Our design concept for Forrest Place and the city of Perth presents a new form of urban tissue: part artwork, part architecture, part infrastructure and part media.
At a basic level, the proposal acts as a canopy and entry portal between the train station and Forrest Place, responding in specific ways to the various edges, views, flows, and environmental forces. At a deeper level, the design is a 'sensing tissue' – one that collects energy during the day and emanates at night, energizing a media rich canopy for a nighttime interactive light artpiece.
In terms of light, both natural and artificial, the artwork visualizes the juxtaposition between deeper 'aboriginal time' and modern time. The daytime experience is based in natural forces – sun, wind, etc., while the night is based in technology and electric light. Overlapping layers of material make the project a kind of conceptual clock that displays changing patterns on the groundplane, representing daily and seasonal change. Solar energy is absorbed during the day by a plane of thin film solar photovoltaics. This stored energy is released at night producing electric light effects that range from simple color fields to more interactive registrations of the crowds and movement below. The concept reinforces Perth as the 'City of Lights', while presenting a self-generating energy capture system that serves as a model for future projects.
Further functioning at other levels, the canopy doubles as an overhang for the 'stage' area and produces an ideal acoustical background 'band shell' for performances.