G&C are pleased to announce the joint winners of the Jimmy Watson’s Canopy design competition.
We would like to congratulate both Mikhail Rodrick, with the coherent and sly ‘Jimmy’s Pendulum,’ as well as Brad Wray of Branch Studio Architects, with the laconic ‘Humble of Hills Hoists.’
A full listing of results outlines other placed entries, as well as listing commendations and judges comments. We encourage all to peruse them – there are some gemlike and wonderful ideas in these projects.
The response to this (very) short notice competition has been heartening and suggests an alternative, and far more enjoyable, avenue for the critique and unpacking of planning submissions, as well as a broader discussion around our shared architectural heritage.
Well done to all who entered – you should all have a well deserved glass, or flagon, or a rundlet or tierce, of wine.
… There’s a scene in that wonderful book by George Johnston – “My Brother Jack.” And it’s got Dave Meredith sitting outside at some retsina soaked tavern on a little Greek island; shaded by vine-leaves, cooled by a soft Aegean breeze. There’s food and booze and the long laziness of self-imposed exile. But this being David Meredith, despite all of this …. he’s complaining. He finds a lot to complain about, this character. This time, in this paradisiacal setting, it’s actually about class. He’s been cornered by a drunk English toff, who’s complaining as well – complaining that nobody understands what it’s like to be the youngest son of a youngest son. It’s about primogeniture, you see? And this pisses Meredith off – he snaps at this sunburnt peer; saying, and I paraphrase, ‘Yeah, well, you’ll never know what it’s like to be the younger son of a Melbourne tram driver…’
The following piece by Frank Godsell was originally published in the September issue of the Critical Australian Review of Architectural Criticism (Australia).
When Elly – our eldest daughter – was seven, she disappeared into the bowels of Flinders Street station. I was not initially worried; our family has a cross-generational knack for spatial awareness; an unerring ability to locate ourselves whatever the terrain. Confident that she’d be able to orientate herself and fold herself back down to our schedule, I left the station and spent an hour or so at the National Gallery staring at the space where the Weeping Woman used to be.
But an hour passed, and Eleanor didn’t re-appear. (more…)
The following is a guest editorial by prolific critic and reviewer, Simon Harrison - originally published in Critical Australian Review of Architectural Criticism (Australia).
“…Yes. I agree. It is entirely possible that future generations will regard our actions with contempt. But, gentlemen, we need to steel ourselves against such fears. In the end, we must do what is required to maintain the Australian way of life, the safety of our cities and the prosperity and strength of our great nation. It may be monstrous, but it must be done!”
Lieutenant General Alexander Seddon, Transcript, Australian Commonwealth Police Wiretap. September, 1970
The following article, written by architecture critic Simon Harrison, originally appeared in Architecture Review Asia Pacific issue 124: Architecture & The Body, published in March/April 2012. G&C’s design statement for the RFU’s can be found here.
The day will come when rising sea levels will enable Australia-bound asylum seekers to sail right into the nightmarish maw of Melbourne’s Luna Park. Here, within the fortified bounds of the famed Scenic Railway, it is proposed they should acclimatise to urban life before being processed for integration into the Australian suburbs. Of course, unless you’re seeking asylum from New Zealand or Tasmania, Melbourne may seem an impractical entry point. Nevertheless, under a new refugee management proposal, there may be no other way in.
The recent Capathetical Competition has sparked interest within the firm, and led us, once more, back to the archives.
Ideas of Australian identity and Australian ownership are becoming increasingly tortuous. Our major cities are some of the largest in the world – not simply in terms of gross area, but in population. A long-standing debate has centred on our continued ability to provide sustainable stewardship of our natural resources; on the actual ‘carrying capacity’ of our territory. The entire debate is idealogically coloured – the lowest population estimates are couched in a vision of a hyper-fragile landscape, ill-equipped to handle even two-dozen million on the fertile coastal margins – the high estimates appear to be hangovers of the late-colonial era; positing a nation of a hundred million; a global player and a bulwark against expansionist attitudes from the nebulous asian north.
Design Architect: Frank Godsell Project Team: Frank Godsell, Dmitri Massinof
You think Laika was lonely?
Spare a thought for poor Gagarin – twenty days in a tiny, claustrophobic capsule, with only a purloined balalaika for company. Twenty days before that first, almost inaudible report as another metal bauble nosed its way into the crooked gap between the steel sphere of the life-support capsule and the eight-faced jewel of the retro-rocket.
The Amerikano, Alan Shephard, in the tiny conical flask of Freedom 7. He punched through to Gagarin’s cosy coffin in a matter of minutes. Neither of them were de-orbiting – spot welds and oxy-acetlyne cuts would work well enough to hold in the air.
In the latest edition of Architecture Review Australia, Simon Harrison reviews our work on the highly contentious RFU (Refugee Family Unit). Interestingly, AR have also chosen to re-publish an on old interview with Frank Godsell from the 90′s about his early involvement with Archigram. For some background information on the RFU, continue reading below.
The liminal (and near) nations of Transnistria, South Ossetia, Abkhazia and Somaliland have a chequered history of collaboration. Drawn together by a shared inability to gain all but the most cursory recognition from the UN, and consolidated into a sort of loose body of mutual co-operation and support, they remain marked by stark political, geographic and demographic differences. Transnistria is defined by a heavily industrialised economy, but mounting debts and a slowly dwindling population; Somaliland is marked by rapid population growth and some of the few functioning public institutions in the broader Horn-of-africa region.
Somewhere, mouldering away in the State Government Archives, are row upon row of near-featureless filing cabinets, dating from the glory-days of the Melbourne Metropolitan Tramways Board. For the main, they contain little more than the dull minutiae of everyday, bureaucratic activity – minutes, missives, memos. But one cluster holds something dramatically different; thousands of tightly coiled wax paper documents.
It’s this latter collection that we really should be thankful for. While G&C’s local archives are prey to the exigencies of conversion – of transfer from blueprint to any number of mutually incompatible software formats, on any number of broken or compromised media – this collection preserves the original blueprints of the trams and systems that have colonised our city for the last century.
In rapid response to recent ‘Occupy Melbourne’ demonstrations, prominent Melbourne architects Godsell & Corrigan have been engaged to reconstruct a relic of the city’s urban past – The Melbourne Wall – in order to contain growing civil unrest in the city’s inner suburbs.
Beginning on Friday 21st October 2011 as a police barricade, riot-squad officers were quickly replaced with temporary mesh fencing and will soon be superseded again by a triple-brick wall of the highest architectural order.
What started as a peaceful demonstration quickly escalated into full-blown conflict as Lord Mayor Robert Doyle instructed riot police to forcibly remove protestors from the city square. Some commentators suspect Mr Doyle of orchestrating the conflict in order to lay the foundations for his vision to reconstruct The Wall.
Speculation of this nature begins in December 2008, when Mr Doyle made a call to arms on Radio 3AW to keep the ‘bogans’ out of Melbourne, saying ‘I don’t want the city to be a bogan magnet’. Many wondered at the time what measures he would take. Now, with mounting pressure to contain an unruly mob, he may have found the perfect reason to build the long-awaited ‘Bogan Wall’.
Design Architect: Frank Godsell Project Team: Patricia Corrigan & Frank Godsell READ PRESS RELEASE
In response to the growing civil unrest sparked by the ‘Occupy Melbourne’ demonstrations, Godsell & Corrigan have been engaged by local government to create a wall that will ensure ongoing peace in the City of Melbourne. In these uncertain economic times and in the wake of the Jasmine Revolution, we feel a new kind of wall is required – a wall that not only divides, but one that inspires the city’s disenfranchised.
Indeed, the new Melbourne Wall will be a beautiful instrument of division within the urban landscape. Drawing influence from the masters of German Brick Expressionism, the Wall employs a decorative Flemish Bond to bring texture and life to the greyest corners of Melbourne.
June, 1980. Melbourne’s city circle tunnel, grossly over-budget and years overdue, finally approaches completion. Sadly, this belated finish would also put paid to one of the city’s most novel additions to the public transport network.
In late 1978, Godsell & Corrigan had been invited to design an interim tactic toward the provision of a ‘city-circle’ – a method of transport that would anticipate and formalize approaches for the slowly approaching city-loop. Their solution was – and remains – one of the strongest and simplest urban gestures to ever be employed at an infrastructural level; a 6 kilometre long interconnected chain of carriages, an endless, continuous tram encircling the city centre.
Design Architect: Frank Godsell Project Team: Patricia Corrigan & Frank Godsell READ PRESS RELEASE
In close consultation with the Australasian Arts Council, Godsell & Corrigan have designed the next incarnation of the Australian Pavilion in Venice. This project continues our interest in the confluence of natural and man-made artefacts, drawing inspiration from the sprawling roofscapes of McMansion suburbia to create an icon reminiscent of the monolithic heart at the centre of our great nation: Uluru.
Our pavilion concerns itself equally with both the beautiful and the grotesque, pervasive as they are in the Australian psyche. It captures the country’s natural splendour and its mythology, yet doesn’t forget the expanding suburban waistlines that threaten to crowd our natural treasures. Dangerously, it examines the hypothetical moment when Uluru itself is colonised by suburban interests. Not a project of optimistic speculation, but rather a careful look at who we are today and what it is we may become; a fitting backdrop for our nation’s artists and architects to examine the most pressing issues of our age.
In a limited design competition between the two directors of Godsell and Corrigan, the Australasian Arts Council has arrived at a winning scheme for the new Australian Pavilion in Venice.
Each year, the pavilion will be used to exhibit Australia’s most talented artists and architects as part of Venice’s alternating art and architecture biennales. The existing pavilion, generously designed by Cox Architects in 1988 for no fees and with very limited resources, has become outdated, underperforming as a venue suitable to represent Australia’s world class talent.
In recent years, the AAC has come under increasing pressure to run an open competition for all Australian architecture practices to consider what our future pavilion might be. However due to fading vision, the AAC’s jury decided to limit the competition to just two practitioners with an established track record.
Following the collapse of the 9th Apostle in 2005 – despite common assumptions, there were only ever nine sandstone stacks – the Board of Victorian Regional Tourism toyed with the idea of reconstructing the crumbled monolith. Building upon existing religious nomenclature, and contemporary fascination with what would prove to be Australia’s first Catholic Saint, an ill fated proposal to reconstruct the edifice in the likeness of Mary McKillop was floated.
It was, for very obvious reasons, quietly shelved.
G&C prepared this image, alongside a much more serious proposal for a short term eco-hotel that would sensitively re-assemble the ruined structure.
There has been some confusion as to Godsell & Corrigan's association with other Melbourne-based architecture practices. For the purposes of absolute clarity, Godsell & Corrigan has no affiliation with any of the following practices:
Kerstin Thompson Architects
Minifie van Schaik
NMBW Architecture Studio
Jackson Clements Burrows
Denton Corker Marshall
Fiona Winzar Architecture
Andrew Maynard Architects
Paul Morgan Architects
The Rexroth Mannasman Collective
Simon & Freda Thornton
Peddle Thorp Architects
Greg Burgess Architects
Sean Godsell Architects
de Campo Architects
Robert Simeoni Architects
McBride Charles Ryan
Harrison & White
Edmond & Corrigan
Peter Elliott Architecture
Ashton Raggatt McDougall