Art as architecture

Friday 11 Dec 2009

Artwork turns the mundane into the magnificent for Brisbane's public

A stroll along Albert Street in Brisbane has been transformed by a public work which recreates an existing multi-storey car park as a large scale art-come-architecture project.

A car park for 30 years, the building was recently transformed by architects Nettleton Tribe into a thirteen level office space above nine levels of parking. As a finishing touch international studio Urban Art Projects (UAP) with artist Jennifer Marchant designed the bespoke art project 'Landlines' to wrap itself around three faces of the car park. Displaying a contoured map of Cunningham’s Gap and the Main Range in Brisbane, the work is formed of 549 powder coated, laser cut aluminum panels, all 1.2m x 3.6m.

The results are dramatic, transforming the streetscape with artistic character and veiling a potentially unsightly car park behind. The work also functions practically as a solar guard and natural ventilation allowing air to permeate the sub tropical car park, saving the client over £1million on mechanical ventilation.

The inspiration for the design came from the undemocratic nature of most tall buildings, responding to how few people get the chance to take-in the view from the top. By illustrating the contours of the surrounding landscape, ‘Landlines’ brings the view from the building down to the street level whilst also creating a visual pun that depicts a horizontal three dimensional landscape and applies it to a vertical structure.

Daniel Tobin, Principal of UAP, said: “53 Albert Street illustrates the huge potential value integrated artworks can contribute to a project, in this case saving the client money, significantly reducing the building’s carbon footprint whilst also enhancing the public realm."

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