Low-tech and flexible

11 Sep 2012

Shane Thompson Architects and Lat 27 design new ferry terminals for Brisbane

This proposition for the Brisbane River Ferry Terminals brings a distinctive poetic character and experience to a journey on the Brisbane River which responds to their varying riverside locations in a harmonious synthesis of engineering, architecture and landscape. It seeks to make a family of unique places for the city, imbued with the history, nature and cultural resonance of the river in Brisbane's sub-tropical character.

It is intend to create a design narrative that appraises the environment of the river that abstracts the landscape and hosts an emergent urban experience at the water's edge. It also seeks to create an exceptional and memorable experience, providing both a distinctive threshold episode and intimate sanctuary from the indefatigable energy of the city.

The design proposes to maximise reuse of existing assets, allows for flexibility in response to varying conditions and embed substantially as a fundamental design tenet.The structure employs a lightweight timber gridshell echoing the oblique root and branch systems and canopy of mangrove trees. It uses small hardwood sections of salvaged or plantation timbers which are very, very strong, need no extra bracing and are visually arresting. It is low tech and inherently flexible in its arrangement and is a celebration of structural efficiency. The gridshell offers both a sense of enclosure and a modicum of discrete privacy.

The Patterned Fabric Membrane is fully recyclable and referencing the form and materiality of the Brisbane Lily, lightly wrapsthe timber grid shell structure providing shade and protection from wind and rain. It is cost efficient easy and quick to install, self cleaning, flexible and eliminates the need for artificial lighting during the day whilst enhancing the efficiency of artificial lighting at night. The membrane also emphasises the contrast and shadows of the timber gridshell structure and at night, illuminated from within emphasises the abstracted Brisbane Lily form, silhouettes the gridshell structure within. Integrated with the timbergridshell, it imparts a lyrical gesture in form and affect.

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