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Architecture AustraliaArchitecture Australia

Architecture Australia November 2016

Ask architects which Australian magazine they choose to read or to publish their work and the answer is most likely Architecture Australia. If you want to be up to date with the best built works and the issues that matter, then Architecture Australia is for you. Its commissioned contributors are independent, highly respected practitioners, architectural thinkers and design commentators and each article is supported by images from leading architectural photographers. Provocative, informative and engaging – it is the national magazine of the Australian Institute of Architects.

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(Photographer: Brett Boardman)Architecture awards exemplify the diversity and creativity within our talented profession. This issue of Architecture Australia is devoted to the Australian Institute of Architects’ 2016 National Architecture Awards. These awards demonstrate convincingly the richness, complexity and individuality of Australian architecture, and speak of diversity – in approach, location, practice size and client base. Diversity is evident not just across the categories but also within them. The National Architecture Awards celebrate excellence in architecture at all scales and across both generous and modest budgets.Outstanding works speak for themselves, as architecture at its best is both intelligent and visceral. For the projects that receive the highest level of recognition, more often than not the jury – made up of people with varying values and interests – unites immediately under the…

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At a recent talk in Melbourne, New York-based, Australian-born artist and filmmaker Natasha Johns-Messenger responded to a question about her practice with the sally “you had to be there.” This concise answer to an inquiry about the affective and enduring qualities of her site-specific, phenomenological interventions and installations has a conceptual resonance in both art and architecture.Natasha was speaking at the occasional On Top of the World talk series presented by John Wardle Architects and Spacecraft Studio ahead of the opening of her solo exhibition Sitelines at Melbourne’s Heide Museum of Modern Art, curated by Linda Michael. Sitelines is insightfully reviewed by Suzie Attiwill in this issue of Architecture Australia (page 15). Suzie brings her assiduous engagement with interiors and interiority to the critique, describing how Natasha’s work enables us…

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lines of site

An installation view of Echo (2016) and Skytree (2016) by Natasha Johns-Messenger. (Photography: Christian Capurro)“In the end it is just a frame” – with these words Natasha Johns-Messenger summed up her work and practice. Working with what is already there, art and architecture are brought into a dynamic relation with each other as framing mechanisms in the production of images.While this sounds like a form of site-specific art practice, Johns-Messenger’s approach is not about making specific in the sense of making a relation that specifies something. Instead, in her exhibition Sitelines at Heide Museum of Modern Art, lines of site are activated to animate the gallery in ways that suspend the process of recognition. Perceptions are tricked, assumptions are confronted and you have to look without recourse to logic…

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concrete mastery in the city

01–02 The Pelican Street Apartments in Surry Hills, Sydney by Candalepas Associates utilizes concrete to achieve a facade of recesses and splays. 03–04 A striking concrete staircase leads from the penthouse level to a roof terrace that overlooks the city, where concrete has also been used to create privacy for the spa. (Photography: Geoff Howden)In Sydney’s tight-knit inner suburb of Surry Hills, architecture practice Candalapas Associates has created a striking multiresidential building that pays due respect to its prominent location at the corner of Pelican and Poplar Streets.“The choice of concrete walls minimizes maintenance costs for the body corporate, which is essential for keeping owner strata fees low.”The building uses three different forms of concrete walling – precast, off-form and permanent formwork – to create a sheltered haven for residents…

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damp power: reflections on the pool in venice

Details of The Pool, within the new Australian Pavilion by Denton Corker Marshall. (Photography: Brett Boardman) The Pool, curated by Aileen Sage Architects and Michelle Tabet, was Australia’s exhibition in the 15th International Architecture Exhibition at the 2016 Venice Biennale. (Photography: Alexander Mayes)Venice is spectacular. The thrill of arriving by train, spilling out onto the canal-front plaza and being swept into the channel by vaporetto is only enhanced by the pageant of gondola-rocked tourists. The city is a theme park of palaces, odd transportation, photo opportunities and souvenir sellers. And, as if its setting wasn’t enough, Venice is the host of annual blockbusters, from the film festival and Carnevale to the alternating art and architecture biennales – spectacles within the spectacular.The main events of the architecture biennale are housed…

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digital practising in venice

Beyond Bending was a collaborative project between the Block Research Group at ETH Zurich with engineers Ochsendorf DeJong and Block, and The Escobedo Group, featuring four three-dimensional vaulted floor prototypes. (Photography: Iwan Baan)The brief of the 15th International Architecture Exhibition at the Venice Biennale, Reporting from the Front, was in favour of a BC – “before computers” – survey of evolutionary building techniques. Curated by Alejandro Aravena, a declarative South American grand visionary, the first building blocks like bricks were endorsed as fundamental solutions to the “current crisis in architecture.” There was a strong reference to refugee conditions, Third World housing and crisis accommodation. A perceived backlash took place – spectacularly so with the Zaha Hadid exhibition, sadly coinciding with her sudden death. Patrik Schumacher of Zaha Hadid Architects…