Straight to the Pool Room: Australia’s Elegant New Pavilions

Straight to the Pool Room: Australia’s Elegant New Pavilions

Outback architecture embraces the outdoors. From the world-famous Sydney Opera House to aboriginal desert huts, Australian architecture rises from the elements while learning from them. In terms of vernacular shelters, barns, sheds, and verandahs often became community centers or places to congregate. These humble beginnings would transform over the following centuries as people began to build for the “Australian dream.” Whether using traditional pisé construction or fabricating wildly new forms, architects began capitalizing upon historical building methods and reinterpreting them.

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© Ben Hosking

This movement has produced dynamic multicultural hybrids, spaces that are both derivative and imported in nature. Responding to population growth, climate change, and the increasing demand for public space, designers have begun creating novel design solutions that are celebrated the world over. Pavilion architecture is one such typology undergoing transformation. These free-standing structures straddle the liminal condition between formal buildings and the Australian landscape. Contemporary pavilion designs include spaces for exhibition, recreation, and reflection. The following Australian pavilions explore the country’s unique spatial approach and diverse design cultures.

Crescent House / Andrew Burns Architect

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© Brett Boardman

'Crescent House' was the first in an annual series of temporary pavilions to be installed at Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation in Paddington, Sydney. The aim of this 'Fugitive Structures' program is to engage a wide audience with architectural thought. Two arcs are set within an apparently simple rectilinear form. The arcs bisect, creating a pair of infinitely sharp points and a threshold to the space beyond. This combination of fragility and robustness seeks to charge the conversations within the space with a particular quality.

In Absence Pavilion / Edition Office + Yhonnie Scarce

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© Ben Hosking

In Absence is the fifth annual NGV Architecture Commission, and which invites audiences to better understand the fallacy and ongoing legacy of the premise of Terra Nullius, which declared Australia as an emptiness awaiting ownership, by revealing and celebrating over 3000 generations of Indigenous design, industry and agriculture. Within the context of the garden site, the elemental exterior form of the tower exerts a tangible presence upon the National Gallery of Victoria’s garden and to the people venturing within it.

HexBox Canopy / DTC + CodeToProduction

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© Katherine Lu

The HexBox Canopy is an experimental segmented timber shell, consisting of prefabricated hexagon-shaped boxes made from plywood plates. Since antiquity, arched spatial structures such as masonry vaults and domes have played a fundamental role in architecture, enabling the covering of wide spans without the use of intermediate supports as well as dramatically reducing the amount of required material.

80Hz / Thomas Wing-Evans

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© Thomas Wing-Evans

British designer and architect Thomas Wing-Evans has created an interactive sound pavilion in collaboration with the DX Lab for the State Library of New South Wales in Australia, which takes paintings from the library’s collection and turns them into music. Located outside the Mitchell Reading Room in Sydney’s CBD, Wing-Evans’ pavilion features a curving black timber frame clad in matt anodized aluminum shingles.

Green Ladder / VTN Architects

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© Brett Boardman

With green architecture in mind , the idea of “Green Ladder” is combination of bamboo ladders – a popular equipment made by bamboo – a traditional material in Vietnam. These bamboo units were assembled in Vietnam and transferred to Australia. The structural elements are linked together to form a porous but robust grid-like frame, supporting the planter pots inserted in-between. The pavilion acts as a physical link connecting visitors and nature. Ultimately becomes more than form, function and beauty, but a catalyst between human - nature.

Brompton Pavilion / Craig Tan Architects

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© Jaime Diaz-Berrio

Located on a former chicken farm in Cranbourne South, Victoria, Australia, the Brompton Pavilion is a residential display pavilion quite unlike any other. An innovative vision initiated by the residential developers Wolfdene, the pavilion arose from close collaboration with Oculus Landscape Architects and Clear Graphic Design. Conceived as a ‘lens to the landscape’, the pavilion is proposed to activate the site and engage the local community.

GASP! Stage 2 / Room11

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© Ben Hosking

The Glenorchy Arts and Sculpture Park, GASP!, is Room 11’s first foray into public architecture. Along the River Derwent in Glenorchy, Tasmania, Room 11 has built a colorfully calibrated public walkway which deftly links previously marginalized, but surprisingly beautiful sections of foreshore. Abundant birdlife and the silky surface of the river are able to be closely inspected as one walks the gentle arc which links an existing school, playground, major entrainment centre and rowing club.

About this author
Cite: Eric Baldwin. "Straight to the Pool Room: Australia’s Elegant New Pavilions" 09 Dec 2021. ArchDaily. Accessed . <https://www.archdaily.com/973266/straight-to-the-pool-room-australias-elegant-new-pavilions> ISSN 0719-8884

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