Urban Art Projects (UAP) has completed a major art installation that transforms the streetscape of Albert Street, in the Australian city of Brisbane, through the inventive reworking of an existing multi-storey car park into a highly sustainable, visually compelling art project.
The artwork, ‘Landlines’, by Jennifer Marchant was developed and crafted in UAP’s studio in Brisbane. Wrapping around three elevations of the car park, the piece is created from 549 powder coated, laser cut aluminum panels, all 1.2m x 3.6m. Collectively these components of the design have been beautifully worked to represent the contours of a map of Cunningham’s Gap and the Main Range, Brisbane.
53 Albert Street has been a car park for thirty years. Architects Nettleton Tribe recently transformed the structure, retaining the existing nine-level car park and constructing thirteen levels of office space above. Urban Art Projects in collaboration with Jennifer Marchant were brought on board to enhance the visual character of the area, giving the development a real presence on street level.
UAP formed the challenging brief for an integrated artwork that is both uplifting and highly functional. Visually, the artwork acts as a veil that conceals the exterior of an unsightly car park. The flowing lines of aluminum in the installation progressively diminish until only a thread‑like expression on the northern elevation remains.
Whilst the artwork transforms the architectural identity of the streetscape, it also acts an innovative sustainable design solution that significantly improves the project’s environmental credentials. The aluminum panels work to naturally ventilate the sub-tropical car park, a technique which has reduced the buildings carbon omissions considerably and saved the client over approximately £1m by avoiding the use of mechanical ventilation systems.
The inspiration for the design came from the undemocratic nature of most tall buildings, responding to how few people get the chance to take-in the view from the top. By illustrating the contours of the surrounding landscape, ‘Landlines’’ brings the view from the building down to the street level whilst also creating a visual pun that depicts a horizontal three dimensional landscape and applies it to a vertical structure.
Daniel Tobin, Principal of UAP, said, “53 Albert Street illustrates the huge potential value integrated artworks can contribute to a project, in this case saving the client money, significantly reducing the building’s carbon footprint whilst also enhancing the public realm.
“With this project we wanted to make visual connections to the surrounding landscapes which firmly route the work within its context and highlight UAP’s belief in site specific responses to public art.”