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Sumit Singhal
Sumit Singhal
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.

The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre in Australia by Cox Rayner Architects

August 6th, 2013 by Sumit Singhal

Article source: Cox Rayner Architects

Project Description

The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre Expansion (BCEC on Grey) is responsible for the engagement of one artist to conceive and create a narrative of works which enrich the experience from the street right through the internal public spaces of such a large and significant public building.

Image Courtesy © Cox Rayner Architects

  • Architects: Cox Rayner Architects
  • Project: The Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre
  • Location: Australia
  • Photography: Cox Rayner Architects

Image Courtesy © Cox Rayner Architects

The project comprises three series of artworks all by Queensland artist Bruce Reynolds and collectively entitled ‘Pamphlet’. Each series was conceived with Cox Rayner to reciprocate with the spaces and elements that form the joinery from base to top.

The external series comprises 6 crystalline vitreous enamel polyhedral forms entitled ‘Fortune’. The foyer series comprises 5 assemblages of linoleum, paint and carpet entitled ‘The Tea Leaf Paradox’, and the 4 level atrium wall consists of 16 plaster relief panels of the same title.

Image Courtesy © Cox Rayner Architects

The exceptional aspect of this undertaking is its breadth of artistic diversity and scale, facilitating a depth of interpretation of Brisbane’s and South Bank’s history, pattern language and resonance between natural and built environments more potently than with multiple artists. The project was funded by the Queensland Government’s Art and Place Program.

Image Courtesy © Cox Rayner Architects

Conceptual Framework

The atrium and foyers of the BCEC on Grey Street are conceived as a public way linking South Bank over the railway to Merivale Street, as well as an access to the convention and exhibition centre.  The artwork series was conceived as a means of conveying the public journey while equally enriching the experience of place and of places within the centre.

Image Courtesy © Cox Rayner Architects

The idea of the 3 collectives of work by the one artist was to express continuity of journey, while the choice of artist was made because Bruce Reynolds’ practice offers a rare capacity for both three and two dimensional work that can apply to different settings, as well as to external and internal work.  This diversity enabled us to collaborate with him on such diverse settings as street, niche and large ‘canvas’. A further conceptual attribute is Reynolds’ multi-faceted materiality tactile response to our architecture, which includes linoleum, Axminster carpet, whitewash, vitreous enamel and plaster work.

Image Courtesy © Cox Rayner Architects

Public and Cultural Benefits

The sequence of works succeeds in inviting in the public, crossing the threshold from outside to inside. The works convey multiple cultural interpretations, including regarding the river, environmental vulnerability of the city, history of natural and human events, and on another level regarding patters and textures of Brisbane’s evolution.

Image Courtesy © Cox Rayner Architects

Relationship of Built Form to Context

The collaboration between artist and architect has produced a series of works which diversely and richly engages the building and its public spaces. The success is that they act dually as both recognisable artworks and as design elements integral to the fabric of the building.

Image Courtesy © Cox Rayner Architects

Program Resolution

The program entailed extensive interaction between our architects, the artist and the dual clients South Bank Corporation and BCEC. This interaction facilitated and fostered the relationship that existed not only on art but on design of the whole building. The further relationship with the State Government’s Art and Place board enabled cultural expression to become as significant as functional resolution of the design.

Image Courtesy © Cox Rayner Architects

Integration Allied Disciplines

This extensive artwork integration project was created by process of artist – architect collaboration from beginning to end.

Response to Client and User Needs

The clients have expressed absolute delight with the contribution the artworks and accompanying spaces have made to the building and its public embrace.

Image Courtesy © Cox Rayner Architects


Categories: Convention Center, Exhibition Center

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