Within Merlbourne’s urban center, the 2 Girls Building by local architecture practice Kavellaris Urban Design is a mixed use building that fuses art, photography and architecture. The project explores the relationship between the three disciplines and blurs their respective boundaries resulting in one craft overlapping and appropriating with the characteristics of the others in the form of a new medium. As a result photography appropriates architectural materiality and photography shifts into the architectural space of the third dimension. Architecture becomes photography, photography becomes architecture and the building becomes a hybrid urban artefact within the built environment.
KUD collaborated with Melbourne artist Samantha Everton during the design process to ensure a collaborative integration of art forms throughout the project. The “Masquerade”, from Everton’s ‘Vintage Dolls’ series, that features on the building façade, was specifically selected for its familiar vernacular in its subject matter which is synonymous with inner city traditional domestic spaces and more importantly, for the drama and theatre it provides to the public realm. The primary circulation space doubles as a de facto art gallery with art works on display, dividing the offices, warehouse spaces and residential apartments.
“The collaboration injected another layer of complexity; unintentionally exchanging and swapping the roll of the architect to artist and the artist to architect. The boundaries of the alliance were blurred, redefining ‘the artist’ and ‘the architect’ as one expression. This synergy spawned a hybrid typology and ensured that the photo‐archi‐art prevailed” KUD architects’ team explain.
all images © PETER CLARKE