See the Forest pavilion by Akimbo Architecture

See the Forest

The 2021 instalment of the Albury City Council’s annual architecture pavilion, designed by Akimbo Architecture has been announced for November. Previous years of the pavilion have been designed by Raffaello Roselli (2018) and CHROFI Architects (2019). Carly Martin, Director of Akimbo Architecture, is the first local architect invited to design the Summer Place Pavilion.

Akimbo Architecture used the opportunity of designing a temporary pavilion in the main square of Albury to reflect on the experience of summer in the local region, and the significance of the Murray River and specifically the riverside trees and the shade they provide. This ephemeral architecture aims to bridge the divide between QEII Square in the centre of Albury and the surrounding river landscape.

The softly curved form is a container which gathers a collection of large, locally harvested live edge timber slabs. The slabs are positioned vertically, maintaining their connection to the forest from which they came. Along the river, trees may be anywhere up to 1000 years old, linking an ancient Indigenous landscape to the present. These mighty trees have given wood for campfires, bark to craft canoes, and burls and roots for shaping water vessels.

The live edge timber slabs for Summer Place are sourced from a local sustainably managed timber plantation. These trees are part of an ongoing narrative of place, time and experience. The blackened timber board exterior is created from bushfire salvaged timber from the Black Summer bushfires near Corryong. The steel structure is created from the recycled structure of the previous Summer Place, created by CHROFI Architects.

The black curved form is sited askew to the orthogonal geometry of QEII, disrupting and creating a point of gravity within the space. The dynamic yet enigmatic exterior rewards curiosity, and as the viewer approaches the warm tones of the vertical timber slabs are revealed. Within the pavilion, each timber slab is unique, inviting close examination of these natural artworks.

For a moment, the viewer is transported away from QEII, and the only experiences are that of the tall ‘forest’ of timbers – the smell and the touch. The pavilion aims to create discussions around the local environment, sustainability and the meaning of summer in the region. ‘See the Forest’ is located on Wiradjuri Country. Source and images Courtesy of Akimbo Architecture.

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