Saturday, July 31, 2010

Naoshima Ferry Terminal - SANNAA 2003 to 2006 - Kagawa, Japan

Joseph and Lucy were luck enough to go to this terminal while visiting japan in 2008. It is the gateway to Naoshima Island and art precinct that is home to significant traditional japanese inspired modern and Tado Ando architectural marvels, most famously the Naoshima Contemporary Art Museum and the Chicheo Museum. Both these focus on concrete & glass / cave & light.

This ferry terminal is significant because while serving a set function it is an enabling space facilitating free programing when not in use. Furthermore, the structure is allusive, columns are slender and minimal and where required to be larger are incased in mirror; reflecting the surroundings. This details along with the thin quality of the roof suggests a sublime invisibility and defiance of conventional structure.

Week 1 - Preliminary process

The design development of the Barangaroo Tower (Big Red):

Height: 159m

Area: 33,000m2

Our process for the concept and is as follows:

The Manchester law courts have a totally square metre area relative to the proposed square metre area for Big Red. Taking our final most refined explorations from semester 1 we will bring our projects into reality through architectural resolution. Both Lucy and Joseph will work on each other’s best concept models and aim to incorporate the design elements of which are best suited to the two unique forms.

Model 1 – predominantly a horizontal skyscraper this form will incorporate a digital billboard and ground level free-programming events space.

Model 2 – a skyscraper dominated by a lattice form will incorporate an extension of the monorail and ferry terminal.

These two individual models will work simultaneously in creating a design solution that will emphasise the idea of destination along with facilitating business as usual, thus fusing the attractions of both the professional and tourist as one. This building will explore the two critical elements that create a successful destination, being; transport & venue while creating unique habitable spaces for regular patrons.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

AIA Tusculum - Barangaroo 13 July 2010

The Tusculum covered the most recent release of the Barangaroo precinct and opened a forum of discussion amongst the Architectural community, the two topics that were reoccurring where the inefficient involvement of the government and the proposed bulk of the proposed design. The articles below discuss these issues within the media:

Government involvement overseeing the development of Barangaroo has been criticised for not achieving a satisfactory outcome when grappling with an architectural development of this magnitude:

‘In architecture there is a crucial distinction to be drawn between process and product. Unlike law, where process is product, or medicine, where a bad process will lead almost inevitably to a bad outcome, architecture can have the shoddiest of processes and still produce brilliance.

Conversely, you can have every box ticked, every rule obeyed, every committee minuted and still produce unutterable crud. Architecture is a by-hook-and-by-crook kind of game, where the end must justify the means. Or not.’

‘This (current site) undeveloped section of Sydney's harbour foreshore is a 22 hectare concrete slab that used to be a car park. It juts out towards the water from the edge of the CBD.

Those that do stop to talk to The World Today aren't sure of the scale or details of the development proposals. But they all say they want part of the site left open to the public.’

Great contrvercy lies in the comparison between the existing plans, the perception of the public being over developed and the requirements of the city. What has not been evidenced in the debate is the data that the floor areas has been generated from and the effects that a development of this bulk might have on the city beyond the appearance.

Barangaroo - South Commercial Precinct

Revised commercial precinct (reduced number of buildings and building heights, revised island tower hotel design)

Commercial precinct viewed from Darling Harbour showing proposed new hotel tower

Commercial hub and external public waterfront and walkway, with the hotel island at the right hand side of the view

Public esplanade with low-rise mixed use development and greenery at its edge, and the business district visible behind, providing a more human scale to the public space

The revised south commercial precinct design favours reduced building heights and visual scale across the business district, combating some of the criticism the earlier submission received. A new tower design on a reduced, less prominent island footprint, perches above the public level, somewhat less obtrusively than the previous proposed island tower. Its height has also been reduced from 213 metres to 159 metres.

In the financial hub, the number of commercial towers has been reduced from 4 to 3, and the public pier reduced from 150 metres to 85 metres in length. The precinct's cultural building has been redesigned and shifted to the northern park to allow a public waterfront.

Whilst the scheme is still far from its final design, the precinct including its landscaped parks are conceptually beginning to take shape and public interest is growing. The latest proposal was submitted to the NSW Department of Planning in July, after a six month consultation period with the public and the business sector. Building work has begun at the very southern end of the site, and plans are in place to begin cleaning up the contamination of the site, from its previous use as gasworks.

Further information can be found at;

In terms of our design process, we will spend our final university semester utilising our previous semester of experimental research into new building typologies and meaningful form for this site; contemporary digital design grounded in a theoretical architectural context. We hope to propose a new tower and precinct design that invigorates Sydney and challenges pre-conceived ideas of what this precinct, and present-day urban design should include. We hope that you watch this site closely for design updates and we are very enthusiastic to be arriving at the exciting 'design' component of our final year architectural course.