Home' Commercial : Commercial 2014 Contents SCOOP Commercial Building & Design 145
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Perth is set upon and around an incredible
set of natural landscapes, but there are very
few locations in which architecture has
been allowed the freedom to be integrated
As Perth grows more dense, we need greater
opportunities for leisure and recreation, and we
should not be scared to allow responsible and
sympathetic development on our shorelines.
The Leça de Palmeira swimming baths and
Boa Nova Tea House in Porto, Portugal, are two
projects that demonstrate the architect’s intimate
familiarity with the landscape through seamless
integration with its rock formations, ocean and
coastal vegetation. Designed by Alvaro Siza, both
projects lie next to a busy road – much like the
edge condition we face along Marine Parade and
West Coast Drive – yet Siza has been mindful of
separating the user’s experience from the road
without blocking views.
The architecture of each project is robust,
considered and respectful of its landscape,
and plays a game of deny and reveal, where the
shoreline and horizon are hidden at some points
and then dramatically exposed at others. This
ensures users recognise elements of the landscape
that they may have never noticed before.
The opportunities created by projects like
these are especially relevant for visitors and
residents who want to enjoy the experience
of these landscapes but desire the comfort of
not being exposed to waves, weather conditions
and marine life.
Perth has ample locations where such projects
could work, and ideally every 15km along the
coast we should have access to these facilities.
In the case of public ocean baths, it would be
great to cleverly integrate lighting to allow night
swimming, and to subtly wash the limestone
formations with reflected light.
LECA DA PALMEIRA SWIMMING
James Thompson, McDonald Jones Architects
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