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Lantern Box by Night Lantern Box by Night Rudi Van Starrex

ManoArchitects with Jenny Hien

NSW & ACT Entries 2010

Winner of The Outdoor Timber Award, 2010

This sculpture was built for Sculpture by the Sea 2009 - a free outdoor exhibition held over 3 weekends that attracts over 500,000 visitors each year. Held between Bondi and Tamarama Beach along some of the most spectacular sandstone coast cliffs with clear blue ocean and sky as its backdrop.

The sculpture is a gallery for light built entirely of plantation pine timber pallets. Plantation pine was selected for its sustainability, its warm enduring quality of colour to light and its smell - the newly cut timber immerse visitors with the soft raw smell of pine as they entered the box. This smell was very strong at the beginning of the exhibition and slowly faded as the sea spray absorbed the sculpture over the 3 weeks - reinforcing the ephemeral nature of the piece.

Sited to the south of Tamarama Beach, during the day it is animated by sunlight that filters through its apertures and into its cavernous spaces, changing the light quality as the sun moves across the sky. Shadows cast by the pallets change the box’s appearance on the outside resulting in the whole sculpture continuously changing with daylight.

Two solar panels mounted on top charge batteries which turn on lights at dusk transforming the box into a lantern that intensifies through the night.

Sited next to the ocean the sculpture had to be designed to withstand winds of up to 150 km/h with minimal intervention to this sensitive and much loved beach location. The entire sculpture was anchored to the existing concrete stormwater drain with 1.5mm thick X 32mm wide galvanised steel straps at only 6 points. This together with the designer’s desire and discipline to use only a single material (timber pallets) to create the galleries makes the sculpture a most efficient,economical piece of architecture. This was only possible with the use of timber modular pallets (1100mmX1100mm).

It’s proved to be a very popular piece, especially with children who ran inside discovering its spaces and wonder at the blue ocean / sky horizon that opens at its end. All materials at the end of the exhibition were reused or recycled - resulting in no waste.
Entered into:
  • Outdoor Timber – Stand alone structures (Sheds, landscapes, decks, etc), 2010
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