written by:
photos by:
April 3, 2014
Originally published in Modern Today
as
Lens Crafter
Australian firm Room11 creates a viewing structure that helps visitors understand their surroundings.
modern architecture design glenorchy sculpture park pavilion glass interior

Robust yet cost-effective wood, concrete, glass, and stainless steel comprise Tasmania’s Glenorchy Art and Sculpture Park. “Everything used is extremely efficient at producing its outcome,” architect Thomas Bailey says.

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"GASP! breaks many accepted notions of how a public park should be conceived, the most obvious being scale," Bailey says. "It is a single gesture that embraces nearly two miles of bayfront. Usually designers and architects divide up a place into a series of follies or garden rooms and are fearful of open space. We liked the openness of the site and sought to enhance that quality."

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modern architecture design glenorchy sculpture park pavilion glass bay

"Our role as architects is to produce architecture for a given place," Bailey says. The park highlights certain elements of the park and makes miles of the shoreline accessible to pedestrains and cyclists.

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modern architecture design glenorchy sculpture park pavilion footbridge

A vibrant walkway traverses the shoreline and connects open park land, wetlands, and bird habitat.

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modern architecture design glenorchy sculpture park pavilion glass interior

“We think of architecture as a tool that manipulates human perception,” Bailey says. He uses the opaque portions of the building to block the least essential elements of the vista, framing the northern exposure with vibrant crimson glass.

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modern architecture design glenorchy sculpture park pavilion glass footpath

Room11 carefully considered how visitors experience the site from various entry points. "When approached from the ferry landing, above the datum of the walls are the foothills and mountains that form the greater landscape; from a distance the red glass performs the role of blocking out the suburban foothills," Bailey says.

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modern architecture design glenorchy sculpture park pavilion glass interior

"From the southern approach, you head toward a tunnel; every step tells you that you know what you are going to experience and then suddenly upon arrival, there is an enormous wall of red glass—it seems incomprehensible that you did not know it was there all along," Bailey says.

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glenorchy art and sculpture park

Green glass on the ceiling tempers views of the sky overhead.

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modern architecture design glenorchy sculpture park pavilion footpath

"When distilled to its essence, buildings have the essential issue of walls," Bailey says. "Knowing this, we then deploy the wall in a way that heightens the experience we nominate."

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modern architecture design glenorchy sculpture park pavilion glass overhang bay

The viewing platform catilevers over Elwick Bay.

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modern architecture design glenorchy sculpture park pavilion glass interior

Robust yet cost-effective wood, concrete, glass, and stainless steel comprise Tasmania’s Glenorchy Art and Sculpture Park. “Everything used is extremely efficient at producing its outcome,” architect Thomas Bailey says.

Architect 

On Tasmania’s shoreline, Glenorchy Art and Sculpture Park—a nearly two-mile-long promenade—threads its way through the landscape, leading to a low-slung concrete-and-glass viewing pavilion. The minimalist 2,400-square-foot design completed in 2013 edits the panorama and invites visitors to view portions of Elwick Bay through a poetic, structural lens. “We think of architecture as a tool that manipulates human perception,” says Room11’s Thomas Bailey, the project’s lead architect. He uses the opaque portions of the building to block the least essential elements of the vista, framing the northern exposure with vibrant crimson glass. “We can also apply the thought process to other parts of the physical world: wind, shadows, the movement of the sun,” he says. “This heightens the experience when compared to simply standing on the site observing the view—this is the delight of architecture.”

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