DesignWall

61 York Street

March 24, 2009

This building is located in an historical street of urban Sydney. There is a street-wall height of 55 metres, but not all buildings in the street honour that wall height. The site also fronts a laneway. By abstraction through repetition, a design form may reveal a new order of visual expression, which moves the observer […]

This building is located in an historical street of urban Sydney. There is a street-wall height of 55 metres, but not all buildings in the street honour that wall height. The site also fronts a laneway.

By abstraction through repetition, a design form may reveal a new order of visual expression, which moves the observer to another dimension of associational thinking: familiar things relating to each other in unfamiliar ways to elevate two dimensions into three by way of abstraction and structure. I call this a sketch.

These ideas can relate directly to another significant compositional idea – an arrangement of parts towards a centre of gravity, to communicate a sense of weight through composition (as illustrated in Joseph Alber’s Homage to a Square series).

As such the base of the building can have two ideas: the idea of gravity, or weight in a square, as well as the consideration of the three-dimensional attributes of a two-dimensional composition.

The base of the building is finite or complete, but with a need to express an external connection to the sky. We have done this with a glass façade. The elevation is articulated in a rhythmic composition organised according to a musical relation called ‘rondo’ – a relation of a-b-a-c-a in a shifting composition, not dissimilar to Bach’s Two Part Inventions. (Image 9 on the opposite page becomes image 2.) The composition develops in this musical fashion, binding the elements both horizontally and vertically by way of a permeating ‘golden mean’ proportion, which also reflects the architecture of historical buildings adjacent.

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