UNSW Built Environment Master of Architecture: Urban Studio: a new square and public building for Sydney (Grad project)

15 03 2010

Studio Leaders: Peter John Cantrill & Philip Thalis

Students: Adrian Kam Ming Chan, Fui Kiat Chiung, Juliana Da Conceicao, Holly De Jong, Suan Loong Foo, Llewla Griffiths, Chi Bich Ho, Tze Pui Rosalie Kwna, Wing Sze Vince Leung, Chou-King Lim, Paul Lopez, Kaichung Pui, Lavonne Sutherland, Ka Yi Tse and Boyd Wilkinson

Vince Sze Wing Leung

“The city is at one and the same time an object of nature and a subject of culture; an individual and a group; reality and dream; the human creation par excellence.”

Claude Levi-Strauss, Tristes Tropiques, Penquin Books, 1976, p.155; first published in French by Librairie Pion, 1955.

This studio examined the complex relationship between a work of architecture and the city.

The site was at the heart of the City of Sydney, opposite the existing Town Hall at the intersection of George and Park Streets.  Council intends to construct a new square with associated public facilities, commercial and retail spaces and connections to the proposed Metro station.  This intense and vibrant new place will become a focus for civic life in Sydney.

(Nora) Kaichung Pui

The students designed a work of contemporary architecture and public space that provided a revitalising addition for the city: recent examples of such projects in Australia include CH2 and Federation Square in Melbournce, or Brisbane Square.

In the first semester research was conducted to provide an understanding of the interrelationship between the city, public space and works of architecture.  Questions of siting, character, scale, representation, obsolescence and change were examined to help inform students’ understanding of urban projects and the architecture of the city.

The development over time of public city space; such as Wynyard Square, Martin Place, Hyde Park, and Sydney Square; was studied in detail and redrawn in order to understand their origin and development.

Students were guided in their research using primary sources and in their selection of appropriate representational techniques.  A series of parallel lectures demonstrated concepts and examples of city formation, analysing Sydney as a case study.

(Nora) Kaichung Pui

In parallel with the Sydney study, international examples of contemporary public buildings were also investigated by students, redrawing and modeling to analyse architectural qualities and better understanding issues of scale, program, material and construction.

The extent of the site and brief were defined with input from the City of Sydney.  Students’ proposed site strategies formed the basis for detailed design development during the second semester (2009).

(Nora) Kaichung Pui

Peter John Cantrill and Philip Thalis are directors at Tzannes Associates and Hill Thalis Architecture and Urban Design respectively.  Both of their projects have received many prestigious architecture and industry awards.  Both have taught design at the University of Sydney and for over 13 years as lecturers at the University of Technology, Sydney.

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