Australia’s earliest settlers encountered a landscape they perceived to be harsh and expansive - ‘they did not see the landscape of infinite space as sublime’ (Malouf, 2010). Elizabeth Farrelly suggests this has led to a self-perpetuating condition in the national psyche - one where the immediate move towards occupation of this landscape is through an endless proliferation outward, along the ground plane. This notion paradoxically suggests both an adventurous exploration of the frontier, and a conservative lack of willingness to make a place within the landscape – to dig in.
Walter Burley Griffin’s 1912 masterplan for Canberra was predicated on the notion that modernist tropes in urban planning could be reconciled with the particularities of topography, suggesting an occupation of the Australian landscape rarely aspired to. This proposal returns to these issues bound up in Australian identity and issues of modernity. The lodge is both a development and a critique of the Australian relationship of landscape and dwelling, through an intersection of public assembly, intimate domesticity, and ground plane.
Additional Credits: With Henry Stephens and Jack Davies