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Updating the Picturesque: Inserting Architecture into Karijini National Park

Part 0 Project 2004
Tessa Forde
Curtin University Perth Australia
This project examined how and why architecture could be inserted into Karijini National Park, located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The thesis was structured according to stages of discovery (site documentation), development ("unseen" site documentation) and synthesis of research, which were re-combined to create both an ephemeral and permanent form of accommodation for visitors to the national park.

An ephemeral modular tent was designed as a system for responding to specific plant species within the national park and for re-orientating the viewer within the landscape toward specific landscape features. Coupled with this, a visitors lodge and botanic garden was designed to allow visitors to experience a broad range of different ecological properties of the National Park, in one condensed location.

The reason and outcome of this thesis was to shift the notion of architecture and edifice in a National Park from being a labelling device of landscape phenomena to one that actively teaches about the underlying modes of indigenous cultural significance, ecological scientific operation, western landscape artistic interpretation and meanings of landscape, in addition to being able to enhance visitor experience.


An ephemeral modular tent was designed as a system for responding to specific plant species within the national park and for re-orientating the viewer within the landscape toward specific landscape features. Coupled with this, a visitors lodge and botanic garden was designed to allow visitors to experience a broad range of different ecological properties of the National Park, in one condensed location.

The reason and outcome of this thesis was to shift the notion of architecture and edifice in a National Park from being a labelling device of landscape phenomena to one that actively teaches about the underlying modes of indigenous cultural significance, ecological scientific operation, western landscape artistic interpretation and meani

Tessa Forde


The project explored, through a design project and an accompanying written exegesis, the placement of architectural objects into the landscape as devices of interpretation and appreciation. The setting, in a remote National Park in northern Western Australia, provided a challenging site. In recording and designing the project, Adams sought to find a way of understanding the landscape via three frames of interpretation - the botanical, the indigenous and the colonial-picturesque. Through these frames he re-worked notions of the ‘contemporary picturesque’ as a design generator to create an extraordinarily sensitive and original series of permanent and temporary architectural shelters and landscape interventions.

Tutor(s)


2004
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