Rewiring an art school
The NSW College of Fine Arts required a new gallery as a threshold between the school and public. Our project resolved the three primary programs – gallery, administration and services – into three tubes. Each tube starts in a different corner of the site most appropriate for that function and resolves in the location of the new gallery.
This system of intertwining tubes led us to Hermes “caduceus”, the magical staff that enabled him to lead the soul across the threshold into the “other world”. Made from a staff and two intertwining serpents, the Caduceus is, according to Jung, “not straight but snake-like, a path that unites opposites, a path whose labyrinthine twists and turns are not lacking in terrors. It is on this longissima via that we meet with those experiences which are said to be ‘inaccessible.'”
Like the Caduceus, our dancing tubes provide in their frozen choreography a labyrinthine object that acts as a threshold between the many contrasting worlds embodied in the site. Formally, the “dancing tubes” provides a new, strong identity to the campus, winding its way from the street into the site as a labyrinthine complex that, at the one hand, forms linkages with the various components, while also providing a “ritualistic” space (the gallery) where the intersection of episteme and techne, the collegium and factory, theory and practice, can be contemplated.
Intertwining Programs, Sketch
Existing Back of House
Back of House, Relocated