Monash University Department of Architecture, in collaboration with architecture and engineering practices, Rintala Eggertsson, Grimshaw, and Felicetti, shared with us their Sealight Pavilion project which can be found at the Melbourne Docklands in Australia. The aim of the project is to amplify the natural phenomena of sea and sky, while offering a place to meet, to escape the elements, or simply to witness the passage of time, which it has been doing for about a year now. More images and architects’ description after the break.
Constructed of reclaimed timber over a fourteen week period in late 2011, it has become a drawing card in the neighborhood, offering both an intimate scale and an experience of natural amenities that had hitherto been unavailable in that part of Melbourne. The pavilion was intended to amplify the experience of natural phenomena of sea, sky and light, and be one of the few places in which to experience these natural amenities. This ultimately took form as a pair of artifacts: a tower, which dissolves as it climbs to frame the sky, and a a cantilever, which dematerializes as it reaches out to frame the sea.
Since its construction, Sealight has not only weathered, but has become appropriated by locals. The once golden color of the reclaimed cypress structures has now patinated to a light silvery-grey, seamlessly matching the maritime surroundings. Meanwhile, the community has left its mark on the structures, imbibing it with signs of life, just as it has charged the surrounding space with potential for creative inhabitation. Furthermore, Sealight has engendered lively on-line discussions, which have noted its human scale and the warmth it has added to its urban milieu, and have held it as an example for future possibilities for public space in both urban and rural locales.
Orchestrated by Monash lecturer John Stanislav Sadar, the project brought together a range of contributors spanning the globe. The Norwegian practice, Rintala Eggertsson Architects, instigated the design phase of the project with a design intensive and led the four-week construction effort. Grimshaw Architects offered local expertise and guidance in managing the process. Places Victoria, an arm of the Victorian state government, was the client for the project and facilitated approvals processes. The engineering practice Felicetti consulted on structural issues. In addition, materials were sourced locally, through Australian Reclaimed Timbers. Architects: Monash University Department of Architecture, in collaboration with Rintala Eggertsson, Grimshaw, and Felicetti Location: Victoria Harbour, Melbourne Docklands, Australia Project Team: Dagur Eggertsson, Sami Rintala, Damon van Horne, Robert Held, John Stanislav Sadar, Ronan Mellan, Vanessa Walker, Catherine Murphy, Diego Ramirez-Lovering, Peter Felicetti, Hayden Quayle, Nick Elks, John Riley, Judith Buckrich, Gary Presland Students: Elliott Huw Baxter, Sally Britten, Andrew James Devine, Alexandra Margaret Graf, Alexandra Mary Griffeth, Matthew James Hainsworth, Elizabeth Victoria Hamer, Kate Victoria Hatherley, Edwina Catherine Hollingworth, Nathan Michael Impey, Andrew Lim, John Hua Sheng Low, Andrew John Macdonald, Lewis John Owen Moore, Aaron William Polson, Nicole Elyse Schattner, Joseph Semeredi, Alexandra J Setmajer, Carlee Suen, Faridah Yim Supporter: Places Victoria Sponsors: Grimshaw Architects, Monash University Area: Tower – 20.96sm; Cantilever/Edge – 6.76sm Completion: December 2011