2002 COLORBOND® steel Student Biennale

The 2002 Student Biennale was exhibited at all Australian Schools/Programs of Architecture and included the work of 12 finalists.

Joint Winner
Nikolauz Cheong Seng Lim Chaos and Planes in the City – The University of Melbourne
Marko Damic Bondi Icebergs Complex – University of New South Wales
Finalists
Merran Bent Dislocation & the Fetish: Transitory Urbanism in Hong Kong Cinema Complex for the Hong Kong Film Industry – University of Melbourne
Madeleine Blanchfield Surplus – University of New South Wales
Alan Kueh Islamic Cultural Centre – RMIT University
Nicole Leuning Common Territories – University of New South Wales
Rimmon Martin Viaduct Film School – University of Tasmania
Milinda Pathiraja A Facility for Storage and Manufacturing of Building Materials – Dili, East Timor – University of Melbourne
Marcus Trimble A National Centre for Spirituality – University of Sydney
Kah Heng Yep The Market Jetty of Penang, Malaysia – Curtin University of Technology
Liam Young Queensland Gallery of Modern Art – University of Queensland
James Wilson Melbourne City Council Offices – University of Melbourne
Winner

Nikolauz CHEONG Seng Lim ,
University of Melbourne

Chaos and Planes in the City

Project Statement

This project comprises 3 studios in the Central Activities District of Melbourne. They are to provide accommodation for the city’s Scientist-in-Residence (Russell St), Artist-in-Residence (Elizabeth St) and Philosopher-in-Residence (Bourke St). It is an initiative by the Melbourne City Council.

Deleuze and Guattari postulate that Science, Art and Philosophy are the 3 great planes of endeavour ordering the chaos of existence. This theory of order is to be integrated throughout the design process at various experiential scales: urban to social.

This project endeavours to awaken the public’s intellectual awareness by the insertion of the 3 studios into the “lost-space” of our chaotic city. Each studio explores a different plane of endeavour. Such urban-architecture tests the potential of critical social interaction and discourages passive consumption.

Jury Comments

This is a speculative project that attempts to express the intellect of a collective city culture, and to locate this commentary in a very public way. It cleverly sites a series of pavilions in unused parts of the city’s streets (over tram-stop, median strip, under mall) putting new institutions in a consumer environment. The forms and their surfaces are heavily textured, beacon like objects amongst the urban clutter.

The jury felt that there was a tenuous connection between the program and the resolution of the form, for example the philosopher in residence occupies an under-ground space – Why? The integration of the public interface with the private living space seems ill-explored in all but the artist’s space. Apparent in the programs of the pavilions are also many assumptions deriving from nineteenth-century misconceptions of occupations. Ultimately the project is underpinned by a linking of urgan cultural theory with architectural activity, a link that has been positively articulated and was congratulated by the jury.

2002 Joint Winner: Chaos and Planes in the City by Nikolauz Cheong Seng Lim

2002 Joint Winner: Chaos and Planes in the City by Nikolauz Cheong Seng Lim


Marko Damic,
University of New South Wales

Bondi Icebergs Complex

Project Statement

The Bondi Icebergs project is a synthesis of the theories and investigations developed over the past six years in regard to the formation and interpolation of an architectural form. The main inquiry was how social, economical, historical, environmental and other aspects can be utilised in a manner to provide a direct imprint upon architecture and therefore act as a generating force from which architecture is derived. This has further implications since the changing parameters in these forces should have equally modifying energy upon architecture. The only way in which architecture can remain current in order to cope with these ever-transforming conditions is to contain a kinetic ability to morph itself without sacrificing its ambiguity.

Jury Comments

The project addressed a difficult and real brief, of topical interest to the local community, challenging site and an aggressive and gritty residential backdrop. The project was not conventionally architectural in its form but more a series of sculpted events that allowed access to the complex agendas of the brief via a permeable striated plan. Central to this organization and its fractured forms was the spectacle of beach going. It presented as an inversion of the traditional architectural response where the building became a backdrop rather than enclosure.

The jury felt that the visual presentation of the three dimensional form was underdeveloped. While there was a significant journey toward the resolution of form-making there seemed no overarching conceptual driver to orientate decision-making. Nevertheless, the project goes a long way to fulfilling the requirements for an intricate urban landscape event in the harsh context of Bondi.

2002 Joint Winner: Bondi Icebergs Complex by Marko Damic

2002 Joint Winner: Bondi Icebergs Complex by Marko Damic

Finalist

Merran Bent,
University of Melbourne

Dislocation & the Fetish: Transitory Urbanism in Hong Kong Cinema Complex for the Hong Kong Film Industry

Project Statement

This project explores one way in which the built environment in Hong Kong may begin to reject traditional notions of boundary and ‘building’. The functional components of a single ‘building’ are scattered through vacant urban space, with program experienced as a series of dislocated events or signs, celebrating the spirit of the double take so inherent in Hong Kong’s cultural space, as represented in the films of Wong Kar-Wai.

The urban space containing the Mid-Levels Escalator has been chosen to investigate these ideas, and has been used to support a cinema complex for the Hong Kong Film Industry. This escalator is a unique piece of urban infrastructure supporting a captive audience that has the potential to become a life source for a unique urban/architectural program, tapping into the ‘lived’ and transitory experience of the city

Jury Comments

The idea of a series of event pavilions added to the existing spine of the Hong Kong Escalator is lateral and realistic, two aspects of a positive urban project. The analysis of the escalator as vertical experience as well as a new type of “place” is well executed and well presented. However, in spite of the inventiveness of their function as cinemas, the manifestation of these escalator stations as pavilions is conventional. While these ‘pods’ mediate between the massive residential urbanity and the path of the escalator, they remain detached from the urban field. As well, the resolution of the form and plan of each pavilion remains content to be one of a variety of sheds-on-legs.

2002 Finalist: Dislocation & the Fetish: Transitory Urbanism in Hong Kong Cinema Complex for the Hong Kong Film Industry by Merran Brent

2002 Finalist: Dislocation & the Fetish: Transitory Urbanism in Hong Kong Cinema Complex for the Hong Kong Film Industry by Merran Brent


Madeleine Blanchfield,
University of New South Wales

Surplus

Project Statement

The project ‘surplus’ responds to a thesis and consequential brief written as part of final year at UNSW. The thesis explored how architecture might help people to locate themselves physically and emotionally in space and time. The hypothesis was that provision of points of reference and association / memory could achieve this. The physical brief was for gradual re-activation of the White Bay Power Station site in Balmain, Sydney. The power station has been abandoned for 20 years and is now owned by the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority. The brief included making good of the site, adapting the boiler house for use as an event space and inserting a mix of studio / retail and residential spaces, while maintaining the existing volume and achieving a complex, layered public programme. Site works, additional service structures and environmental controls make the site accessible and provide spines for independent pods to plug into. The pods are modular plywood construction and utilise existing gantries to be placed inside the existing building. Interstitial spaces are as valid to the proposal as the pods themselves.

Jury Comments

The project was seen to be an interesting way to approach the re-inhabition of an abandoned industrial site. The very unconventional approach, poetic in its intentions, led to a scheme which shied away from the difficult decisions required when dealing with the realities of such a site. The jury felt the project placed foreign objects into an old building without seriously considering or intervening with the site. Little information was given about the extraneous spaces proposed for public functions. The construction of a series of studio living spaces seemed idealistic and improbable when considering the complexities and costs involved in such a project.

2002 Finalist: Surplus by Madeleine Blanchfield

2002 Finalist: Surplus by Madeleine Blanchfield


Alan Kueh ,
RMIT University

Islamic Cultural Centre

Project Statement

This scheme offers itself as an ethical response to the emerging ‘urban phenomena’ in Kuala Lumpur. The Cultural Centre development strategy is centred on a Mosque. The mosque design is free from traditional Islamic architectural clichés. As an Islamic beacon and a form of national imagery, a Mosque development can reflect local taste and the desire to recognize the diversity of the Malaysian ‘global’ community.

Located on a difficult site on the B15 Highway, which divides the districts of Cyberjaya and Putrajaya in the MSC (Multimedia Super Corridor), the bulk of the complex mediates between the highway and the ground plane. Doing so, it encompasses many principles of life, accommodates education and welfare facilities, a residential centre and commercial activity. All are fused within the development as a cultural whole. The juxtaposed programs tests how these spaces are utilised, contained and harvested. New urban methodologies adopted could perhaps be seen as a new way of building a Malaysian cultural monument.

Jury Comments

At the heart of this design is the proposal for a response to Malaysian culture that “engages with the dichotomous elements of Malaysian life”. A key response is the proposition for a mosque “free from traditional Islamic architectural clichés”. It is an ambitious project, in this light. The site is also conjectural, interweaving with the highway itself. These challenges are admirable, as is the siting, which is laid out as a circular ring of buildings. The ideas are complex, but obfuscated by the unnecessarily complicated graphics. The scheme failed to address the figuration of the new buildings, now rendered mute by the erasure of traditional emblems.

2002 Finalist: Islamic Cultural Centre by Alan Kueh

2002 Finalist: Islamic Cultural Centre by Alan Kueh


Nicole Leuning,
University of New South Wales

Common Territories

Project Statement

“common territories” is a speculative project for Sydney Park. The project brief was to re-evaluate and expand the use of the public park

and the existing brickwork buildings by responding to the needs, activities and desires of diverse local communities through an intimate understanding of the site. A range of community activities, structures and events are proposed to extend the possibilities of the park and introduce contact between disparate community groups. These include an underground swimming pool, local library, skate ramps, studios and market boxes. Each structure is adaptable, fulfilling several functions and providing a variety of spatial experiences.

Jury Comments

The jury was impressed by a very strong graphic presentation and poetic description of the potential encounters and events in the site. However, this was an entry which seemed afraid to fully engage the physical realities of its siting to decisively intervene in an architectural manner. The clever use of models, collage and drawing engaged the jury but they felt there was a lack of programmatic and technical investigation which would be associated with such an architectural proposition. The jury felt that the selection of presentation material did not clarify the architectural intentions of the scheme.

2002 Finalist: Common Territories by Nicole Leuning

2002 Finalist: Common Territories by Nicole Leuning


Rimmon Martin,
UNIVERSITY OF TASMANIA

Viaduct Film School

Project Statement
This project consists of two main elements:

  1. Urban Park – publicly funded.
  2. Film School – privately funded to cater for 70 students.

The site is located between the CBD grid and the Yarra River in Melbourne.

Aims:
Repair the once strong links between the site and the city.
Transform an under-utilised park into an area of compressed recreational activity.
Maintain existing number of car parking spaces.
Create a building and surrounding environment that reinforces the main characteristics that exist in and around the site today, (movement, frame, vertical layering & entry) and incorporate references to the past.

Jury Comments
An unlikely juxtaposition of film school and railway viaduct, this project initially exhibited a dynamic quality, befitting its gritty urban location. The buildings became a series of bridges that straddled the viaduct, sculptural elements that engaged its big engineering scale. However, the detailed resolution of the building elements ultimately appeared a little lightweight in relation to that initial conceptual strength.

2002 Finalist: Viaduct Film School by Rimmon Martin

2002 Finalist: Viaduct Film School by Rimmon Martin


Milinda Pathiraja,
University of Melbourne

A Facility for Storage and Manufacturing of Building Materials – Dili, East Timor

Project Statement

All that is left on the site of the warehouse and residence of the largest building materials supplier in Dili is most of the front wall on the street and a few walls of the residence. This project reconstructs the warehouse, a showroom and the residence but with particular care and sensitivity to East Timor’s present circumstances.

The project refers to almost lost precedents of cultural typologies for village and building design and the vernacular construction practice for its formal sources. But, it attempts to develop in detail proposals that utilize the materials and necessarily innovative building practices that are presently available.

Jury Comments

Exquisitely illustrated, Milinda Pathiraja’s study for a building materials storage and manufacturing depot in East Timor is a sensitive exercise in the interpretation of traditional construction techniques and forms. The jury was most impressed with the presentation, but was concerned that the project was not underpinned by a rigorous justification of the organizational structure, planning or siting.

2002 Finalist: A Facility for Storage and Manufacturing of Building Materials - Dili, East Timor by Milinda Pathiraja

2002 Finalist: A Facility for Storage and Manufacturing of Building Materials – Dili, East Timor by Milinda Pathiraja


Marcus Trimble,
University of Sydney

A National Centre for Spirituality

Project Statement

The brief called for a large Main Worship Space of 2500m2, three lecture theatres, one library, a school of theology, a gallery, and a small Chapel. It is located on Kings Avenue in Canberra just on the outside of the Parliamentary Triangle.

The brief was to design a space that embodied an idea of spirituality.

How one designs a 2500m2 hall that embodies anything other than a community hall became the challenge. This design looked to create a space where the idea of individual searching and communal gathering co-exist in a somber and dramatic space.

Jury Comments

Marcus Trimble’s project layers notions of spirituality with distinctive rectilinear forms. The jury applauded the clarity of the scheme and its resolution of spatial quality in the main worship space. While the jury warmed to the notion of forest and journey encountered with ideas of worship the jury found this motif inconsistent with the program. They believed there was a conflict of requirements represented between the open space of the courtyard and the fragmented space of the meeting room. Propositions about the movement of the columns did not convince the jury about their suitability to the program even though their atmospheric character was recognised. The jury felt that the use of geometry to determine the movement in the location of the columns was not carried through to the rest of the scheme leaving the columns to appear as a decorative or inessential element.

 2002 Finalist: A National Centre for Spirituality by Marcus Trimble


2002 Finalist: A National Centre for Spirituality by Marcus Trimble


Kah Heng Yep ,
Curtin University of Technology

The Market Jetty of Penang, Malaysia

Project Statement

The idea of the proposed jetty embodies a search for strategies that will make architecture more responsive to and visually representative of its own cultural history. Its physical context gives the architecture a sense of social, cultural and political meaning.

What is noted here is that geological changes can never be predicted. This symbolises one of the random acts that I would like to apply to the Jetty.

The indigenous fishing villages around South-East Asia have been taken as a reference as I develop my design. It symbolises lightweightness that is represented by the ‘poles’ in the proposed Jetty.

Jury Comments

A contextually appropriate image for Penang, multi-level and ‘propped’ by stick-like supports, this market jetty echoed the traditional riverside fishing villages of Malaysia in an exciting way, and without mimicry. However, the jury did not feel that the project progressed sufficiently from the early concept to serious built form, and failed to investigate the critical interface of land and jetty.

 2002 Finalist: The Market Jetty of Penang, Malaysia by Kah Heng Yep


2002 Finalist: The Market Jetty of Penang, Malaysia by Kah Heng Yep


Liam Young,
University of Queensland

Queensland Gallery of Modern Art

Project Statement

The Queensland Gallery of Modern Art will complement Brisbane’s Cultural Precinct as part of the Government’s Millennium Arts Project at the Queensland Cultural Centre. The Gallery will be situated at Kurilpa Point, South Brisbane, 200 meters north of the existing Queensland Art Gallery building. The Government’s client for the project, Arts Queensland, will facilitate the development with the Gallery’s Trustees and staff. The brief for the project envisions a Gallery that will provide the opportunity to present and preserve, ‘Australia’s most extensive collection of modern and contemporary art’. The objective of the design was to ‘think otherwise’ – developing a gallery that could not only respond to the need to house traditional exhibits but also accommodate a wide variety of ‘art events’ emerging out of new media forms. The art precinct would be designed in the context of the sub-tropical urban environment.

Jury Comments

The jury was attracted by the interesting critique of such a ‘monumental’ addition to the Queensland Gallery. The idea of opening the site up and creating a plaza of events, was not supported by the same rigour when dealing with the gallery spaces themselves. These became located below a relatively disconnected plaza. Ultimately the project was the combination of an engaging landscape concept with a very conventional museum. The interior spaces lacked critical or spatial resolution which was evident in the diagrammatic drawings.

2002 Finalist: Queensland Gallery of Modern Art by Liam Young

2002 Finalist: Queensland Gallery of Modern Art by Liam Young


James Wilson ,
University of Melbourne

Melbourne City Council Offices

Project Statement

The Melbourne City Council currently have a desire to bring all their 150+ functions under the one central facility, aiming to set a benchmark for future office development in the Melbourne CBD. This ‘new’ office typology revolves around an increased desire for social interaction and environmental concerns.

The complex social brief drives the office interior, squeezing and twisting floorplates to respond to programmatic connections. This creates a series of interstitial voids and physical links, enabling high levels of interaction. ESD issues are conceptualised as integral to both physical and social form.

Retention of title complexity in the urban form inspires a division of public spaces in the lower podium levels, the twisting titles returning a sense of intrigue to the pedestrian experience.

Jury Comments

As an office building, the project must contend with the realities of a highly refined type, and at the same time meet the Council’s desire for the “new office” environment and environmentally sustainable development. The resolution of the ground level, integrating into the Melbourne fabric, is well thought out, interfacing commercial and public space as a podium. The recognition of the means of achieving realistic ESD responses is praiseworthy, as is the strategy to elaborate the generic office-scape. However, while successfully raising key issues for contemporary office development, it is unconvincing. The ESD issues seem conventional and under emphasized in the form, contradicted by the skin-and-fin system selected for the building. Indeed the symbolic potential of this unique brief is unfulfilled.

2002 Finalist: Melbourne City Council Offices by James Wilson

2002 Finalist: Melbourne City Council Offices by James Wilson