Inspired design at Architecture van Brandenburg

Yesterday, I had the divine pleasure to be invited as part of the Hive Dunedin team to Architecture Van Brandenburg in Dunedin. I had heard just a little about the amazing 3D models and designs they are working on and I certainly was not disappointed when I saw their design space in person. The featured design for a Chinese client was epic in many ways. Inspiration drawn from natural organic forms was the key theme of the design, yet the design was distinctly still architecturally structured. All aspects and spaces were clearly well considered, no detail too small or insignificant. Using natural structures really is a stroke of genius as all things in nature have a purpose. It surprises me that we don’t look at nature more often to gain inspiration. Only when we disturb nature do we tend to have problems. Form and function go together. From the way a leaf channels water away from itself or towards its roots, the runway tracks that a flower displays to its pollinators, there is purpose. And these purposes can be adapted to be used in design. From effectively transporting rain runoff, to leading guests to their destinations.When you look at the design you see palm leaves, or could it be wings, elliptical leaves. and curved leaf margins. The design is representative of the bird in flight. There are shell inspired rooves and areas that look like dunes. The more I look at it the more I see. This may also be the nature of a building that is clearly a work of art, that the individual sees different things.

Damien and Ashleigh, talked about the construction itself which is underway and expected to take 3 yrs to complete. The many buildings are being constructed of steel and concrete formwork. Hard industrial materials that are in contrast to the natural lines of the buildings. A contrast that works. Where would we be without contrasting elements. Contrast is what draws attention to art or design. Much like colours that are opposite compliment each other. Red and green, purple and yellow. orange and blue. I found one building on the model that seemed out of place. Looking like a lego block. I instantly thought this was planned but in

I found one building on the model that seemed out of place, looking like a lego block. I instantly thought this was planned but in fact it was a happy accident of contrast. It was a building hosting the air-conditioning/ventilation system ( I think I got that right), a building that was not allowed to be altered.

On a larger scale model, we got to see the artwork on the building including the tiles on the roof. This artwork is putting to use gorgeous seconds glazed tiles. Tiles that would otherwise be wasted in an industry where every tile needs to be perfect. The tiles are being broken up to make the mosaic artwork.

Thanks to Damien and Ashleigh for showing the team and students around. I know I found the experience inspiring, and given the questions from our 10-12 group, I could tell they enjoyed it too.”

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