The design intent was to look at an residential and pottery / art studio insertion to a bare inner city lot, surrounded by a motley crew of existing industrial buildings. The concept evolved into designing an oasis, abundant with nature within such a concrete and brick clad environ for the interface of Architecture to the intimacy of a garden. The concept of the Green Cage is a contained ideal of the greening of one’s own backyard. In-short, a blurring of the boundary between the landscape and building through a sharing of space. No thought exists of a secreted walled garden but reversed with the garden forming the walls and secreting the house and studio. The Green Cage has been designed for what will over-grow it. Designed to sit proudly; upright within furrowed earthen mounds covered in creeping ivy; undulating like frozen emerald waves and amongst the sudden splash of exploding tall native grasses. The Green cage is designed for the past, now and the future. Purposed as a functioning house and studio, existing as a part of the fabric of urban Melbourne and yet alien, existing as both a familiar and yet an unfamiliar edifice.
Three parts, three functions, serving as one entity. The greening of the physical and mental scape: The Green Cage. “Most people would look at an animal in a cage and instinctively feel that it should be set free – It’s a dangerous world out there, filled with predators – What would you prefer? A comfortable, safe, warm, cosy life in a cage, or an uncertain life of freedom.” – Going Out, written by Scarlett Thomas, 2004.
2012-2013 A’ Design Award – A’ Architecture, Building and Urban Design Award
2011 AAA Cavalier Bremworth Design Awards – ‘Open Conceptual’ Runner Up
Cav Brem Judges’ citation: Beautifully evocative project with a balance of delicacy and robustness. A place that is haunting and imagines a different potential for an abandoned space. Demonstrates a collection of highly liveable spaces in an otherwise tough and unused environment.
Judges: Kerry Hill from Kerry Hill Architects in Singapore; Andrew Patterson of Patterson Associates (NZ) and Nat Cheshire from Cheshire Architects (NZ).
Paintings and 3D Imagery: © Jonathan Gibb 2011