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Port Lincoln High School Redevelopment featured in Spirit of Place Exhibition

Exhibition Spirit of Place: South Australian Contemporary Aboriginal Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Placemaking at ODASA.

This timely exhibition highlighted a series of South Australian Contemporary Aboriginal Design projects. We were pleased to have three of our own projects included into the exhibition and fascinated by the array of work being undertaken throughout the state.

One project included was our collaboration with Russell and Yelland Architects – a redevelopment of a significant section of the Port Lincoln High School. As part of the Department of Education’s broader capital works programme to deliver better facilities for pedagogical outcomes, the project incorporated a series of new and refurbished buildings.

Mulloway was engaged to develop ways to link the architectural outcomes to the place through concepts of identity.

Art Programme and Architecture

The school has a successful First Nations art programme established in which students (years 8 and 9) produced a series of works that would form the basis of our research. Artworks are a good way to start to bridge the space between architectural processes and outcomes, and ideas about identity – a particular type of abstraction that illustrates the important aspects of place. Largely 2D works these were accompanied by a brief description of the representational qualities of the piece and explanation of why that was important to the artist(s).

In order to translate these into architectural techniques we analysed 12 artworks for common patterns, threads of ideas, colours, forms, and expressions of place. We then grouped these and married the outcomes to potential built outcomes using precedents – of either our own work or the work of others as exemplar techniques of how those ideas might play out. Many of these focused on family relationships, on the ocean surroundings, and the idiosyncrasies of the intertidal zone. These consistent threads offered commonalities of ideas, colour techniques, translucencies, patterns and form. These techniques were adapted to the buildings and spaces in forms appropriate to the architectural specifics and offer identifiable elements and techniques that are rooted in place.