Sunday, July 31, 2011

In the shadows of cliffs

The Tasman Sea is momentarily calm this mid-winter morning.

The shaded cliffs seem to sway as high altitude winds drive icey clouds in crescent arcs across the sky - seemingly echoing the spray of the migrating whales travelling out along the horizon.

Preparing to dive beneath the surface.

And returning with a bag of winter crays.


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Observations on harbourscape

This harbour city is fortunate to retain significant remnant landscape. 
(Nielsen Park on the southern shore. Bradleys Head on the northern shore.)

However, like this incongrous statue at Point Piper, much of our built environment is displaced, dislocated, looking outwards but not seeing inwards, and unable to converse in the "language" of its landscape.

In those precious places where the Sydney harbourscape retains continuity with its long evolution it is characterised by an inter-relationship of salt water, filtered and reflected light, endemic flora and sandstone geology.
(Clifton Gardens)

Sydney's sandstone weathers into dramatic organic / fluid-like forms that challenge and contrast with our cartesian origins. Wind currents sculpt curved surfaces, honey-comb pockets and arches.
(Taylors Bay)

Aeolian weathering.
(Nielsen Park)

Some examples of positive intervention within the harbourscape:
Defence structure.
(Bradleys Head)

Public place.
Craig Burton Associates
(Bradleys Head)

Natural shelter for first inhabitants.
(Bradley's Head)

Contemporary shelter at the harbour's edge.
Open to harbour.
Stefan Lesiuk - Architect
(Camp Cove)

Screened elevation to street.

Elegant materials well organised.
Yet native hardwoods (instead of WRC), local sandstone (instead of limestone) and endemic flora (instead of exotics) would have been more meaningful to context.
Still, this house generates a positive dialogue with the scattered sunlight and breezes of the harbour's edge.

Filtered internal sunlight.

A summary of this morning's themes - salt water, filtered and reflected light, endemic flora and sandstone geology.
(Steele Point, Nielsen Park)

Turning away from the harbour, shadows cast by a Port Jackson fig fall across a sandstone ledge.
(Steele Point, Nielsen Park)

Contemplating this morning's wandering around the harbourscape.
Our brightly coloured kayaks incongruous components of the transitory built environment. Or are they?

Naturally occuring red and yellow ochres.
(Bradleys Head)