Path, Hearth, Observatory

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Line, Path, Threshold


These compositions have been conceived as a space for an architect to inhabit, and explore the interrelated notions of observing and creating. The first composition forms a gateway, a point of threshold; moving over an axis of water, and beyond finding a moment of pause as the architect enters a framed pavilion, which projects out at right angles over the water. This forms a second ‘constructed’ axis, and creates a moment of decision, where the architect can either be led on to the next composition, or choose to move out into the pavilion to observe the water. Here the two axes form a dialogue with each other, with the reflective and formative element of the water providing an ‘imaginative’ space to observe, while the pavilion translates the same form into an elemental structure. Conversely, by occupying and inhabiting the space the architect becomes framed by the pavilion, and themselves becomes the object of observation.

Courtyard, Hearth, Focus


The second composition continues the two axes, but here exploring the architect primarily as an observer of light. The two axes are crossed over each other, changing from a linear to a centralised courtyard space. The two axes are expressed in different languages, with the parallel rhythm of the steel path in composition 1 translated into a planar language. These planes enclose the central space and create an elemental hearth. The other axis is expressed in a more ‘square’ language, providing another pause on the journey before turning into the central hearth space. The planar blade walls are used to create three spaces that explore the interaction of form with light. The South space is depressed into the base plane and captures the subtlty of indirect light, while the North space, which rises out of the water axis, is raised and provides a space for the architect to observe the dynamic quality of the light on water. Finally, the hearth provides a place for fire and light, and a place to sit and observe how this artificial light expresses the enclosure of the blade walls.

Observatory, Tower, Volume


The final composition joins together the languages of the first two, each articulated in an individual tower. The heavy weight observatory of light becomes a dwelling for the architect to inhabit, with volumes of light ‘carved out’ from the solid masses forming spaces for bathing, sleeping and eating. This expression forms a ‘plan of volumes’ with these discrete spaces in a 3 dimensional play against each other. Operable glass panels between the blade walls allow for passive ventilation of the space, and purging of heat from the large thermal masses at night.

The light weight frame of the first composition becomes a parallel studio space, for the architect to look out over the water and the other spatial compositions. Here the notion of observing and creating returns; while in the first composition the pavilion formed a space for inspirational thought, here that thought develops and finds form in the architects studio. This is a space of transparency, openness and flexibility, with the spaces less confined to a particular function than in the heavyweight tower. In this more ‘free plan’ the architect is free to create and inhabit the space in whatever way they wish. A circular stair forms the vertical backbone of the building, connecting the two stacked glass pavilions which form the main spatial volume of the building. A balcony or deck steps off the stair on the second level, forming another type of space to relax and observe. The large amounts of glass are triple glazed to improve energy performance and are fitted with a floor to ceilng rolling curtain to allow the sunlight in the space to be modulated throughout the day. Windows in the stair well are operable, allowing for passive ventilation and stack cooling of the surrounding rooms

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