PUBLIC ARCHITECTURE COMMENDATION
Glebe Park Stage
Philip Leeson Architects
What impressed the Jury with this modest example of public architecture was the deference made to its location in Canberra’s oldest municipal park.
The materials, detailing and construction are robust and utilitarian, ensuring the stage will withstand the ravages of its public life, including scheduled exuberant performances and impromptu acts of vandalism.
Clearly, the functional and pragmatic aspects of the project brief have been successfully fulfilled by the architects. However, what is more laudable is the sitting of the stage and the deft use of scale, form and colour that interprets the contrasting light, enclosure and openness of this historic park. The consequence is the creation of an additional ‘incident’ of delight and whimsy in Glebe Park: the Stage ‘fits’ in the park, even when it is not being used for performances, because of its sculptural qualities.
In their submission, Philip Leeson Architects state that the “contemporary language of the stage compliments the existing structures” and the Jury concurs with this assessment. More importantly, it acknowledges the rigour in the conceptual design and to developing a truly referential response rather than the easy option of adapting the architectural expression and detailing of the existing rotunda and toilet block.
The Jury also considers that the quality of the solution is quite remarkable given the very restrained project cost.
The Glebe Park Stage is a small project but there are many lessons for larger pubic works in its conceptual strength and clear regard for its context; it is a worthy project as it exemplifies a deft understanding of form, scale and materials
Architect/Practice: Philip Leeson Architects
Practice Team: Philip Leeson (Design Architect)
Consultant Team: Redbox Design Group (Landscape Consultant), Northrop Consulting Engineers (Structural Consultant), John Raineri & Associates (Electrical Consultant)
Construction Team: Manteena (Project Manager)
Photographer: Chalk Studio