Art in Jasmax: Grad Exhibition

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Sarah Rothwell

When you celebrate a birthday, you generally reflect on the past. For us it’s been the opposite.

As Jasmax celebrates its 50th birthday, our instincts have been to focus on the future, to celebrate the people who will be responsible for our built environment and will face the unique challenges that an unknown future presents.

As designers, we have a collective fascination in studying constructed spaces, and understanding how these aged structures can and have adapted to a continually shifting local context; enabling them to successfully adopt a ‘modern’ use. Essentially, learning from our predecessors to inform our future design decisions on new and innovative projects. However, as the demands of a shifting population changes, how can we anticipate the direction that our future commissions could take?

In 2014, three of our recent Architectural Graduates were selected to enter their final year projects into the 5th year Student Design Awards; their individual and diverse entries typify the potential for a diverse type of project in the future.

The competition involves the nomination of four students from each of New Zealand’s three architecture schools; The University of Auckland, Unitec and Wellington’s Victoria University.

This year, the award’s overall winner was Jasmax Architectural Graduate, Raphaela Rose. In addition, Hayden Grindell and Michael Holehouse were both successful finalists.

Sex(uality) & the City: Counteracting the Cock-up's of Auckland's Main Strip - Raphaela Rose

Raphaela graduated from The University of Auckland’s School of Architecture and Planning before joining Jasmax as an Architectural Graduate in 2014. Since joining the practice she has been involved on presentation, documentation and briefing work for a concept design for a new building at AUT’s City Campus.

Brief: What does the changing nature in the perception of sexuality and sexual economy mean for the built environment? How does this affect our understanding of contemporary architectural discourse?

Response: The Prostitution Reform Act 2003 prompted plans to be drawn for a ‘Super Brothel’ in Auckland’s civic centre. As such, the idea of a new sexual territory, defined by patriarchal modes of urbanism, emerged. Sex(uality) & the City: Counteracting the Cock-up’s of Auckland’s Main Strip explores the notions of sexuality informing the political nature of space, and as such the development of urbanism, sited at the scale of Auckland city.

Citation – NZIA Judging Panel: “Architecture is cleverly and gainfully employed as a mocking tool in this mischievous, satirical project. The scenario calls for the city blocks containing the Sky Tower, casino and proposed new super-brothel to be surrounded by a fun park themed by recent local sex scandals. The result is a joyful, rollicking series of attractions, each of them like an exquisitely and wittily conceived fable. Beneath that sugar-coating, a subversive message filters through, undermining the current environment that has been foisted upon the city.”

Date with Data - Hayden Grindell

Hayden graduated from Victoria University of Wellington School of Architecture before joining Jasmax as an Architectural Graduate in 2014. Since joining the practice he has worked on documentation for the University Of Auckland School Of Engineering in Newmarket, as well as concept design, diagramming and rendering for an Eden Business Park Masterplan.

Brief: Develop an architectural vocabulary for urban Data Centres.

Response: Data Centres are the core infrastructure of digital networks, housing sensitive and immaterial information streams. Typically, these high security buildings are geographically isolated due to their supposed aesthetic and functional incompatibility with urban environments. However, with the growing relevance of digital technology in contemporary social culture, this thesis explores the feasibility of integrating these intrinsically isolatable facilities within a more urban context.

**Citation - NZIA Judging Panel: **“An unglamorous and ordinarily unseen part of our infrastructure – data storage – takes centre stage in this project. Several solutions are investigated, one a self-contained tower of austere beauty. In another, complex, sectional relationships are explored to house disparate uses with deft integration of the ground-plan.”

Conditional Grounds - Michael Holehouse

Michael graduated from Unitec’s Department of Architecture before joining Jasmax as an Architectural Graduate in 2014. Since joining the practice he has worked on diagramming, presentation drawings and documentation for an Auckland Airport project.

Brief: How can architecture’s connection to the ground enrich our experience and engagement with a diverse and challenging site?

Response: The Whangamarino Wetland is an internationally significant freshwater wetland situated in the Waikato. This project seeks to address the lack of access to this rare and important habitat by exploring a range of architectural interventions which are scattered throughout the area. The architecture within this thesis addresses the overlooked connections between built environment, the ground, water and vegetation; the three factors that combine in different degrees to create a variety of unique ever changing conditions, for which architecture needs to respond to.

**Citation – NZIA Judging Panel: **"Conceived as a distilled series of poetic moments, this project sensitively opens the door to a previously inaccessible wetland. Considered, restrained archetypal forms (demonstrated by highly crafted models) have been designed to eloquently acknowledge the ground conditions on which they stand.”

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