The first PS for 2011

Neil Appleton from Lyons is coming to Perth later this month to talk about their work, including the Central TAFE building – check out the event details for the 21st Feb 2011.

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10 thoughts on “The first PS for 2011

  1. Susan’s is the best answer I’ve heard. I wouldn’t want to get there and hear that it was just a cock up and some dude with a hard hat couldn’t read the plans.

    Cloud rising and ceiling. Done and done.

  2. So that was interesting. Neil showed about six or so projects, mostly over east and ranging in size from about $15 million to over a $ billion. Their approach to form formulation was different – there were a few elements that I thought created forms and spaces just for their own sake eg the AIA office building in Melbourne where they chiseled fairly arbitrary shapes into the facade. But this approach was also kind of thrillingly free – there were no comment on meaning or implication – some things just were. Those chiseled shapes just were. They didn’t need to be something other than their function – they could just be shapes. It is a type of architecture that I really found interesting, just in a way that I hadn’t thought to design before. You want to make a completely faceted floor plan with a pixellated image of the Melbourne skyline on it? Then just do it. I really did find it fascinating, as much as I wanted to scorn the approach, it is just as valid as any other approach to public building and I believe they really grasped the concept of the public (‘laypeople’s’) appreciation of space.

    Some of the projects Neil went through were:

    Central TAFE, Perth
    A really interesting sketch and function diagrams unfortunately did not translate into the built form. The centralised circulation space and mix of public spaces across the levels seemed to be a common theme in most of their works. I really liked the idea of the social zone with a public interface but the realisation of this concept seemed cold and empty (although this is only based on photos of the not-quite-complete building).

    RMIT Building, Melbourne
    The educational concepts of the building design were quite well articulated. The way they came up with the idea was interesting – one lucky
    architect spent the day on a boom crane taking panoramic photos of the city floor by floor. They then used these images to develop up views that they wanted to capture on each level. These framing elements were brilliant and would create such wonderful student / public spaces. They also used the pattern of the images to create the surface texture of the facade, which was then folded into sunshading and glazing elements.

    New Horizons Building, ??? Uni
    I didn’t really get this one, it was quite complex. And it seemed the facade design of sunshades were added on after the rest of the design was finished. Because the uni named the project ‘New Horizons’ in their funding application, Lyons decided to create two ‘horizons’ and from this point a folded facade of diagonal elements. And at the junctions of these diagonals they created some nice diamond window areas, again as public / student areas. I didn’t realise till I got home that this pattern was exactly like the walls in the interview room in Bones.

    The AIA Building, Melbourne
    After designing a kind of standard rectangular office block, they then carved out some corners on random pixellated shapes for public spaces. (Why? Why not?) These are designed to relate the architecture facilities to the public, but I’m not sure if they are ‘active’ enough. This is still in construction so will see how it ends up.

    And there were some others, much along the same vein of pixellation, voids, crossing circulation, combining public and education / working spaces. Very interesting way of looking at things. Thanks again to OGA for continuing the PS series.

    Pity the room was that sweltering (for those of us who couldn’t get a seat) that my brain starting to drift off a bit in the middle. I could hear the ac but certainly couldn’t feel anything – please address this before cramming us into this space again!

    Anyway, the talk brought up some interesting points – what did others think?

  3. Tafe building is a real stinker. Sometimes I think ES practices are deliberately having a joke with us yokels, seeing just how much bullshit we’ll accept. A lot it appears. I assume there’s a lot of snickering behind hands when the plans get accepted.

    The AIA building would be a lot better without the green crap stuck to it, but then it would be just a fairly ordinary, pleasant enough building, despite its ‘green” credentials.

    RMIT looks like it could be good. I must have a look at it in real life.

    Yes, you’re right, the new horizons building looks too much like a facade added on a rectangular block. And I def don’t like the words new horizon stuck on either.

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