users to pass through a public street. Here one finds an open water garden and glass elevators travelling up and down. The user is free to explore the city and this circulation system is open 24 hours much like a train station or bridge.
Entering the Exhibition Center one travels through the lobby and past the information counter and water garden. This is glassed off separating the gallery from the adjacent public circulation system. The journey continues upwards to the main exhibition space via a choice of circulation paths. One can take one of two glass lifts that also serve as goods lifts. By incorporating the goods lift into the gallery circulation system, rather than passenger lifts, the scale of space is retained throughout the journey. Alternatively one can take the east escalators or the spiral ramp that traverses the water garden space.
Arriving at the exhibition level, one stands on a grated floor and is suspended over the plaza, which is visible through a large void to the east. The main exhibition space is flexible with walls that can be stacked at one end to make a singular volume. These can also be pulled out to arrange the space into a series of smaller interconnected and more intimate rooms. The end climax of this experience is a void, this time overlooking the river, and an elevated view to the north of the Great War Island. Exiting this space one can then relax in hammocks suspended in the relaxing area. Continuing up, a stair circulates about the outer perimeter of the building where the smaller exhibition space at this level is found. Continuing on upwards to the roof a sculpture garden and reflection pool are discovered. This water is collected from the rain. This has a visual use as well as being an integral part of the building’s sustainable systems. In winter the reflection pool becomes an ice-skating rink and an extension of the natural plateau to the east with all of Belgrade in full splendor below. It is a fitting finishing point to the Exhibition experience and even more astounding in the evening. Alternatively to the exhibition spaces found at level one is the Conference Hall. It is a simple volume that is one and a half stories in height (10 metres). It is orientated back to a view of the old city Kosancicev Venac. It is an urban view of the city that exists for those visiting. The theatre can be blacked out.
The Exhibition Centre’s twisted geometries between outer and inner shells are designed to disorientate and confuse. This enables the building to surprise with specific focused views of the city. This adds to the cinematic experience of the building and the journey it offers. It also reinforces the pivotal quality of the site and heightens the drama and experience of the building and city. The building surprises both the person who lives in Belgrade, as well as the traveller.
THE PARACHUTE PAVILION
Coney island through its remarkable self re-invention and perpetual ingenuity, preserved the predominantly flat land area at its sort after seas edge. At bay, developer towers loom at the periphery. At the focus of this great urban space is the parachute tower. The atmosphere is dramatic and theatrical evoking the great Sienna Campo.
Taking clues from this existing condition and opportunity the proposal too wraps a space behind the parachute defining the edge of a square rather than filling up the site.
The building internally wraps upward from the sea. This forms the restaurants themed memorable spaces. The restaurant angles and ramps upward to the bar overlooking the square and out door cinema
From within the boardwalk the cinema seating extends out of the boardwalk on the occasions of film nights. The cinema seating appears similar in type to the structure of the tower engaging the user through resonance with the out of bounds relic.
A stair then continues further on to the roof where a manmade landscape is found.
Strangely in the background appears the Parachute tower strangely appearing disconnected from the earth. From here one can follow the roof back down to under the Parachute where one gets up close to this extraordinary living relic. Then it is possible to descend the western villa Malaparte inspired stairs back to the boardwalk square.
But over these systems of circulation exists another pathway traversing the insides of the building beneath the boardwalk.
So exists a double helix figure eight system of circulation - all amplifying the sites existing nature as interchange intersection and potential for public interaction
Taking the system under - the ramp cuts down into the boardwalk and descends to the carved out Garden with tidal pool. From here the parachute appears completely different to that seen from the terrace. The location of the building on the perimeter of the site between the square and tower allows it to operate as a filter thereby accentuating its character and making it a relic with continued meaning despite no longer being used as the parachute jump.
From the sculpture garden it is possible to continue on to many other numerous destinations or be drawn into the exhibition housed and lit from the board walk structure above.
The new Parachute Pavilion appears as a taught building skin tight against a frame held disbelievingly on a series of ziz zag tri columns evoking a parachute at that moment of landing on earth where the wind collides with the ground and then escapes the bellows.. - imagery which is not out of place to Coney Island's illustrious and renegade history
“un-extruding the tower” examines alternate models to the 20th century traditional modern tower type which became typecast by a focus on only a few of the available parameters. Newer works are beginning to break aspects of this mould- programatically, structurally and environmentally, taking advantage of current technology and essentially inverting the tower from a closed to open system. 'Auto-monument' as defined by Koolhaas in Delirious New York is being replaced by towers that are now critically able to connect to the cities they inhabit. A reopening of the tower's initial promise first suggested at its inception is now beginning to occur. The book / talk attempts to catalogue these sporadic innovations and hypothesise on the potential of the un-extruded tower for this century.
The book looks at works and processes of OMA, Piano, Forsters, Miralles, Sejima, Nouvelle, Pinos and Herzog and De Meuron.
In the course of the 20th century the
tower quickly became focused on a narrow band of innovation, that served an
economic potential artificially generated by the zoning of a site. An
environment of economic Darwinianism inexorably led to the fastest, cheapest
and easiest solution. The technological limitations of both engineering and
construction favoured repetitive solutions. Cheap and abundant energy easily
allowed the modern conventional tower to be artificially serviced from within.
Disconnected from nature and its context, the tower grew in unnatural
proportions setting new minimum ‘progressive standards’. Typically the tower
was monumental, monolithic and repetitive and it was most easily occupied by
singular, unvaried programs. Despite the potential of the section to be
imagined vertically, towers were stacked, repetitive, 3-d matrices able to
accommodate programmatic nuance through horizontal planning alone.
The tower’s independence from the outside, as well as its pressure to be a corporate icon, meant towers were in competition for attention and existed in isolation from each other, fragmenting the city. Collectively, towers made the downtown cities lacking in distinction, seen the world over. This over-scaled uniformity made for soulless, monotonous, overshadowed and windy cities that were, in addition to their physical harshness, culturally barren. The tower’s exterior and form became a sign for the corporation within and revealed little of the inside goings on. The ‘schism’, succinctly noted by Rem Koolhaas in ‘Delirious New York’, came to characterise the tower’s relationship with itself and the cities it defined. The tower’s primary trajectory became aligned with the 20th century’s most ambitious conquest – the occupation of space itself and the pursuit of ultimate height.
Un-extruding the tower unravels the disconnect of the conventional modern tower and looks at the possibilities of the typology to instead make wondrous cities. Reflecting on the tower’s initial promise of programmatic diversity, the book examines recent examples around the world that challenge conventional thinking, each in different ways- programmatically, formally, environmentally, socially and in terms of public and negative space. Un-extruding the tower draws these often disparate innovations together and shows the potential of the newest of architectural typologies to be reconfigured, inverted, and in so doing, to clarify, reconnect and revitalise our cities.
With increased population growth predicted, cities are key to environmental solutions more so than individual buildings. Older, denser cities, not reliant on the car such as Barcelona and Copenhagen, are 10 times more efficient than modern sprawling cities like Detroit, Los Angeles and Sydney. The inversion of the paradigm that informed the 20th century now requires a rethinking of accepted and entrenched practice. Some low-tech solutions are preferable to so called modern, progressive ideas. Towers that are programmatically loaded, sustainable, formally complex, indeterminate, and in some cases, hybrid distortions (the opposite of the extruded tower), have the power to re-invigorate and contribute to our cities’ density and critical, vital mass, defining public space.
Un-extruding the tower questions conventional planning legislation that is designed to mitigate the well known, stereotyped characteristics of the tower that now threaten to typecast the whole typology. It looks at alternative planning models that break with an approach of contextual similarity and notes the need for an override mechanism to blanket legislation. Legislation designed to reduce the negative effects of the known tower, also threatens to disable the typology’s greater potential. As with the Copenhagen summit, the problem is well known, but the solution is more difficult, if not impossible to navigate. Un-extruding the tower provides a holistic consideration of these issues and sets out the as yet untold story of the tower that could be played out in the 21st century.
Static, monumental, repetitive, singular, grided towers are replaced by luminous, angular, nebulous, porous forms. They dissolve and become ephemeral lights at night housing the cities collective aspirations- not corporate identities.
Gaoyao in China is a site in the country an hour away from the urban centre Guangzhao. The proposed of town centre and retreat housing are located around existing picturesque water and parklands that are open to the public. The proposal proposes a denser town centre that is a landmark seen from the freeway. The roadways that divide the lake are removed in part to make a larger connected waterway.
Once within the tourist centre cars are left at the town centre and travel is by foot, bike, boat, shuttle bus and cable car. The hectic pace of the city is left behind and there is the possibility to reconnect to nature. The town centre has a cinema, shops, square and outdoor cinema.
(in association with Nicole Cusack)
(in association with nicole cusack)
Dunescape is an immersive landscape sculpture that transforms the existing terrain to evoke the historical topography and geology of Bondi. Reversing the traditional idea of a sculpture viewed from the outside, one is invited to walk into the artwork, immediately changing their perception of the world. A gentle valley descends between the dunes to the level of the previous sunken terrace. Simultaneously, dunes rise up on either side allowing one to be absorbed into the new landscape. The sky above becomes more present. A quiet and meditative peace descends. The memory of Bondi’s forgotten subconscious returns.
The site marks an important intersection between Gould and Roscoe streets. Originally a river flowed along the East-West axis of the site, connecting Sydney harbour to the Pacific. Over time Gould St has developed into an exciting village precinct, adding depth and authenticity to Bondi’s cultural scene, behind the more touristic main promenade of Campbell Parade. For these reasons we have proposed to preserve and celebrate the natural and urban aspects of the site. Dunescape seeks to embrace the emptiness of the site rather than fill it with objects. By altering the existing ground plane the work will strategically block the vehicular presence that dominates the cul-de-sac on Roscoe St, whilst strengthening existing pedestrian movement through the site via curved pathways. A gathering space is formed. A meeting place for the community invites people from all walks of life to connect through their shared experience of the site.
As well as being a place of stillness and reflection on the natural sand dune landscape of Bondi, Dunescape is also simply a device for enjoyment - climbing, relaxing, exploring and passing through, connecting city and coast. Elevating above and below the street level, people are able to have both a personally reflective experience as well as an outward looking vantage point to the ocean and sky.
Dunes in nature take on beautiful forms that are honed and shaped by natural forces over time. Wind and gravity form steep rippled slopes to the prevailing winds, rising from the horizon to a crest that undulates across the landscape. Contrastingly on the protected leeward side, the dunes gently slope away, polished smooth. These wondrous dynamic forms are ever changing and dynamic reminders of time, nature and its’ beauty.
Dunescape is set to similar rules. A steep slope to the south of 40˚ and a gentle slope to the north of 25˚, create on one side a climbing challenge and the other a slight hill. Both create informal places to sit, lie and converse. Contrastingly, the main thoroughfares through the artwork are in the gentle gradients of the valleys. Drawing from nature, the landscape will have a textured face to the steep slope and a smooth side to the gentle face.
New trees provide shade to the space as well as screening to the police station, while bike parking encourages locals to use a more sustainable mode of transport. Using a resilient material such as concrete allows the artwork to embrace its coastal environment and reduce the need for ongoing maintenance.
By echoing the historic natural landscape of this important intersection, Dunescape provides a place to reconnect, hang out and enjoy the vibrant culture of Bondi.