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Re-creating Docklands

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5 January 2012

Sealight Pavillion
The Sealight Pavillion

A new collaboration between Monash University’s Department of Architecture, Grimshaw Architects and Norwegian-based Rintala Eggertsson Architects is helping to breathe life back into Docklands.

Supported by Places Victoria, the Sealight Pavilion was designed and constructed by second and fourth year Monash architecture students under the guidance of Dr John Sadar, Department of Architecture. 

Located at Harbour Esplanade, the Pavilion is a site-specific installation created from reclaimed timber. This choice of materials amplifies the natural phenomena of sea and sky, while offering a counterpoint to the surrounding urban environment, in both scale and experience.

The Sealight Pavilion has been designed as a place to meet, to escape the elements or to simply witness the passage of time.

The issues with the Docklands precinct have been well documented: the failure of the observation wheel, public transport issues, lack of community facilities, building construction problems are just some of them. This new project aims to counter these problems through elegant design and functionality.

‘The project enabled the students to advance their architectural knowledge through practice, akin to how a musician learns through performance. The opportunity to work alongside practising architects was an invaluable experience for the students as they move forward in their studies and embark on a professional career,’ Dr Sadar said.

International architects, Sami Rintala and Dagur Eggertsson, founders of Norwegian architecture firm Rintala Eggertsson, assisted in the development of the Pavilion. The architects are recognised for thinking critically about society and nature in the development of their designs

According to Dr Sadar, the students found it inspiring to work alongside Eggertsson and Rintala, whose knowledge, guidance and support was integral to the success of the project.

The project was funded by Monash University’s Linkage for Learning and Teaching Grants Scheme. In 2011 the Scheme also funded a second project to develop an immersive chromatography laboratory that will facilitate student-centred learning. The laboratory was created in partnership with the Faculty of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and Shimadzu Scientific Instruments.