College of Fine Art

Project Status: Unbuilt
Location: Paddington, NSW

Photography: Candalepas Associates

We were shortlisted in a three-stage competition for the design of a new gallery and library building at Paddington. The project included a Master Plan, which embodied the entire campus and associated desire-lines for student paths and activities.

The project design was based on a building around a centralised courtyard. The building’s relation with a streetscape of mature fig trees was tantamount to the design’s ethos.

The leaves in the roof structure were designed to be made of plywood and to span some 20 metres without any support. In this way, they provided enormous internal flexibility whilst allowing an ethereal light quality to permeate in a controlled manner through the gallery spaces; at times able to be closed and at other times fully open to accept the light from outside. The structural roof solution designed in collaboration with Arup, gave the design enormous ‘light’ flexibility, which is a particular constraint in the design of any contemporary gallery.