Under a commission for the show Pavilions for New Architecture at the Monash University Museum of Art (MUMA) in Melbourne, Australia, Elenberg Fraser Architecture contributed a darkly disorienting space. The pavilion is built at 1:3 scale for the exhibition and explores the viewers spatial relationship with form, creating a geometrically altered reality. Visitors crawl through the black plastic envelope on a glass walk and can be observed from various ‘portals’ extending from the vessel. The play in scale, shape and light give the pavilion a sensory manipulation often only described in two dimensional renderings of geometric abstract environments. The manipulation of visual space within the small pavilion creates an illusion of a vast inner world not connected to the same plane of that of its outer vessel in our reality.

The architects dwell on the capacity of architecture to distort environments: 1% is the development of an Architectural position that confirms the key role of the architect as manipulator. Our formula is as follows: Architecture = 1% Conception + 99% Manipulation

Our pavilion is a mirror world; contorted, modified, manipulated by design. The plastic experience of space dissolves conceptions of structure and form into the surface, our continuous world of contortion and deformation. It is an imaginary world – or is it? The reflection in the surface, shadow on mirror, this place is real and not – our disbelief is suspended – and architecture is possible.

Leave a Reply