The new Australia House emerges from the ancient landscape as a symbol of hope and Japan’s rebirth after the destruction of the earthquake and tsunami. Japanese and Australian architecture share the idea of dissolving the separation of indoor and outdoor space.
Here we propose the building is like an inhabited Australian ‘verandah’, a long room for art and life that embraces the landscape. A thin flexible space that lifts and bends to capture the sun.
Made from traditional materials of timber, tatami, slate and Minka thatch the architecture speaks to the new world with the security of an old language. The building is locked in to the landscape by a spine wall made from rammed concrete using recycled brick rubble from local demolished buildings. The timber structure cladding and thatch will incorporate recycled material from local demolition.
The small structure span will economise construction and careful selection of material will ensure minimal waste and the embrace of southern sun will reduce heating costs in winter.
A garden of native Australian and Japanese plantings greets visitors, the friendship of two ancient trees Ginkgo Biloba and Wollemi Pine define entry to the space and the strength of future of our nations together.