Critique at University of Virginia
Critique at University of Virginia

Translucent Pavilion

This project was developed by Eric LEUNG as a student from UNSW and was submited to the WAS awards 2017 under the Housing category.

The project, located on farmland in northern coastal NSW, I had the opportunity in designing a student accommodation, a design studio and a glasshouse for Glenn Murcutt’s Masterclass that runs in the course of 2 weeks for 24 students + 2 teachers.  The scheme revolves around the student life and their experience through the site, 3 interconnected building forms were designed.

Shaded and hidden by a cluster of native camphor laurel trees is a 27m translucent pavilion covered by a skillion roof that opens up towards the north. It stands as the core of the scheme, the dining room, it gathers up to 30 people and creates an opportunity for interaction between occupants and the site. A series of timber frame sliding doors enabled a transparent view towards landscape while allowing the occupant to adjust according to the climatic. When the pavilion is closed, cross ventilation is maintained through small openings on the eastern and western façade. The corrugated metal roof along with rainwater tanks are employed to deal with the sites heavy rainfall percentage.

Roof slope and overhang are designed to invite warm mid-day winter light into the extended terrace and absorbed by the thick masonry walls that maintain thermal comfort throughout the day. While keeping away the harsh summer mid-daylight with the added deciduous tree. The structure is elevated by 0.6m due to sulphuric acid soil and its splash zone which can damage the materials and to prevent termite attack. Its southern face intends to prolong the social interaction with the extensive staircase that acts as a platform for students to sit and chat or transition to the communal fire pit.

The student accommodation provides a retreat for students who had been working in the studio all day, the structure is elevated and supported by locally-collected tallow wood columns that also frames the view for the student, and experience a walkthrough within a cluster of native trees. Rainwater, grey/black water are also recycled and reused through a series of system (envirocycle tanks-black, reedbeds-grey) that enable the buildings on site to be self-sustained.

The extension of Murcutt’s guest studio revolves around maintaining its existing structural aesthetics and create a small glazed in-between space that bridge the new and old. The new structure is planned to keep servant spaces on both sides and extending glens axial grid that frames the view, circulation and the served space.