Making: history, sculpture and big things

Tonkin, P 2016, Making: history, sculpture and big things, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Architecture and Design, RMIT University.

Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

Title Making: history, sculpture and big things
Author(s) Tonkin, P
Year 2016
Abstract In this dissertation I have researched thirty years of professional practice and demonstrated how my creative engagement is focussed on built rather than ideal projects, most often in the public realm, that can be realised with a sculptural directness of material and that embody a spectrum of fertile architectural ideas.
The projects representing this broad range of completed and uncompleted work have been selected to exemplify four major architectural themes. The first, comprises a long and inter-related strand of refurbishment projects beginning with the Hyde Park Barracks in Sydney. The second represents a range of projects where form and meaning are more significant than purely functional aspects, and comprises a series of significant war memorials in Australia and overseas. The third is a diverse group of very large infrastructure and urban design projects. The last category is ‘buildings’: representing those projects that are not primarily heritage, sculpture or infrastructure, but which have embodied engaging ideas. These are the bulk of what most architects do from day to day, but interestingly comprise a relatively smaller proportion of my output. The single project selected to represent each category conveys many of the architectural concerns of the entire practice and is analysed in detail, whist other relevant examples are more briefly reviewed to gain a wider perspective.
The research has highlighted the marginal position of some of TZG’s work, and thus these projects are not dealt with in detail. These categories include unbuilt projects and a range of straightforward and simple buildings, the ‘bread and butter’ of architecture, the more significant of which are catalogued in Volume Two of the dissertation.
Emerging from the research is a clear basis of architectural ideas relating to the concept of phenomenology, understood here as a reliance on the direct experience of an object rather than an appreciation relying on a semiotic or theoretical foundation in external references and meanings. In the built work, as well as in the processes used to achieve it, the concept of the whole is significant – positioning the brief, the place, the client and the users in unison with the architecture, ensuring the positive relationship between the object and its context in a holistic way, and structuring the interweaving of layers where each has a specific identity and presence, its own wholeness.
Throughout the work is a reliance on making, on the materialisation of ideas, forms and places, on the eloquent assembly of space and material, making a whole of the separate parts, on making architecture.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Architecture and Design
Subjects Architectural Design
Architectural Heritage and Conservation
Architectural History and Theory
Keyword(s) Sydney Architecture
Australian Architecture
Adaptive Reuse
Award Winning
Urban Design
Public Art
Landscape Design
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Created: Wed, 30 Mar 2016, 14:39:25 EST by Keely Chapman
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