(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.