Client: Canberra Airport Group
Location: Canberra, Australia
Completion date: 2016
Guida Moseley Brown Architects
Within the design of the Canberra International Airport, GMB actively supported the client’s intentions to include major sculptural works into internal and external spaces by working directly with the artist, Andrew Rodgers. GMB worked with Andrew determining size, placement, orientation, mounting, character of finishes, and lighting for each piece, “I Am” – apparently the largest bronze in the Southern Hemisphere, in the airside atrium, and "Perception & Reality 1” in an external courtyard. Each piece integrated into the nature of the spaces with architectural elements creating a whole, so the artworks become a natural component of the space.
The goal of the integration of artworks was established by the client, and enthusiastically supported by GMB, in which a variety of artworks were to be created enriching the experiences of travellers and those that visit or work within the terminal’s buildings and gardens. Given the public nature of the building, and the sometimes fleeting experience of hurried travellers, the large scale nature of the works were to be “taken-in" quickly, however, the fine nature of the making of each piece was given access by the placement of the works directly on the floor or low base.
Each piece was scaled to be able to be appreciated from two floor levels, and each was conceived by the artist to be compelling from every point of view, and the positioning helps weave the works into the changing light of day and evening. The works have a fluid dynamic character that is registered in the dynamic faceted character of the building.
The projects were initiated by the client and upon identification of a direction with the artist GMB were introduced into the process, meeting with the artist, briefing about the design, and collaboratively assessing likely locations and their varying characteristics, and identifying differing design possibilities including the relationship with landscape and architectural elements. Once maquettes had been produced following the above sessions, the architects scanned them and 3D visualizations were prepared and reviewed together. Pieces were “tested” at differing sizes and differing orientations, together with mounting preferences and strategic lighting in response to the spaces and related architectural elements.
The commissioning of the pieces were done over time so that this was not a complete instantaneous installation, rather as the airport grows and develops artworks compliment each stage of maturing, making a pattern for longer life possibilities. 'Perception & Reality' by Andrew Rodgers 'Willinga Plume' by Virginia King