A day in the Nishi Building

Last Friday I attended a day-long forum called Designing a Capital: Crafting a Nation, put on by Craft ACT. Lots of interesting presentations, not the least about the building we were sitting in, the Nishi Building, part of the New Acton complex.

East facade of the Nishi Building along with some of the graffiti art on the building site hoardings

East facade of the Nishi Building along with some of the graffiti art on the building site hoardings

Architect Craig Baudin (Fender Katsalidis Architects) spoke about the integration of art into the building design process. As he spoke just before lunch I took the opportunity during the break to check out some particularly interesting works.

Sculptor Steven Siegel has made two works for the Nishi building. His sculpture Carbon is woven through the eastern facade of the building near the entrance. It is made from recycled tyre rubber and looks like a series of roots finding its way out of the bottom of the building.

Carbon, sculpture by Steven Siegel

Carbon, sculpture by Steven Siegel

His other work, Paper, is already disappearing into the landscape. It is composed of two years worth of Canberra Times newspapers, stacked to make a wall at the end of the access road. The development of this work over time will be fascinating to watch, particularly as the plants on top of the wall start growing into the work.

Newspaper sculpture using two years worth of old Canberra Times newspapers

Paper by Steven Seigel. Newspaper sculpture using two years worth of old Canberra Times newspapers

You can read more about Steven and his work for Nishi here or check out Steven’s website here.

Last but certainly not least is the grand staircase, currently moving majestically towards the yet unfinished Nishi Hotel. Designed by the March Studio group and composed of offcuts of wood, including some leftovers from the building’s facade this amazing collection of timber is the highlight of the foyer. I’m not sure if it was low blood sugar or plain excitement, but I managed to get only blurry photos of this masterpiece.

The Grand Staircase, in the Nishi Building foyer by March Studio Melbourne

The Grand Staircase, in the Nishi Building foyer by March Studio Melbourne

Some clearer photos can be found here.

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