UNSW Built Environment Master of Architecture: Boris To

13 04 2010


Over the last summer break, I engaged myself with a 4 week intensive design studio. The purpose for undertaking the elective was to put my research findings from my last year’s Honours dissertation into experimentation (a process also known as research through design). The brief was very open. It asked us to design a pavilion for the Sydney Biennale 2010. I chose a derelict military guardhouse from the 1800s on Cockatoo island as my site.

Through this design, I explored how an architectural intervention has the capacity to address cultural history, notions of collective memory and memorialisation. The outcome was a landscape intervention of the ruins, celebrating the original geographical conditions of the island and works of the penal settlement. This is also achieved through the sculptural roof that interacts with the macro-climate, inducing experiences that recalls the ghost of the island’s natural landscape. I think this scheme is interesting in that the intervention is also a memorial, which is a form of public art. This demonstrates the capacity of architecture as public art while being a container of art. I am planning to further explore these architectural issues in the my Masters studies.

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