Wesley Uniting Church site is located in between Lonsdale St and Lt Lonsdale St connecting both streets with ample open space. It currently comprises of the Church and several supporting building operating as welfare centres,i.e.: drug adiction, BIG ISSUE. The yard behind the church now serves as parking areas. Corridors surrounding the church are often used for â€˜retreatâ€™ for office workers in need of ciggarette break. In front of the church the street are divided with more parking spaces while at the back, in Lt. Lonsdale St two storeys offices are mostly vacant waiting to be leased. The site is flanked by highrise apartment and office building.
MAG MELBOURNE ARTIST GYM
Melbourne Artist Gym is always a gallery, but also a 24 hour cinema, working studios, a publishing house, an art market, a banquet hall, a leisure centre and a bar. ARTIST IN RESIDENCE Artists-in-Residence are from all spectrums of the artistic landscape: professional artists looking for more community while they work, artists who are between private studios, artists visiting from other states or countries looking for studio space for a few months, artists who are working on a specific project, artists who have outgrown painting in their apartments as well as recent art school graduates. Many residential art centers lay down the terms guest artists have to comply with, such as an exhibition at the end of the period or a project, achieved by collaboration with other artists or cooperation with the public. The village provides a forum on support for today’s artists, professional development opportunities to the field and research. Connect artists through networking opportunities, artists, students, and others to information on artists’ communities and the field to other professionals in the arts and beyond. It promotes the collaboration and exchange that cross traditional boundaries, mobility of artists promotes dialogue between the different cultural groups they work with. How the Artist-in-Residence is relevant for artists: >Going for production: realizing a fixed, individual project technical tools, facilities and resources available to utilise making art works for exhibition orientation for future production in the region >Going for isolation: away from daily worries or demanding pressures of the artist’s profession taking in a different environment and culture anticipating new insights and inspiration >Going for working together: meeting local artists, other international residency artists working with other artists realizing a project giving lectures & workshops >Going for your professional career: exploring arts in another country and culture contacting artists’ initiatives, galleries, museums, publishing house
MAG MELBOURNE ARTIST GYM DESIGN STRATEGY: A GAME OF SUBVERSION Through site analysis, it was discovered that surrounding buildings have typically minimalist repetitive geometrical patterns as facade which correspond to their program as offices and residential apartments. The entire block on which the site sits lacks in cultural character and by chance the church is the only decorative element. This presents an opportunity to formulate a heavily ornamental proposal to inject variation of character. Given the site is mostly surrounded by offices and apartments, routinity is unescapable therefore this new development will feature a program that is dynamic, which promotes participation from the community as well as form a new group of society which altogether change prevailing system surrounding the area. To support a possibly ornamental building is something that deals with creative environment, thus MAG Melbourne Artist Gym is conjured. It will comprise an ArtistIn-Residence program, working space for artists called Theatre of Operation, Mixing Chamber for communication with general public, and Dine--a church converted dining hall caters for artists and public. Because Surrealism has to be the driving force behind this proposal, a simple preservation of the church willl not be sufficient. Therefore a strategy is to retain the church without idolising the building, given it is the most valuable decorative element to act as catalyst for the complex--original form has to be maintained within the proposal so that a connection can be drawn between design outcome and its origin. The ideal approach is a game of subversion, it only works when the object in question is visible to the eye thus evidently performed to the church. This approach is further supported by the fact artist is typically working in this manner, it will be an interesting artistic intervention of large scale.
MAG MELBOURNE ARTIST GYM DESIGN STRATEGY: A GAME OF SUBVERSION Only significant features will be subjected to subversion, i.e.: functionality of the church, flatness of the ground, facade treatment. It goes as follows: i.church > to strip off religious connotations which might prevent multicultural assembly--whole building covered in white paint including all openings, stained glass even the rooftop: wall detailings and texture retained for cultural character, church’s age will be concealed, colourless wall change how the buildings is perceived. >interior’s apparent flat ground replaced with contours/grass mounds continue upwards to form light tunnel, challenging towers’ height and function. >church floors now serves for dining >floor outside the church carved and filled with water and edges of the pool made higher from church‘s floor to give the impression the church is sinking. >staircase added in the tower for access to roftop, gradient of slope installed with seatings for rooftop cinema, projecting onto opposite building’s wall. ii. Artist-in-residence building walls serve as projector screen for rooftop cinema, the building leans against office building next to it, parasitic replacing current blank wall facing the site. iii.claiming Jones Ln lane next to the site is located outside the boundary, the apparent border line is blured by converting it to serve the bar, walls of new building carved out to accomodate seatings and gradient ramps constructed onto the lane’s floor directing public into stage pit also the main entrance of the complex. this pit is flanked by two stages continuing carved out seats. from the pit there is a ramp directing to one face of the church, new entrance into church/dining hall.
iv. entrance main entrance is approached from Jones Ln, there are two other passageway opening connecting flanking Lonsdale/Lt Lonsdale streets, informal entrance directed by close proximity of building walls which frames portion of churchâ€™s white wall treating it similarly to framed painting. v. art square open space bordered by buildings serve as art square, shading device used typically Gothic period fan vaulting inspired from those inside the church is multiplied and brought outside to serve new functions. they also serve to commemorate churchâ€™s style that is now concealed with white paint. vi.theatre of operation/mixing chamber theatre of operation houses several types of working space for artist i.e.: studios, workshops, recording room, digital media lab and library while Mixing Chamber houses a place for communication with public i.e.: exhibition galleries, performance theatre, film launch and screening and art market. these two buildingsâ€™ facades perform as ornamental agents for the site adorned with locally found ornamentation. vii. ornament ornamentation sourced for this complex is derived from typical suburban houses of Australia, in this case specifically Victorian filigree design. By adopting the patterns, sense of connection with history and tradition of Melbourne can be afforded which thus make the ornamentations to be sufficiently local to represent Victorian character and indispensable because it belongs to Melbournian.