Monday 24 September 2007

Mark says it's all about regional contextualism

A strong belief in the importance of regional contextualism has lead to the designs of both Fogarty Park Soundshell and the more controversial City Place performance facility.
...writes Cairns 1st Council candidate, Mark Buttrose.

Regional contextualism is a reaction against the growing homogeneity of cities around the world and picks up on elements of history, patterns, textures and forms that are of the location.

As a city we must question if we should be striving to keep up with trends from the big cities down south and overseas or whether our public and private architecture should build on and reinforce the attributes of this extraordinary region.
Colour is a good example of this - When visiting Melbourne and Sydney you notice colours are predominantly grey monotones however the further you move up the coast the greater colours intensify.
With the design of Fogarty Park soundshell elements unique to our environment have been celebrated. The vivid royal blue external wall colour was derived from a quandong seed, one of this region's most distinctive seed colours.
Bracing to the roof edges follow the forms produced by a radiating palm frond and the abstract pattern to the exterior walls is based on the patterns on the trunk of a palm tree
Likewise City place performance facility has recognized place in a number of ways. Early maps show City Place as being on the edge of a sandbar and a saltwater swamp and pandanus palms would have grown prolifically in that environment. The perforated screens to the front edge of the roof are inspired by the underside view of a pandanus. Now lying on the lawn looking up is a reminder of what was.
The oval kicked up roof was inspired from the form of the seed pod of a hook vine creeper and the pattern on the legs are that of the Pandanus monticola - another one of the regions most distinctive seed colours. The yellow arrows as they have been termed by one councilor are actually yellow filaments that occur on the fruit. The leg pattern was a collaboration between the Architect and Wally Wallwork, a local contemporary artist currently receiving national and international recognition.
The City Place shell has received comments alleging the original images do not look like what was built. These are well founded as the covered structures providing sun and rain protection between buildings were not built however footings are in place should they be built in future.
These would certainly provide more shade to City Place.
The current debate is interesting to say the least and I hope additional background will help inform the debate. Architectural discussion in a community should be encouraged.
To promote this local Chapter of the Institute of Architects are proposing to write a regular column in the Cairns Sun or Cairns Post. It aims to raise awareness of architectural issues both locally and internationally.
It is anticipated first column will be launched as a part of Architecture Week which is between the 21st and 27th of October.

To contact Mark,
you can email him
or telephone on 0417 600 828.


Anonymous said...

Mr. Buttrose is making comments typical of the overhyped "architect" class. Here he's blathering on about why something has been painted blue, while Tom Hedley continues to build the most atrocious gaol towers around the CBD with impunity. The most recent monstrosity is the office block on Sheridan street - the first 20 meters are solid bare concrete walls with no architectural softening at all, being used as car parks (which rightly should be underground). Hedley's other buildings include the tacky Lake Street towers near the wharf, that make the area pedestrian unfriendly and have zero greenspace.

Where has Buttrose been when council has asked for submissions on these issues?

Instead he blathers on about seed pods and palm tree trunks. Reminds me of fiddling while Rome burns. A little self-absorbed, aren't we Mr. Buttrose???

Anonymous said...

Thank you Mark for giving us an insight to this structure, you no doubt are perplexed as to why your design was not built in its entirety. Thats just a KB cost saving measure, Im sure. Keep up the good work and ignore stupid remarks and dumb comments like the previous one !

Anonymous said...

Inspiring Spin

Well Mark you seem to have the delivery of your opinion down pat! But will you be able to separate your views from that of the general community? There are some issues you might wish to address, the mere fact that you can be found on the same web page as people such as Leigh Ratcliffe who is currently destroying Buchan Point and many other developers who carry out similar activities. You draw your inspirations from nature and this is wonderful, Peter Lic the photographer does the same through a different medium yet when he was informed of the environmental damage being done by Thakeral on the Argentea Palm Cove site he immediately withdrew his authority to utilise his photographs to promote this environmentally unsavoury development, (Sno Bonneau gave them some of his snap shots but they were rejected, deemed too bias) would you be willing to take this type of action??

Anonymous said...

I've heard from the horses mouth(the one WITHOUT the flu) that noise is a hot potential issue for local business' before it's even had a performer performing-it seems the final arbitrators of who is deemed suitable to play at city place are a couple of the local establishments. This horse also suggested that this was NOT the premier performance space in Cairns?
I have a horrible feeling that we've made a 'frond' for life with this structure and with fronds like this, who needs enemies! As a musician, I find it hard to believe that no one thought about consulting an experienced sound tech re the acoustics-Important consideration for a performance space-even though it's not REALLY the main one?-don't you reckon?
I'll ask the question again-where is the old sound-shell? Can there be some discussion about resurrecting it in an appropriate public space i.e. a park somewhere for suburban performances?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Moore - it would seem that instead of achieving your "goal" to tar the mayor and council one more time (by using an announced candidate for councillor) you instead have only proven that this "candidate" is ill-equipped to address the issues facing development in this city.

Instead we've just got another swellheaded architect too enamored with his perceived role, who has forgotten the whole purpose of his job - to build useful and practical spaces FIRST and attempt to build self-aggrandizing monuments SECOND.

Good job, Mike!

Anonymous said...

regional contextualism ?
I must say there is no way I'm going to vote for someone who can use that many words to justify something that looks like shit.
There are no two story mushrooms in Cairns (unless you have eaten some of the little tiny ones - but I digress)
Bureaucratic techno-speak is not an admirable trait in an aspiring councillor to be.

However much the ugliness is there because of structural needs – it’s still awful

Anonymous said...

I am gagging myself re: Mark Buttrose's comments. The salient point is that, inexplicably, both stages were designed without proper consideration for their primary purpose i.e.the provision of live music. As far as I am aware, there was minimal consultation with musos. The Toad Stool is a disaster from a performing viewpoint. The sound is shit (largely because the area is not contained, unlike the old sound shell), there is inadequate space on stage and when it rains, equipment will get wet. Besides which the cafes abutting the stage — and their clients — are reportedly already complaining about the increased noise!