Architecture & High Performance Technology
School of Digital Arts, Pyrmont
The arts and culture can make a considerable and necessary contribution to the well-being of communities. They are powerful tools with which to engage communities in various levels of change. They are means to public dialogue, contribute to the development of a community’s creative learning and can create healthy communities capable of action. This project emerged from recognition of a lack of arts and cultural facilities in Pyrmont, especially along its northern edge, contributing to a lack of vibrancy along the public spaces of the north foreshore. The creation of a new arts facility, in conjunction with a residential tower, was planned to play a role in attracting businesses and communities to the area, and increasing the density and intensity of use along the foreshore.
Inspired by Vivid Sydney, the focus of the project developed into a School of the Digital Arts. The masterplan consists of two buildings; the school itself projects out into the water’s edge, with a residential tower to the west. Between the two a new public space is created, which acts as an ‘urban cinema’; a racked landscape steps down to the water, acting as seating where the public can sit and watch the latest student work, or movies on a Friday night, projected onto the Art School wall. The wall itself is a double-skin of polycarbonate, designed to glow with the vibrancy of activity within at night. Integrated within are a series of 360 degree dual projection screens which allow students to present their work to their peers inside, and the public space outside simultaneously. Yet, the building doesn’t just talk to the adjacent plaza; the projections would be visible from across the Sydney Bays precinct, allowing residents of Glebe, or those crossing the Anzac Bridge to see the art on show. The building thus ties the fragmented nature of the Bays Precinct together, visually, across the water.