15 May 2017

Coexistence in a Sphere of Dreams

AIA Conferences always have the ability to get your mind back into that sphere of dreams and in the same respect frighten you, questioning your own ability. Am I doing enough? You listen to the speakers, you see their buildings and you watch their impact on the world. 

The passion runs thick, the speaker empowers you, they jump around on stage, they elaborate on the quirks, the thoughts, the details, the very guiding principles that have lead them to achieve a building that makes them proud. Buildings that provide the end user with an experience, or an enhanced way of life, buildings that have the ability to move into the future, or transport you back to nature. 

PRAXIS Architecture Conference 5

PRAXIS - Process, Propositions and Production, a tough connector. With many speakers from around the world and projects with varying extremes. Cities with different issues, different cultures. From the humble Anupama Kundoo- whose work focuses on ground up architecture - creating opportunities for those less fortune - teaching on the reuse, rethinking of product to produce a better outcome - to Winy Maas whose stance is creating interesting experiences for the user. 

So many thoughts to think! From inspirational words by Murcutt, who has stuck by his principles, created many pieces of art, connecting his clients with nature. Offering words of wisdom on collaboration, on success, on quality and quantity. To Rahul Mehrotra, who opened our eyes to the city of Mumbai, and the serious issues surrounding sanitation, 1 toilet for every 1400 people.... Big issues. Yet all presenters equally passionate, enthusiastic and engaging.

PRAXIS Architecture Conference 1

You exit each day, with your mind running a million miles an hour. So many issues. So many parallel thoughts, which do you place in the scheme of things- how do we create our buildings to do the very things we're observing. You're left overwhelmed and underwhelmed, empowered and deflated all at the same time. All of these conditions coexist. All of these presenters from different backgrounds, bold, brave, humble, humanitarian, sole practitioners, collaborators... You try to look for the common ground to link them- you place on your architecture goggles (as goofy as they are) and enter the city street around you with your mind filled with possibility and confusion.

It wasn't until I'd just had my heart broken watching a documentary of Frank Lloyd Wright, where his brilliant talent was overpowered by the arrogance of his character; and I’d purchased a coffee from a super hipster- over confident barista, from a delightfully styled café. That it hit me. All of the puzzle pieces started to fall into place. I looked at the streets of Sydney and saw- a beautifully historic city, weaved together with possibility and future. Sydney, does this so well. The past and the present. Culture and diversity. The clashing of these differences have found a unison that tell the tales of history, but create a world of possibility. You start to see, the tension of the two. There isn't any one answer. There isn't any one way. It's about weaving, entwining and twisting, strengthening and embracing. Together the XXL and the XXS strengthen and highlight each other. Our differences need not divide us, yet tell us the story of both separate parts and as one, together.

PRAXIS Architecture Conference 6

PRAXIS Architecture Conference 2

Chloe Summers

May 2017 


Theatre Fit for a King! 

Lights, cue performers, music...applause! The Kingsway Christian College auditorium is well under way. The facility will provide capacity for 900 students, teachers and parents enabling secondary and primary assemblies, College worship services, theatrical, dance and musical performances. The stage area is professionally designed to cater for each of these performance modes.

Foyer spaces will provide a venue for the display of art and College community events such as sit down dinners, seminar presentations and sundowners.

The Performing Arts curriculum will be delivered with new facilities for dance, drama and music while the staff will be accommodated in a new staff workroom with potential for increasing staff numbers. Teaching areas will be available as support spaces for larger performance numbers as temporary holding areas and change rooms, while storage is provided in close proximity to each space.

The building provides a palette of materials and colours, complementing the existing College. The scale of the building is such that the scale needs to be handled sensitively to avoid over bearing the surrounding single storey buildings. The treatment of the scale ensures the maximum impact is double storey, whilst the building in reality is three levels. Compromises have been made for economic reasons without effecting the purpose or use of the building.

IMG 8960 medium

IMG 8970 medium

The team at EIW have been working closely with Rob Scott from Trans Media Alliance (TMA), a local business that provides professional consultancy in sound, lighting, multi-media, TV and acoustics.

We spent a few minutes talking to Rob about the project:

Firstly, can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I'm a 'concept' guy who enjoys creating new ideas and pushing boundaries. My history in introducing breakthroughs in technology has included smaller, more powerful speakers into nightclubs in the 80's to digital production editing studios in the 90's, non-linear video editors and beyond.

You have been working closely with EIW Architects. What exciting products/features are in motion for Kingsway Christian College?

The Kingsway project has a number of new strides in technology. It is the first theatre in Australia to be designed*(2015) with 100% LED Stage Lighting. There is not one tungsten light or dimmer rack in sight! The future is here now! Also the incorporation of 32sq metres of LED Video Panels instead of projectors is also very new for a theatre. This particular video wall can be set up in many different configurations and at only 450kg can be literally flown on a lighting bar and appear or disappear by motorised hoist in the fly tower. I have also been really impressed with the EIW Architects in the way they have embraced these new theatre concepts and designs. They have been amazing to work with.

Rob with LED Video Panels web

[Rob standing in front of the LED Video Panels on display at Kosmic Sound]

In regards to audio visual technology, what do you believe will be the next big thing!?

I think the next big thing will be a total shift to LED Stage Lighting and more and more use of LED Video Panels (as we have introduced on this project). 3D Holograms could be interesting!

Once again, almost every new lighting fixture replaced in existing theatres or other venues is being replaced with LED technology. I think projectors and screens will gradually be replaced with LED video panels. Sound has already gone through the digital change in consoles. Audio video and lighting cable has also leapt into Cat 6 digital cable over the last few years making many large multicore looms and such-like redundant.

Have you noticed a shift in new theatres and upgrades? (Are people investing more into consultants and new technology?)

I would certainly like to think people will invest more in Consultants!.....as long as they choose the right consultant! I believe the relationship between EIW and TMA has produced a great synergy.....and we are currently working on some secret projects utilising the latest technology which are going to blow your mind! 

Kingsway Foyer websize 

[Interior timber details by Glosswood]                                                                                                                            

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[Great progress on the exterior]

We look forward to sharing more updates with you.