Phoenix Central Park
Perth, WA | Wadjuk
A series of nodal artworks which complement the choreography of pedestrian movement. By day, the glass surface functions as reflective mirrors creating continual dialogue between the viewer, the landscape and the built environment, while at night, the glass surface exudes a soft coloured glow functioning as wayfinding elements through the University campus.
Artist Warren Langley’s concept is drawn from the idea of a “Living Knowledge Stream” – a reference to an actual paleochannel buried beneath the Curtin University precinct approximately 12,000 years ago.
The different artwork elements have been placed in positions along the green campus infrastructure and allude to waterholes, campsites and gathering places that would have once been in place along the stream system.
The underlying narrative of the public art theme ‘seeing the unseen’, creating a connection between the past, present and future and re-affirming the cultural connection to water.
Tilt supported artist Warren Langley through the concept design, detailed design, fabrication and installation process. The utilisation of low energy lighting and durable materials were prominent considerations when developing the design.
The sculptural elements consist of stainless steel structural frames glazed with a custom laminated glass developed specifically for this project. Utilising a reflective glass typically used in architectural facade glazing for the daytime mirrored effect, this layer provides 100% mirror imaging with only 58% light reflection.
This specialist glazing product is laminated with translucent coloured films and another layer of glass providing the unique transformative effect from day to night.
Internally, white LED technology illuminates the artworks at night. No digital interface or colour changing is required since the glass interlayers provide the colour and glow.
The artworks were conceived to provide a long design life. Whilst chosen materials are recyclable, durability and longevity were the focus for this installation. Equally, the low energy LED system has a long life and draws little power for great effect.
Each of the three sites required a different integration detail. Careful consideration for the surrounding landscape during both design and construction was required. Conceived to rest amongst planting, in paved thoroughfares, and on adjoining landscape features, the eight elements reflect their surroundings and remain somewhat camouflaged during the day before emerging as markers at dusk.
The project commenced prior to the Covid epidemic and was completed mid 2022. As with many projects developed during this time the project team was faced with many challenges in design, procurement, and installation that varied from the original plan. Remaining agile and creative at all times, the team were able to onboard local talent in Perth to complete the works as part of the team.
A series of eight elements configured in three related sculptural forms that undergo a unique day to night transition.
The materiality of the artworks, the playful nature of their reflections, the evening glow and their scale translate the forms to become active participants in the landscape, embedded in the visual language of their surroundings.
Exchange is a $300M project, the first precinct to be delivered at Curtin University’s Perth Campus in response to the Greater Curtin Master Plan. This ambitious project is a transformational build that will cultivate a vibrant social, professional and commercial urban community. It is home to the new School of Design and the Built Environment, two new student accommodation buildings, a hotel and residential apartments, in addition to industry and retail space and recreational areas.
For Curtin’s Exchange Precinct the major consideration was that public art and higher education both promote the free exchange of ideas and innovation.The aim was for public art at Exchange to respond to the intellectual and creative ambitions of that place, assisting with the creation of places that are fertile grounds for creativity, critical thinking, and interaction; delivering a stimulating human scale experience.
Importantly, the artworks enhance the aesthetic of the Exchange Precinct – adding to the physically attractive, user-friendly and seamlessly integrated built environment for the enjoyment of those who live, work, visit and study in the area.