light refracts, reflects and penetrates architectural space
CEA was one of five finalists in this international competition for a major urban public space celebrating Australia’s centenary of Federation. The space holds cultural facilities, restaurants, cafés and a public open space.
The CEA concept was a ‘crystalline metaphor’, based on the reflection and refraction of light through transparent or translucent surfaces - crystals, ice cubes, broken glass.
The gently sloping site includes a bluestone plinth crossed at the base by two long buildings, beams that transect the site. One is an exhibition gallery of sandstone, the other a multi-media discovery gallery of bright red enamelled steel.
Glass prisms pierce these beams forming the wintergarden roof and creating shards of light to form negative or inverse space, voids that echo the space above and the sky itself. It affords protection from cold southerly winds and creates a large sun-trap.
The central concern is the exploration of light as it refracts, reflects and penetrates into architectural space.
Client: Victorian Government
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Status: International Design Competition, Finalist, 1997