The latest project from Architecture Architecture is a piece of garden joinery, designed to weather and age. Eventually the steel will shift from oily black to rusty orange, the timber from warmer yellows to a weathered grey – the slow seasons of a decade or two. Like everything in a garden, its impermanence reveals the passage of time.
CONTINUE READING >>
Posted: November 29th, 2011 | Filed under: Architecture, Architecture Architecture, Projects | Comments Off
The following essay by Architecture Architecture director Michael Roper, was recently published in ‘Water: Curse or Blessing?’ as part of the Aedes exhibition of the same name. It explores the mythology of water in the Australian landscape and presents three Australian architectural propositions by Richard Black, Ross Brewin & Tom Morgan.
The Australian people gather at the ocean’s edge, a great arid landscape burning at their backs. Once the sanctum of an ancient people, Australia is now home to 22 million immigrants, 18 million of whom have barely ventured inland from their newfound shores. They look out towards the distant lands of their ancestors, across the oceans that delivered them. They yearn for home. Not for the homes they have left behind, but for the home they continue to build. Caught in the dream that first spooked their ancestors, they think often of the water’s cool promise – of opportunity and redemption – so they gather at the ocean’s edge, the shimmering red centre burning at their backs.
It is an irony that this vast, flat land, surrounded by many thousands of kilometres of coastline, should offer so little by way of hydration. In fact this is the driest, most arid of all continents. The Australian tastes this irony whenever he plays in the copious waves he cannot drink. It is a saltiness, deposited on the tongue of his famously dry wit.
And yet, while it never rains, (as the expression goes) it pours. For, although Australia is a land of scarcity, it is also a land of abundance, cycling irregularly between years of drought and flood. Again the ocean plays a role, its changing surface temperature invoking those mischievous South American siblings – El Niño and La Niña. He brings the cool ocean currents, a false balm to the accompanying years of drought. She brings the warm currents, and with them the rain. Together they torment the entire eastern seaboard of Australia with their uncertain temperament. Here, where soils are most fertile and the yielding crops are sown, Australian farmers are forever at the mercy of the terrible duo.
1935 Illustration of a Bunyip (artist unknown)
Of course, this is nothing new. From the very beginning, earth-bound life has been at the mercy of its water supply, tied to the creeks and rivers that thread the landscape fertile. While some organisms have adapted to survive long periods without – for man, life simply expires within days. No wonder the story of water bears mythical significance in so many cultures. Not least for Australia’s Aboriginal people for whom all life springs from the river’s Rainbow Serpent and the billabong Bunyip haunts the stagnant waters.
CONTINUE READING >>
Posted: October 26th, 2011 | Filed under: Architecture, Exhibitions, Journalism, Michael Roper | 1 Comment »
'Badeschiff' public swimming pool on the Spree River in Berlin.
James Staughton and Michael Roper have now commenced teaching their second annual Berlin / Melbourne architecture design studio at RMIT. Following the success of last year’s studio, ‘Latent Urbanism | Berlin’, this year they are focusing on the role of urban, agricultural and natural river systems in both Australia and Germany. The studio, called ‘Watershed: Rivers Wild / Rivers Tame’, explores how rivers have shaped our civilization, and how we, in turn, have shaped them. It considers rivers in their ecological and economic functions as well as their role in the mythological narrative of humankind. Specifically, the studio considers our various relationships with waterways, be they symbiotic, parasitic, competitive, dominant or servile, challenging students to propose new, more sustainable strategies for living with our rivers. As part of the studio, Michael will be taking the students to ANCB
in Berlin for three weeks in August / September to study the Spree River first hand.
Posted: July 22nd, 2011 | Filed under: Architecture, Education, Michael Roper | Comments Off
Conrad Schumann breaching the 'Berlin Wall'
In June this year, the Aedes Gallery in Berlin
staged an exhibition entitled ‘Creative, Informal, Temporary Berlin’. The exhibition showcased the work of an international collection of university design studios dealing the theme. Having led an RMIT design studio called ‘Latent Urbanism, Berlin’, Architecture Architecture
’s Michael Roper took part in the exhibition, presenting some of his students’ work.
CONTINUE READING >>
Posted: July 7th, 2011 | Filed under: Architecture, Education, Exhibitions, Michael Roper | Comments Off
AIA National Conference Flyer
This week, Architecture Architecture
director Michael Roper co-hosted ‘The Architects’
radio show on Triple R along with Gretchen Wilkins from RMIT. They covered the recent National Architecture Conference ‘Natural Artifice’ with guests and interviews including conference creative director David Neustein, Portuguese architect Manuel Mateus
, American architects Iwamoto Scott
and Finnish architectural theorist Juhani Pallasmaa
LISTEN HERE >>
Posted: April 26th, 2011 | Filed under: Architecture, Journalism, Michael Roper | Comments Off
Image by R&Sie
Natural artifice’ is an adjective followed by a noun. It was also the theme of last weekend’s 2011 National Architecture Conference. At first reading, the title defines two ends of a continuum along which a conference director could conveniently place a range of architectural practitioners: bush modernists and digital technologists alike. Fortunately, taken together, the terms are not as neat as this. Natural artifice is not a neat dichotomy…
CONTINUE READING >>
Posted: March 21st, 2011 | Filed under: Architecture, Journalism, Michael Roper | Comments Off
Tanker 721 by Tom Morgan
A select group of Australian architects have been chosen to participate in the ‘Water – Curse or Blessing’ exhibition to be held at the Aedes Galleries in Berlin later this year. Exhibitors were asked to put forward projects which address the role of water in Australia with a focus on social and ecological agendas. The final selected exhibitors are Ross Brewin (Carrera Lakes), Tom Morgan (Tanker 721) and Richard Black (Tidal Garden). Architecture Architecture director Michael Roper is co-curating the exhibition.
Posted: February 14th, 2011 | Filed under: Architecture, Exhibitions, Michael Roper | Comments Off