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Monash Art Design & Architecture

ELIZABETH HAMER

Elizabeth Hamer
Tarrahill Tasting Spaces: Views
2012

This project is an experimental investigation into the role of making within architectural design, and the opportunities for designing within the architectural making process. Through small and large scale model making, material experimentation, prototyping and the ultimate construction of a design, this project explores the architect’s relationship to the world of construction, and the benefits and challenges of breaking down the design/construct divide. The testing ground for the exploration was the design and construction of a wine tasting space for Tarrahill Vineyard in the Yarra Valley. Conceived of and realised through a ‘making’-driven design process, the buildings connect strongly to site and encourage a tactile, multisensory experience of built space.

Designing Through Making

Designing Through Making is a project which explores the role of making within architectural design and production through the construction of two wine-tasting pavilions at Tarrahill Winery.

Making, as a mode of designing, allows for creative exploration of the sensorial and structural capacities of different materials. It goes beyond visual concerns and engages all of the senses. In this project making was emphasized in a tactile and experimental design process, where small and large-scale model making, prototyping and material experimentation were the dominant mediums for design generation.

Design flexibility allowed the metamorphosis of the building to continue throughout the construction, prompted by encounters with clients, engineers, tradespeople, site, council permit restrictions and volunteers; by mistakes made and opportunities seized. The resultant buildings are an accumulation of the efforts of many. They are an expression of the history of their making, and will develop a history of their occupation.

hamer.ev@gmail.com
www.designingthroughmaking.com

Elizabeth Hamer
Tarrahill Tasting Spaces: Diagram showing connection to site and elements
2012

Construction materials were sourced predominantly from the site: discarded jarrah vineyard posts were used for framing and split for flooring, rocks formed a plinth over which one building cantilevers, and vine prunings are woven for light-filtering panels. Material and budget restrictions catalysed a language of thoughtful re-use: corrugated iron used for concrete formwork is reused on the roof, and jarrah formwork dismantled and recycled as flooring. The materials connect the buildings to their site and reference an agricultural vernacular of the corrugated iron shed. The two buildings address their context differently: one opens towards the view and the elements, and the other is enclosed, sheltered, allowing for a more protected observation of the surrounding environment through moments such as the corrugated concrete ‘spit-wall’, where wine dregs are washed away by run-off from the roof.

Elizabeth Hamer
Tarrahill Tasting Spaces: Construction drawings
2012

The buildings are nestled close together but not touching, and form a third outdoor space between them. This zoning was prompted by a need to creatively navigate permit restrictions, which in turn necessitated buildings of very small dimensions. The buildings are different in atmosphere and programming: one is enclosed, focused inward around a central bar, with filtered light and tactile surfaces, the other is open towards to view, connecting the user with a more holistic experience of the vineyard. Simple detailing, which took into account material restrictions and was able to be prefabricated, allowed for volunteers of any skill level to participate in the project.

Elizabeth Hamer
Designing through Making: Images of ‘making’-based design process and project construction
2012

The multi-sensory design process involved development through making-based modes of design: small and large scale model making, material experimentation and prototyping. Design continued through the eight week construction process, unexpected situations could be taken as creative opportunities and the design changed accordingly. Many volunteers helped this construction reach completion, and my thanks to them all.

Elizabeth Hamer
Tarrahill Tasting Spaces: Detail images
2012

The making of these buildings is legible in the buildings themselves. Wobbly lines, dents and bulges in the concrete tells the narrative of its construction. As the building ages, it will develop a history of its use: the zinc top bar will stain with water rings and scratches from tastings, and the concrete ‘spit-wall’ with stain with wine splatters and the rainwater which washes it down.

Elizabeth Hamer
Tarrahill Tasting Spaces: Views
2012

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