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Adjaye Associates and Daniel Boyd reveal new Sydney Plaza with perforated black canopy
Australia Architecture News - Dec 4, 2019 - 12:07 1315 views
David Adjaye's firm Adjaye Associates and Sydney-based contemporary aboriginal artist Daniel Boyd have revealed design for a new Sydney Plaza with elongated and perforated black canopy to shelter and unity the community.
A new public square, plaza building and public artwork is situated near Circular Quay in Sydney. "Rooted in lost history, the new Sydney Plaza is about the meaning of place, heritage and identity," said Adjaye Associates in its project description.
The team tired to achieve to uncover, layer and celebrate the Eora origins of this part of coastal Sydney, the project is about the reconciliation of cultures and defining identity in an ever changing world.
"This reconciliation of difference lies at the heart of the proposal and aims to articulate and establish dialogue around the complex relationship colonizers have to their indigenous communities," the studio added.
The Plaza is inspired by simple unitary forms and place making in Aboriginal culture, the team imagine the new community building and plaza as a "found place" based around the notion of the shelter, a symbolic respite away from the busy streetscape that is discovered and dissolves through light.
To connect this profound centre with the sites heritage and origins, we have collaborated with Daniel Boyd, a renowned contemporary artist of Aboriginal dissent, on the projects key feature – a 27x34m perforated canopy that shelters and unites the community building and the plaza under a poetic layer of light and darkness.
Inspired by Aboriginal dot painting, Boyd will curate a cosmic journey of light that filters and refracts through multiple, randomly scattered, circular, mirror-lined canopy openings. The circular pattern translates and continues onto the paving via a series of steel circles and cylindrical glass skylights, extending and directing the play of light down into the bicycle facility positioned beneath the plaza.
The community building’s details are intentionally simple. An open plan café, gallery space and garden terrace are wrapped under a reduced utilitarian form. It is a flexible and inviting, free flow space with activated connections to the plaza and adjacent developments, where encounters with art and community are made easy.
The distinctive pitched roof of the community building refers to the primary silhouette of early settlers’ houses – weaving in another layer to the narrative of place.
The team created a hybrid form that merges the Aboriginal origins with the legacy of early settlers and the industrial materiality and language of the nearby harbour.
"We have envisioned a highly interactive environment that connects holistically to its neighbouring buildings and public realm," added the team.
"Our proposal, in addition to the new community building, includes the George Street public plaza, Circular Quay Tower pedestrian bridge as well the integration of the proposed cycle parking facility."
Incorporating these public interventions with the studio's design proposal ensures a building which is tied to its location and community.
"We believe the new community building and George Street public plaza can become a new cherished destination in Sydney’s CBD, a generative place for people to connect, recharge, reflect and take a pause from the rhythm of a fast transforming city," continued the studio.
Adjaye Associates was established in June 2000 by Founder and Principal, Sir David Adjaye OBE. Receiving ever-increasing worldwide attention, the firm has offices in Accra, London, and New York and completed work in Europe, North America, the Middle East, Asia, and Africa.
The practice’s largest commission to date, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, opened in 2016 on the National Mall in Washington D.C.
All images © Adjaye Associates
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