The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS) has just announced emerging Australian architecture studio TRIAS will create the first annual Turbine Hall Commission in the Powerhouse Museum. The grand unveiling will take place as part of the 20th Sydney Design Festival 2018.
The new three-year annual commission is made possible by a generous anonymous donor and is the first of its kind in Australia that offers emerging and established architectural and design talent the opportunity to design and present innovative projects for the site of the Powerhouse Museum’s Turbine Hall.
“MAAS takes seriously its commitment to support and profile the Australian design community. This architectural commission is an Australian first, and we are pleased to have worked with a panel of industry leaders in selecting TRIAS for the first of the three commissions. Their site-specific design provides yet another reason to visit the Museum during the 20th year of the Sydney Design Festival.”
MAAS Director Dolla Merrillees.
The installation titled Four Periscopes will consist of four towers made out of sustainable cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels. The tower’s measurements relate to a series of statistics around the amount of space people have to live around the world. Australia currently has the largest average house size in the world, with 90 square metres of space per person. Meanwhile the footprint of each tower (2.4m x 2.4m) roughly corresponds to the amount of space that the average resident in Mumbai is afforded and the heights of the towers loosely equate to the average space a typical person occupies within four South-East Asian cities – Beijing (10m2), Manila (12m2), Ho Chi Minh (18m2) and Osaka (20m2).
“One of the primary purposes of architecture is to bring people together – to frame and contain space in a manner that allows human connections to flourish. This installation highlights the importance of communicating within our ‘commons’ by encouraging museum-goers to – quite literally – reflect and connect with one another.”
TRIAS Director Jennifer McMaster.
Evocative of Sydney’s skyscrapers the towers will be filled with a series of periscopic mirrors suspended above the ground. Visitors to the museum are invited to look up inside them. The reflections inside each will connect people from the balconies to the ground floor, and from one tower to another. Visible from all levels of the Museum, TRIAS’s winning work is a playful installation intended to evoke curiosity, encourage interaction and inspire engagement.
Partnerships & Festivals Manager Sophie Harrington said,
“The commission by TRIAS is a playful and thoughtful way for audiences to experience architecture. The installation is sensitive both to the vaulted Turbine Hall space, and to the audiences that will interact with it. They will be given agency to explore the ‘visual maze’ that is created by the various apertures in the periscopes and reflect on the amount of space and resources different communities live with around the world. The installation will shift and change across the time it is present, with the view changing depending on what is beneath the towers, from a school holidays installation teaming with families to our adults only MAASive Lates events.”
Architects Jennifer McMaster, Jonathon Donnelly, Casey Bryant have been working together since 2016 as TRIAS – a Sydney based studio founded on three principles: to create buildings that are solid, simple and beautiful and are currently completing projects across Australia and the UK, and has received recognition in numerous local and international competitions.
McMaster is the recipient of the MADE by the Opera House Scholarship, the Byera Hadley Travelling Scholarship, the Bluescope Lysaght Prize, the Ruskin Rowe Prize, the Archiprix International Prize and the NSW Design Medal, awarded by the Australian Institute of Architects. Jennifer is also a passionate writer and architectural advocate. She currently writes for the Danish Architecture Centre, and has created content for blogs, publications and radio programs.
Donnelly has contributed to the design and development of various projects in award-winning studios. He has also been a key team member in several high-profile competitions. Jonathon has received the Archiprix International Prize, as well as NSW Design Medal, awarded by the Australian Institute of Architects, the Ethel M Chettle Prize, the CHL Turner Prize and the Sunlord Perpetual Prize.
Bryant is the recipient of numerous awards and prizes. In 2015, Casey was selected for the Dulux Study Tour, while, in 2016, he was awarded a Byera Hadley Travelling Scholarship for research into inter generational care facilities.
TRIAS will be applying their thoughtful design aesthetic in the museum expressing community, diversity and connectivity at a time when the museum is renewing and connecting to diverse communities and preparing for its own exciting and culturally rich future. The installation partially lifts the curtain on this vision, creating an air of excitement that will leave us wanting for more.
The grand unveiling will take place as part of the 20th Sydney Design Festival launch with the festival open to the public from 2 – 11 March 2018. Sydney Design Festival 2018 is an annual celebration of design with over 100 events at venues across Sydney from 2 – 11 March 2018. The installation will remain on view in the Turbine Hall until 28 January 2019 and the full Sydney Design 2018 program will be announced in January 2018.
TRIAS was selected by Industry experts including Joe Agius (Agius Architects), William Smart (Smart Design Studio), Cameron Bruhn (Architecture AU Media), Dr Joanne Jakovich (UTS Faculty of Design, Architecture and Building), Stephen Todd (Design Editor, Financial Review), Sophie Harrington (MAAS), Emily McDaniel (MAAS), Keinton Butler (MAAS), and Peter Denham (MAAS) were included on the judging panel.
From this point D*hub will be in hibernation until its next iteration. Readers wanting more about design are advised to watch the MAAS website for news, stories and events.