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Past, present and future

A new exhibition created by NH Architecture presents the practice through the perspective of craft to celebrate 20 years as leaders in the realm of architecture and design.

Past, present and future

In recognition of two decades of practice, NH Architecture has initiated an event that takes the public behind-the-scenes to observe its creative process at Brand New, an exhibition on display at Flinders Lane Gallery, fortyfivedownstairs in Melbourne, until 13 July 2024.

On the opening night, Nick Bourns, Director of NH Architecture commented: “Rather than a retrospective, for this exhibition we wanted to explore some of the projects we’re currently working on. It’s a snapshot of where we are now as a practice.” he continued, “The exhibition is an opportunity to engage with every stage of the design process and go behind-the-scenes into the way we work on projects like The Arts Centre Melbourne, where we need to find a delicate balance between preserving the heritage elements and the innovative design solutions to ensure that buildings like these continue to serve Melbourne into the future. Essentially, this exhibition is about the balance we try to achieve through our architecture between restoration, evolution, and engagement.”

The exhibition is anchored by twin objects of craft which explore the material legacy of two iconic Melbourne precincts. The first is a dress inspired by the crimson interiors of Arts Centre Melbourne’s State Theatre, created through collaborative engagement with Melbourne Couturier Kara Baker. The second, is a 2.5-metre-tall timber model of the middle tower of Gurrowa Place, a development proposed for the southern edge of Queen Victoria Market.

Accompanying these are a collection of the studio’s virtual labour relating to six projects recently finished or in mid-flight. In the tradition of the Wunderkammer, a monumental trompe-l’oeil brings to life digital massing studies, site models and façade prototypes alongside working drawings, manual sketches and ephemera.

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Hamish Lyon, Director of NH Architecture comments: “Architecture is a slow art form with long gestation periods. When created at the scale of public and city architecture, it involves respect for Country, an array of collaborators, a network of disciplines and the demands of multiple decision-makers.” He explains, “The exhibition reveals our working method: where ideas are located between formative concept drawings and the rebounding pragmatics inherent in a project’s construction. In this nonlinear process, knowledge can be generated simultaneously at different junctions of a problem. Design can therefore equally occur within the pragmatics of a construction program as in the theoretical realm of applied research.”

This intriguing exhibition positions NH Architecture as a leader in architecture and design. Over the past two decades, NH Architecture’s approach to every project centres on the user experience, leveraging evidence-based design strategies to create places that are responsive, inspiring and enduring. In Brand New, there is the opportunity to celebrate 20 years of successful practice through the apertures of art, fashion and craft that not only establishes the practice as an innovator in its field but signifies it as a creative giant in design.

NH Architecture

Peter Marko

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