Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Lodge on the Lake in Canberra, Australia by Stephen Collier Architects
June 12th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: Stephen Collier Architects
THE LAKE ON THE LODGE IDEAS COMPETITION – EXPLANATORY STATEMENT
What if the British, instead of completely and summarily dismissing Aboriginal people and their culture, took a more open approach to Aboriginal people, culture and knowledge systems? This country would be one where the chances of an indigenous or non-indigenous Prime Minister would have been the same at every election since Federation. As a result Australia would now have an equal meeting of cultures and (cultural) influence.
We propose 3 key moves:
After 1788 there were two opposing perspectives of landscape and home: the non- indigenous idea of HOME in a cultivated landscape of definitive property boundaries, and the indigenous idea of a transient HOME in a shared and unbounded landscape. Observing that Australia’s watery boundary is still a contested zone of arrival we acknowledge Canberra’s man-made lake and the random property alignment marking the site of the proposed new Lodge.
We propose to reconfigure and redefine this boundary as a ring of landscape that is retained for public use and defined by a cluster of deciduous trees. Public access to Lake Burley Griffin for all Australians will remain in perpetuity.
THE NEW LODGE
We propose separating the administrative and support functions from the private domain. Key groupings of rooms, amenities and staff are arranged in a pinwheel around a central foyer, from which all parts of the landscape can be seen and from which all parts of the house can be accessed. A large private stroll garden becomes a place of reflection and repose.
An amplified native landscape is enhanced with non-indigenous clusters of liquid amber, poplar and willow. Traces of this new landscape are entwined in and through the buildings. Narrow paths for strolling would be burnt through fields of native grasses and daisies, creating different journeys through and around the garden
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