Frame Publishers
Mark #52 Oct/Nov 2014

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It’s been five years since the Black Saturday bushfires caused devastation in Victoria, Australia.

In Mark #52, we look back at what has been achieved by the Bushfires Home Service, an intiative for coordinating the efforts of volunteer architects who were offering help.

Architects from the country’s foremost practices such as Architects EAT, John Wardle Architects, Clare Cousins Architects, Irons McDuff Architecture, Julie Firkins Architects and BVN Donoval Hill share their experiences and memories, while discussing the ramifications of living in the Australian bush and the various challenges of the reconstruction process.

In the Long Section, we review Estudio Barozzi Veiga’s glacial concert hall in Szczecin, Poland; two houses by Tham & Videgård in the peaceful Swedish countryside and the contextually-driven approach of Stuttgart-based Lederer Ragnarsdóttir Oei. Architecture BRIO gives us a tour of a one-of-a-kind doll house, after which we catch up with the up-and-coming Canadian firm 5468796.

Jochen Specht shows us around his new home in rural Austria, after which we enter the graphic and urban world of Lisbon-based artist Vhils. We take one last look at Zaha Hadid’s Design Centre in Seoul before asking blogger, critic and curator Ethel Baraona Pohl to recommend us her favourite books.

Cross Section:

B-ILD, Vib, Morris Adjmi, Aedas, Studio Liu Kecheng, Stromae, Andra Matin, Mecanoo, ICD|ITKE|IIGS, Leth & Gori, Estudio Carmen Pinós, MAD, Bennett and Trimble, Theo Deutinger, Fuse Atelier, Bethem Crouwel, PFP, Caramel

Perspective: Black Saturday – Five Years Later

  • Jennifer Calzini reflects on the Black Saturday bushfires that ravaged Victoria, Australia, in early 2009 and introduces the Bushfire Homes Service.
  • Albert Mo and James Coombe of Architects EAT talk about the difficulties they’ve encountered in bushfire zones.
  • Andy Wong of John Wardle Architects stresses the importance of letting the victims of fire make their own decision regarding the design of their new homes, free of any pressure.
  • Clare Cousins talks about her proposal and its built adaptation: the Chrismas Hills House.
  • Kim Irons of Irons McDuff Architecture thinks there are broader strategic issues beyond the design of fire-resistant homes.
  • Julie Firkin of Julie Firkin Architects talk about how her participation lead her to further investigate community centres that double as refuges.
  • Ninotschka Titchkosky of BVN Donovan Hill talks about rebuilding the Narbethong Community Hall.

Long Section:

  • Estudio Barozzi Veiga in Sczcecin, Poland, design a new concert hall that echoes both Hanseatic architecture and projects by German expressionists.
  • Tham and Videgård in Sweden finished two country houses show the virtues of restraint.
  • Lederer Ragnarsdóttir Oei in Stuttgart, Germany, fuse past and present in their buildings.
  • Architecture BRIO in Mumbai, India, downscales domestic life for a collection of Barbie dolls
  • 5468796 in Winnipeg, Canada, shakes up the local status quo by doing things their way.
  • Jochen Specht in Dornbirn, Austria, wraps his old house in a glass skin to give it a new lease of life.
  • Vhils in Lisbon, Portugal, uses carving techniques and explosives to give urban walls a new meaning.
  • Zaha Hadid Architects in Seoul, South Korea, designed a cavernous experience that could end up being hollow.
  • Ethel Baraona Pohl in Barcelona, Spain, believes in learning by doing, collective criticism and books that never end.

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