Eleven unbuilt projects find new life at 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale

A war memorial, jewel cave and an inner-city cathedral are among 11 unrealised architectural Australian gems that have been unearthed and will finally be constructed as part of Australia’s exhibition at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale, Augmented Australia 1914-2014.

From a treetop activist shelter 80 metres above ground in south western Tasmania to a sustainable, lightweight ‘second skin’ that envelop’s redundant office towers and propels them into power-generating, rainwater-collecting hubs, the 11 projects span the country and are set to capture the minds of visitors to the world’s largest architecture festival.

Australia’s creative team for the Biennale, felix._Giles_Anderson+Goad, will bring these projects to life through three-dimensional augmented models, images, voiceovers and animations.

Following the announcement of the creative team in July, a call-out was issued for ten unbuilt contemporary Australian buildings to accompany ten historical unrealised designs, which will be revealed at the exhibition opening during the Vernissage and the new Australian Pavilion by Denton Corker Marshall, which will then be under construction in Venice.

The selection panel was overwhelmed by the talent and ideas behind the submissions that the project was expanded to include 11 works.

The successful projects are:

  • Darwin City Waterfront Signature RestaurantSusan Dugdale and Associates
  • Museum of Contemporary Artfjmt (Francis-Jones Morehen Thorp)
  • Caught UnawaresMvS Architects
  • (un)Common Earth_National World War I & World War II Memorial, CanberraMulloway Studio
  • Styx Valley Protest ShelterAndrew Maynard Architects
  • Lodge on the Lakem3architecture
  • Jewel Cave Visitor Centreiredale pedersen hook architects
  • Tower SkinLAVA
  • Carlton United Brewery Site, Swanston St MelbourneARM Architecture
  • Hybrid Cathedraltessellate a+d
  • RMIT University – Sports Centre – Lyons

‘The great part about these contemporary projects is that they are almost completely unknown; however, have been submitted by some of the best architects in Australia. Our concept for the exhibition will bring the projects to life for the first time and allow us to explore the ideas and stories behind their design and inception.

‘The projects were deliberately chosen to represent all of Australia. We believe that the selections will cleverly negotiate Rem Koolhaas’s Fundamentals theme and offer a true national perspective of the architecture of Australia,’ the creative team said.

The exhibition is constructed around augmented reality, activated with an app for smart devices, which provides a platform to capture the imagination of the public in an interactive, self-directed way.

‘Visitors will be able to point their smart phone at the trigger images to open up a catalogue of virtual material allowing them to visualise, walk through and admire the scale and greatness of each project,’ explained Professor Rene Van Meeuwen of felix. and the University of Western Australia.

The exhibition is supported by Austral Bricks, Smeg, Zip Industries, IBL Limited, University of WA, Café di Stasio and Architecture Media. In addition, the Institute gratefully acknowledges the support given by the Australia Council for the Arts.