In a field full of athletic structures, Stutchbury & Pape's archery pavilion must count as one of the most refined and expressive of the sport it serves. Built on the northern edge of the 6.5 hectare site, it consists of an enormous tilted and skewed canopy of corrugated metal that sails over a long line of cabins. As an abstract representation of the poise, economy and tensile elegance associated with archery, the structure becomes a metaphor for flight and trajectory.
Along the front of the pavilion which faces south away from the sun and overlooks the archery range, the roof is anchored by stubby battered concrete columns and big steel plate fins, and is secured at the back by ties, their inclinations following the twist of the roof. Coloured a festive red and capped by metal fins like arrow flights, they look as if shot to ground by archers in formation. Literal allusion to the sport occurs in the main 6m grid of the building which derives from the configuration of archers in international competition.
Underneath the giant canopy, pavilion cabins contain changing and wash rooms, lavatories, a workshop, canteen and stores, their dimensions conforming to the main grid. Clad in recycled hardwood and metal sheeting, this part of the pavilion has a pitched shed roof (references to Australia's rural traditions appear more than once in the Games buildings). For security reasons, the cabins have no windows and are inscrutably hermetic from the outside. Instead, polycarbonate rooflights shielded by mesh diffuse luminance into their interiors.
If the structure is dynamic, then the architects' environmental sensibilities have added other dimensions. The building, much of which has been bolted together, is demountable and could be reconstructed elsewhere. Metal sheeting is in standard sizes and could be reused. But above all, the pavilion's setting has been carefully, if not poetically, considered and the result is a piece of environmental art. The archery field is a turfed expanse of levelled backfilled land, measuring 183 by 100m, and marked down its length by an abstract forest (a memory of Sherwood perhaps) -- a double band of poles which, echoing an arrow's trajectory, diminish in height as they approach the target end. Planting makes use of indigenous species, like the frothy casuarinas (feathery tree native to Australia) along the northern edges of the site and the native grasses which cover low earth berms around the range. When ripe, the grasses will be an alluring fringe of gold against dark mangrove forests beyond.
Stutchbury & Page, Sydney
Peter Stutchbury, Fergus Scott,
Phoebe Pape, Tom Gordon,
Structural Design Group
1, 2 Paul Raftery;
3, Patrick Bingham-Hall
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|Publication:||The Architectural Review|
|Article Type:||Brief Article|
|Date:||Oct 1, 2000|
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