A Dramatic Viewing Platform in Tasmania

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April 3, 2014
Originally published in Modern Today
as
Lens Crafter
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  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.

    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."

    "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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  "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.

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

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

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  “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.

    “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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  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.

    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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  "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.

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

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

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  "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."

    "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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  The viewing platform catilevers over Elwick Bay.

    The viewing platform catilevers over Elwick Bay.

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