By Khang Do & Peter Young
Canvas, Bringing artists back into the city is designed to integrate artists and people related to the field back into an urban environment and the public forum. The project aims to be a prototype for potential future developments for art galleries on a global scale. It targets both the problem of the "urban sprawl" in cities such as Perth and also the higher density cities such as New York, London and Berlin. Perth was chosen as our site to combat the ongoing threat of the urban sprawl and to provide housing for people on the outskirts of this sprawl who want to live closer to the city centre. The Art Gallery of Western Australia was chosen as the focal point of our proposal as it resided close to the CBD and in the heart of the cultural precinct while also being within close proximity to a transportation hub, green space, restaurants and cafes. The building itself has the structural capacity to support the timber extension, being constructed from brick. The Rooftop of the building is underutilised and would benefit from the revitalisation provided from a project such as this.In the design process, we questioned what it meant to live above an art gallery and what the environment we wanted to create would be. This evolved into designing a proposal which integrated the artists and occupants, the building and the gallery itself with each other. We approached this by including a central void which created a courtyard acing as an event and outdoor exhibition space for the art gallery and the apartments. Public and private workshop spaces are scattered throughout the three levels of our design, allowing for varying levels of interaction and shared work between occupants allowing for both private work and public workshops to take place, thus making our design an Artist Village of sorts.The target audience is therefore directed at a wide range of individuals. Varying from travelling artists to permanent ones, Art directors to curators, young artists to experienced artists and the general public who have an interest in the arts.The project uses Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) and Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) as its main structural elements. The LVL is used the structural beams spanning a maximum distance of 10m between CLT columns. As well as being an aesthetic feature on the exterior of our building, creating a raw facade which alludes to the gridded structure inside and reinvigorates the existing building. The apartments use a CLT frame with plywood exterior walls. The apartments sit on-top of LVL beams, creating a 300mm gap between the three floors which provides natural ventilation and thermal regulation into the interior courtyard. The Void also acts as an acoustic barrier between floor levels.Canvas gives the opportunity for Art Galleries around the world the ability to connect people, art and the city in a more integrated and intricate way. The artist village creates a community of individuals willing to further the profession and bring life back into the city.