Throughout my 4 years of studying Interior Architecture at UNSW, I find that the key to a successful design is to respond to the specific needs and character of the site, the client and the program. By doing so, not only the design will be meaningful to the client and the users, but also the design will have a unique character that is personalised and specific to its context. As a designer, I believe that a balance between form and function, as well as the significance of lighting and detail design, are important to create a successful design.
Lifespace: A Precinct for Health and Wellbeing
The issue of sustainability has been very popular these days, yet human sustainability is often not being the top priority when being compared to environmental sustainability. Lifespace seeks to offer urban population a recreation facility where they can escape from their daily lives while also restoring their health and wellness by improving their lifestyle habits. This is supported by the programs offered in Lifespace which encourage healthy eating, physical activity and relaxation. Lifespace also focus on creating a space that is accessible to the entire public and encourages social interaction, allowing it to be a living space for the community. As WBPS has previously caused numerous health issues for the community, it is time for the site to give back and restore the damage it has caused. WBPS used to be the symbol of industrialisation in Sydney. Lifespace seeks to offer WBPS the opportunity to become the new symbol of Sydney, a city that is future-oriented and sustainable.
In order to encourage visitors to improve their lifestyle habits, it is essential to first make them aware of its importance. Therefore, the project is driven by the idea of creating awareness, providing education in relation to health and wellbeing and finally applying the healthy lifestyle habits. A visit to the site can be seen as a journey from being in an inhumane, unhealthy space to the one that is very humane and supports healthy lifestyle. This idea is supported by the design language, especially scale and form, choice of materials, and the type of programs available. Upon entering the main entrance, the existing character of the Turbine Hall is amplified by the new insertion, highlighting its large, voluminous space. The dominant materials, such as brass and white pigmented concrete, draws reference back to the previous use of the site as a power station. As visitors move through to the neighbouring buildings, the scale of the spaces becomes increasingly smaller and more humane materials are starting to be introduced. The journey ends with the meditation space. The choice of materials, the dominant element of water and the play of light offer visitors to relax and reconnect with their environment and themselves.