Temporary installation of a geodesic dome at the National Gallery of Victoria for the Melbourne Now
exhibition (Nov 2013 - Mar 2014).
In the mid 1960s, while he was designing the National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), architect Roy Grounds was experimenting with geometry on a property near Penders on the south-coast of NSW. One of his experiments was a geodesic dome, of the kind pioneered in the USA by radical designer, scientist, engineer and philosopher Buckminster Fuller. But where Fuller’s domes were military grade, Grounds’ interpretation was far more ‘Australian’. In place of Fuller’s crisp lightweight aluminium struts, Grounds had used timber logs. And instead of refined steel spider junctions, Grounds had used the lids of old tin garbage bins. The result is a peculiar hybrid of pure geometry meets the Leyland Brothers, the can-do, she’ll-be-right, Aussie spirit that’s become so strong in our national mythology.
This dome formed the starting point for the ‘Bin Dome’, an installation designed by Rory Hyde Projects for the Melbourne Now exhibition at the NGV, summer 2013-14. Sited in Federation Court, the central courtyard of Grounds’ 1968 fortress of culture, the Bin Dome draws together Grounds’ private experiments with his more formal outcomes. The bin lids of the Penders dome have become 1,000 IKEA bins, the generic and ubiquitous product of our globalised world. These inexpensive and familiar products take on a more heroic and specular quality when arrayed en masse, focussing the sunlight and casting shadows.
The Bin Dome is also covered in air plants (Tilandsias and Bromeliads) as a way to return the some of the qualities of the outdoors that was central to Grounds’ original design for Federation Court, lost in the gallery’s renovation of 2002.
Designed as a social space for events, meeting up with friends, and shelter from the summer sun, the Bin Dome draws upon Melbourne’s history of experimental architecture and utopian thinking to create a generous public space within the gallery.
Video by Dewi Cooke, The Age.
Thanks to Amy Silver for everything. Thanks to Ed Hyde, Vaughan Howard, Darcy Zelenko, Dharman Gersch, Ziga Testen, Darragh O’Brien and Aiman Ahmad for their help with building. Thanks to Toby Pond and Tim Black for design advice, and to Jon Anderson of Hive Engineering for structural advice. Thanks to Tim and Caleb Wallace at Vicbeam for fabricating the LVLs. Thanks to Kevin O'Connor at the RMIT Architecture workshop for help milling the ply profiles. Thanks to Anthony and Chloe Hyde for much advice along the way and for tolerating the prototypes filling up their living room. Thanks to Paul Beale and Jess Perry for lighting advice. Thanks to Eugene Howard for sticking up all the plants. Thanks to NGV staff Nicole Montiero, Don Heron, Mark Patulo, Adam Graf for all their help along the way. And thanks especially to Max Delany and Tony Elwood for giving the opportunity to create something for this incredible site and exhibition, and for their confidence and faith in this experiment.
We once had a very direct relationship to our energy use, as with most animals today, it was directly related to our metabolic rate. Asleep we require about 90 watts of energy to ‘run’, to subsist in the Amazon as a hunter gatherer requires about 250 watts. With the rise of civilisation and technology, the modern middle class human in the developed world requires around 11,000 watts to live, which, as physicist Geoffrey West “is more watts than a blue whale … the biggest animal that has ever existed.”
Today we associate guilt with our energy footprints. In the post-carbon world of New Order we may instead embrace our animal avatars, giving them names and identities of their own. Come and introduce yourself.
In collaboration with Katja Novitskova
Hosted by Mediamatic
Part of New Order
, an event and exhibition series on energy, economy and art in a post-carbon world. From March 9 to May 6 2012
Thanks to Hsien Yu and Carlos for helping build it.
Photos: Simone Schoutens
Shortlisted submission for the role of Creative Director of the Australian Pavilion at the 2012 Venice Architecture Biennale. Collaboration with Justine Clark and Kate Rhodes.
‘Opportunistic’ is defined as ‘taking immediate advantage, often unethically, of any circumstance of possible benefit.’ It is also related to the word ‘opportunity’, or ‘a chance for success or advancement’.
It is between these two definitions – one devious and one admirable – that the Opportunistic Architect operates. Opportunistic Architects ‘do not wait for the phone to ring’. They are pro-active, entrepreneurial, nimble, industrious, intelligent and ambitious. Opportunistic Architects are motivated both by a latent urge to ‘do good’ – increasingly prevalent among architects today – but also by the need to make money, the will to succeed, and to see their visions realized.
The Office for Opportunistic Architecture is a temporary, productive office housed in the Australian Pavilion. It is simultaneously an ‘office’ and ‘exhibition’, exhibiting people at work and the work they create, by hosting teams of Australian architects working on the key spatial challenges facing Australia today. It offers a chance to step outside of standard practice frameworks and explore the social agency of architecture.
Pyramid (working title) in collaboration with artist Melanie Bonajo. Colours change in response to individual levels of conductivity in the skin, creating a personal experience of intense colour saturation.
Concept: Melanie Bonajo.
Design and construction: Rory Hyde and Melanie Bonajo.
Exhibited at the Rijksacademie Open Studios, November 2010.
An installation produced for the 2010 AIA conference
The trouble with conferences is the imbalance between pontification and discussion. Speakers project their opinions, and panel sessions rarely succeed in a genuine conversation. We sought to redress this imbalance in response to an invitation to design an 'action' for the AIA conference in Sydney.
12 chairs with very large backs made from common building insulation are arranged to form a small interior in the foyers of the conference venue, providing a space for more intimate unpacking of ideas, far away from the stage. These chairs can be freely repositioned to form different sized clusters for different kinds of forums.
The backs of the chairs also formed an exhibition of the concept of Unsolicited Architecture, each presenting one of the 12 steps. In addition, the bootleg issue of Volume was tied to each chair, creating an informal reading room.
With Timothy Moore
and Anneke Abhelakh. Thanks to Mel Dodd, Nicholas Braun and Qianyi Lim.
Hear the interview we did
with Sam Jacob of FAT
*inside* the work.
Installation design for catwalk presentation of the Tunnel collection by Melbourne fashion label S!X
(Denise Sprynskyj and Peter Boyd). Presented as part of the 2007 Motorolla Melbourne International Fashion Festival, in the vacated tunnel underneath Hero tower, Russell St.
Exposed fluorescent tubes running the length of the space in a simple zig-zag pattern formed the only lighting for the show in a simple yet dramatic intervention, highlight the rawness of the collection.