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Professor Gerard Reinmuth

Biography

Gerard Reinmuth is a practicing architect and designer. He is a founding director (with Richard Blythe and Scott Balmforth) of TERROIR, an Australian practice which imbues its architecture with research into philosophy, art and popular culture. It has offices in Sydney and in Copenhagen.

Gerard is the inaugural Professor of Practice at UTS, where he coordinates the Practice stream of subjects and teaches in the Masters design studios. He is founder of the International Studio at the Aarhus School of Architecture in Denmark, where he is also a Visiting Professor.

His research spans a range of topics in architectural practice, including sustainability and procurement practices. His primary research focus in the coming period it the agency of the architect in the making of the city.

Gerard held the Creative Directorship of the Australian 2009 National Architecture Conference (Parallax) and was a juror for the 2007 Australian National Architecture Awards. TERROIR has featured in a number of international and national exhibitions and publications including AV monographs Emergentes, featuring 20 international emerging architects, the Phaidon 10x10/3 volume and the Phaidon Atlas of 21st Century World Architecture. A monograph on the practice, titled TERROIR: Cosmopolitan Ground ,was published in 2007.

Gerard has taught and lectured at schools of architecture in Australia and Europe. He regularly writes and comments on issues affecting the profession and teaching of architecture to equip students for the challenges of working in the globally-interconnected society of the 21st century.

Image of Gerard Reinmuth
Practice Professor, School of Architecture
Associate Head of School, School of Architecture
Core Member, Centre for Contemporary Design Practice
B.A. Eng Design, B. Architecture, M. Arch
 
Phone
+61 2 9514 8113
Room
CB06.05.85

Conference Papers

Finney, T.L. & Reinmuth, G. 2013, 'Agency, Redirected', Designing/ Education: 7th International Conference of The Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia, Melbourne, October 2013 in Designing/ Education: Proceedings of the 7th International Conference of The Association of Architecture Schools of Australasia, ed Ramirez-Lovering, D; Alexander, J; Fairley, A., The Association of Architecture Schools of Australia, Melbourne, pp. 406-425.
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In response to changes in both the practice of architecture and changes in terms of architecture+s field of operation: the global economic, political and cultural context of its production, the following paper proposes to re-examine the inherited unit system of the graduate educational M.Arch design studio. Contrary to `alternate modes of practice' that propose in critiquing the profession, an abandonment of the discipline of architecture, this paper instead calls for a clarified return in the educational context to architecture's core material and spatial skill set redirected relative to the animating diagrammatic condition that since the 19th century has relied on architecture+s capacities in material and organizational experimentation to build cities.
Blythe, R., Reinmuth, G. & Balmforth, S. 2009, 'RAIA Australian Institute of Architects', Melbourne.
Parallax: 2009 RAIA National Conference http://www.architecture.com.au/parallax/ Facebook communities are constituted in ways that transcend traditional cultural boundaries. These new technological spaces allow for constellational amalgams of 'friends', mini-cultures that provide multiple view-points on our environmentally (and, more recently, financially) challenged and changing world. Facebook communities are just one example of the complex contextual weave within which the processes and material of architecture take place. An aspect of that taking place is the way in which architecture navigates between multiple and even parallax perspectives in forming a believable 'tale'. It is the proposition of this conference that the architectural 'tale', is a fantasy that can enable our meaningful engagement with our challenging and changing contemporary condition. We have invited architects and thinkers to consider their own work in relation to this proposition. TERROIR (Richard Blythe, Gerard Reinmuth & Scott Balmforth) commenced in 1999 from a series of conversations in regard to the potential for architecture to open up question of cultural consequence in relation to our contemporary condition. The work of the practice encompasses projects, research and regular contributions to the culture of architecture and its practice. TERROIR have been featured in a number of international exhibitions including Australia's virtual presence at the 2004 Venice Biennale of Architecture, the 2005 Architecture Biennale in Rotterdam, and in 2007 'Out from Under' in San Francisco and 'Living the Modern' at the DAZ in Berlin. In 2008 TERROIR will again feature in the Venice Biennale as part of the Australian Pavilion exhibition, 'Abundant'. The work of TERROIR has been recognised through exhibition and publication nationally and internationally and their first book Terroir: Cosmopolitan Ground was published in August 2007 by DAB Documents, UTS Sydney.

Journal Articles

Reinmuth, G. 2011, 'Future Shocks', Conditions Magazine, vol. -, no. 8.
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Reinmuth, G. 2009, 'Light and Magic: Swan Street House Review', Architecture Review Australia, vol. -, no. 110, pp. 84-91.
A new project in Perth from architects Iredale Pedersen Hook radically interprets suburban convention to deliver a residence that is anything but ordinary.
Reinmuth, G. 2009, 'In the public eye', Monument Magazine, vol. -, no. 92, pp. 44-45.
A quality approach to public architecture, with public interest at heart, should be the rule, not the exception.
Reinmuth, G. 2009, 'Can we open up the dialogue?', Monument, vol. -, no. 90, pp. 114-114.
Note from one of the creative directors of the 2009 RAIA National Conference
Reinmuth, G. 2008, 'Fatal Distraction: carbon credits, green building and the business of sustainability', Architecture Review (AR) Australia, vol. -, no. 105, pp. 40-42.
Reinmuth, G. 2006, 'Land values', Monument Magazine, vol. -, no. 71, pp. 56-62.
The Kia Ora Homestead in rural New South Wales by Paul Berkemeier references the seductive charm of John Lautner's work while exploring an alternative landscape tradition for Sydney.
Reinmuth, G. 2006, 'Model-making as thinking', [Inside] Australian Design Review, vol. -, no. 44, pp. 36-36.
Comment on the exhibition 'Supermodels' curated by Sam Marshall.
Reinmuth, G. 2003, 'Creative tension', Monument, vol. -, no. 55, pp. 58-61.
Dale Jones-Evans continues to shape the direction of residential development in inner-Sydney's Surry Hills. 'Heavy metal' offers commentary on his latest project METALIKA.
Reinmuth, G. 2003, 'Beautiful Minds', Monument, vol. -, no. 57, pp. 104-104.
Review of the 2003 RAIA national Conference
Reinmuth, G. 2003, 'Product Lines', Monument, vol. -, no. 53, pp. 93-93.
review of exhibition by John Vella at University of Tasmania, Academy Gallery

Original Creative Works

Reinmuth, G. 2010, 'Terroir House', Building Blocks, Fargfabriken, Fargfabriken Gallery, Stockholm.
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'Building Blocks', an exhibition curated by Karin England, investigated accepted roles in the design process, speci cally the relationship between architect and client through the pairing of children as clients with architects. The premise was that a child's limited architectural reference and relative freedom of choice might reveal new solutions for living, and from this adults might also be challenged to think about their chosen environments in a new way by looking beyond conventions of taste, fashion and tradition. In our case the project also presented an opportunity for exploring the spatial intelligence of children. Paired with a child who lived in the city of Aarhus as a client, we asked the question, how does spatial intelligence (van Schaik) travel? How do we export our spatial intelligence in a meaningful way? Our 'client' lived in an apartment, but with dreams of attics and basements (Bachelard) and castles and princesses. Thus, the project became something of an exercise in translation and transformation, as a spatial sensibility borne in the mountains of Tasmania was put to service for a 6-year old who lives in the flat landscape of Jylland. These conversations with the child led to the creation of a 'castle' with a distinctly mute 'outer' and a rich and unexpected 'inner' (Stamm). The castle and its inner were designed according to a dimensional system based on the child so only she and those younger could comfortably occupy the space, thus inviting play and exploration out of reach of adults. The project also extends the idea of the toy (Timms; van Schaik) in our work. Significance exists in the way that the translation of spatial sensibility which are so critical in the contemporary practice environment are explored.
Reinmuth, G., Benjamin, A.E. & Goodwin, R. 2010, 'Fraying Ground/ RAG Urbanism', 12th Venice Architecture Biennale, Now and When Australian Urbanism, Venice Architecture Biennale, Venice.
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Reinmuth, G., Balmforth, S. & Blythe, R. 2009, 'Installation by TERROIR', Portraits + Architecture, National Portrait Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Canberra.
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The National Portrait Gallery exhibition Portraits + Architecture explored the relationship between creative thinking and identity, incorporating new photographic portraits of seven leading Australian architect teams with commissioned photographic portraits by seven Australian photographers. The architect teams are known for their contemporary and highly distinctive work. They have made significant contributions to Australian architecture and design culture. The photographers work across a spectrum of fine art, commercial, and design practice. Each architect team was asked to create an installation that reflected their creative philosophy. TERROIR believe that the practice of architecture is the production of knowledge. The team's architectural projects therefore included the 'discussions, lectures, research, exhibitions and explorations that work through the issues relevant to each project'. TERROIR collaborated with artist John Vella to create a screen-based installation for the exhibition which looped through a range of conversations on architecture and practice thus contributing a major piece of primary source material on their practice. Significance exists in the creation of an original work which illuminated the collaborative practices of TERROIR in both video and photographic form. The potential of collaboration between complementary artistic practices is also evident in the blurred authorship of a work between three architects, a videographer and photographer.
Reinmuth, G., Balmforth, S. & Blythe, R. 2008, 'TERROIR', 11th Venice Architecture Biennale, Australian Institute of Architects (RAIA), Venice.
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The Biennale is the most important event on the international contemporary architecture calendar, visited by thousands of the world's most influential architects, designers, urban planners, developers and critics. The 11th International Architecture Exhibition, directed by Aaron Betsky, took place in Venice from 14 September to 23 November 2008. The Australian Pavilion contained an exhibition, entitled 'Abundant' curated by a creative team led by Neil Durbach, of 180 Australian practices and interpretative models based on an existing project and responding to the director's theme: 'Out there: architecture beyond building'. and TERROIR had 4 models exhibited, each of which was drawn from a different project. However, the models were all built from the same (box board) material which is associated with the work of the practice (Blythe) and all deconstructed and reconstructed key organizational aspects of the projects, thus contributing a taxonomy of key TERROIR projects which together were no longer single projects but 'one project'. The research goes further than simple formal manipulations but shows the potential for persistent and related strategies and spatial arrangements commonly held between projects to be articulated.
Reinmuth, G. 2007, 'Terroir', Living the Modern_AUSTRALIAN ARCHITECTURE, Hatje Cantz, Deutsches Architektur Zentrum DAZ.
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The exhibition 'Living the Modern_Australian Architecture', curated by Dr Claudia Perrin for Deutsches Architektur Zentrum DAZ, 12. September - 11. November 2007, shows for the first time in Germany on this scale the Australian Architecture of the 'Progressive Modernism' by means of excellent architectural examples in a range of housing projects. Twenty-five young and also established architecture offices, who have transformed, interpreted, used, reformed and converted aspects of modernism within the past 15 years, deliver insight to the culturally and environmentally specific development of modern architecture in Australia. Through the detailed presentation of nearly 50 housing examples, a very personal Australian way of life and building culture will be opened for public viewing. The projects have been grouped into six categories, or keywords, intended to further the discussion on various aspects of modernism: Minimal, Sculptural, Frames, Interaction, Landscape, and East/West. Additionally, the survey is supplemented by prior examples of modernism from the 1950s to the 1980s, presenting works of Glenn Murcutt, Harry Seidler, Gabriel Poole, Sydney Ancher, Neville Gruzman, Stan Symonds and Robin Boyd. While following different theories, the architects represented in the exhibition all still remain bound to the location in which they build. Australian architects have developed a completely extraordinary and strong sense of their surrounding environment. Each house reacts and interacts differently with its specific surroundings, and would not function in another location. For this reason Australian architecture cannot be 'internationalized', but better described as 'Contemporary Progressive Modernism'.
Reinmuth, G., Balmforth, S. & Blythe, R. 2007, 'TERROIR NSW and TAS', Out from Under: Australian Architecture Now, AIA San Francisco, AIA San Francisco.
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The aim of this exhibition, curated by Anthony Burke, was to recast a dominant understanding of Australian architecture within an international context. Rather than the bush and beach identity for which Australian Architecture is known, the focus was on design innovation. At the forefront was the aim to present experimental work for its design innovation in materials technologies, aesthetics and new understandings of the urban task of architecture. From over 50 expressions of interest, 16 practices were chosen through the exploration of new attitudes, images and aesthetic values that they bring to Australian architecture. TERROIR's work was selected for the exhibition due to the contribution of the practice in marking out new territory in Australian architecture in terms of response to landscape, form, materials and the cultural agency and/or potential of the strategic project. A core part of TERROIR's contribution to the exhibition was in the form of a sculpture titled 'model graveyard' which featured a random selection of model parts from the floor of TERROIR's model-making studio. Thus, the significance of this project is not only in regard to the contribution made by the works themselves but in terms of the revelations made about our creative process and the collaborative way that models are used to inform spatial, formal and material choices about the work.

Other research activity

Burke, A.J. & Reinmuth, G. 2012, 'Formations: New Practices in Architecture', Australian Pavilion, 13th International Architecture Exhibition, The Australian Institute of Architects, http://www.architecture.com.au/docs/default-source/events-and-awards/201....
Reinmuth, G. & Jensen, B.B. 2012, 'Possible Greenland', Conditions Magazine, Publication for the Danish Pavilion at The Venice Biennale (Architecture) 2012, Conditions Magazine, Oslo, Norway, pp. 1-258.
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http://www.dac.dk/en/dac-life/exhibitions-1/2012/possible-greenland-1/projects/publication/
Reinmuth, G., Balmforth, S. & Blythe, R. 2012, 'Helsingr School (DK)', Helsingr Town Hall, Helsingr Kommune, -.
Design proposal
Reinmuth, G., Balmforth, S., Jakovich, J., Schweitzer, J. & Goodwin, R. 2012, 'Parramatta City Ring Road', Design Parramatta, Parramatta Council, -.
Design proposal
Reinmuth, G., Balmforth, S. & Blythe, R. 2009, 'Burnie Makers' Workshop', Burnie, 2 Bass Highway.
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Burnie Makers' Workshop represents a major investment in the future of a town on the north-west coast of Tasmania coming to terms with its post-industrial reality. Until recent times, the town has been known primarily for its key large scale industries and the servicing of these via the port area. The largest of these industrial plants is the large pulp and paper mill on the waterfront. Over recent years, a local initiative, Creative Paper, has built a culture of high quality product and value-adding upon the base level industrial paper production. In addition, the role of town as a gateway to the fertile farming lands of Tasmania has not been forgotten. This twin focus - creative industry and museum - provided the basis for the project and TERROIR transformed this visitor centre brief into a living room for the town, built around these two functions but incorporating caf+, theatre and other activities. The building is understood as part of the collection of industrial objects along the coast, re-imagined as giant 'toys' (Schaik, Timms). Our 'toy' is a lighthouse of sorts, perched on the western headland above the beach, a sentinel both for passing ships and for the locals whom we hope will make this the living room of the city. Five key functions each occupy an arm of the building with the central space providing access and general orientation. The radiating arms which generate a series of spaces of different orientations and enclosure to be used all year round.
Reinmuth, G., Balmforth, S. & Blythe, R. 2009, 'Smith St (ware)house', Hobart City, North Hobart.
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This project is a conversion of a former plumbing supplies store and warehouse in Hobart into a residence. The narrow inner city street where the project is located has a contrast of industrial and residential uses however this is the first house in the street to be located within an industrial building. The street fa+ade is left in original condition, and an industrial garage door to the street lifts to reveal a domestic program within. This new program occupies its existing context in a light manner, exposing much of the original materials and detailing of this humble industrial building. Where existing elements are modified, this occurs The contribution of this project is related to its further elaboration on the field of urban renewal and in particular the specific potential of existing inner city sites to adapt to new residential programs, thus increasing the density of the inner city, but in a highly sustainable manner where existing fabric is re-used and new insertions are minimal in nature. This project suggests that opportunities exist in Hobart which had not been understood previously, for transformative programs which increase density. The significance of this project lies in its specific design approach, and the potential it demonstrates for more sustainable inner city renewal projects which re-use existing fabric in a complete and almost unedited way. The project shows that an alternate aesthetic sensibility to the norm for residential work is required if such transformations are to take place.
Reinmuth, G. 2009, 'AAA exhibitions 2005-09', Custom's House, Sydney, Australian Architectural Association.
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Reinmuth, G., Balmforth, S. & Blythe, R. 2007, 'TERROIR: Cosmopolitan Ground', DAB Documents, Sydney, pp. 1-177.
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Cosmopolitan Ground suggests a mode of collaboration between architecture and philosophy, where both professions retain their autonomy but are enriched via their reference to one another. It achieves this through its collection of essays juxtaposed against contemporary architectural work by Terroir, an Australian architectural practice whose buildings are the result of research in philosophy, art and popular culture. Terroir was formed in 1998 and simultaneously opened two offices - in Sydney and in Hobart. The practice was formed in response to the interests of the three partners, whose combined interests and fields of activity encompass all aspects of architectural practice including teaching, writing, architectural, urban and interior design and project management and procurement. The works explored in this book - both completed buildings and competition entries - have been underpinned by RMIT University's invitational postgraduate programme. These works include the award-winning Peppermint Bay restaurant in Woodbridge, south of Hobart; designs for COFA, Canberra Library and Prague Library; and a number of inner city projects currently under construction. It also features pieces from exhibitions and installations. Cosmopolitan Ground is designed to express Terroir's design process, and contains a collection of images of their buildings as well as the ideas behind them. Specifically, the book sets extended essays from key philosophers in parallel to descriptions of the practice's work.
Reinmuth, G., Balmforth, S. & Blythe, R. 2007, 'The National Library of the Czech Republic competition entry', http://www.nkp.cz/competition_library/ENinfo.htm, -, -.
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This project was submitted for a competition in 2006 to design the new Prague National Library. The project was shortlisted in the competition. Faced with the challenge of designing a national institution for literary works for this country led to a reflection on the contribution made by key works in the history of Czech literature, the potential of the site itself and an analysis of the spatial and cultural modes of inhabiting the city. Archives contain secrets, histories yet to be challenged and re-presented. The idea of the archive is not situated in the preservation of this material however but in the moment of its opening up - of revealing, of bringing a new light to things that have lain still for so long, protected. This reading of the archive was considered in the context of Prague - a city of dark tucks and folds; the folds of valleys that protect a castle, dark histories over laying creativity. These are the secrets of an archive tucked under the corner of the velvet blanket of the park, clustered in the shadows made below the fold. Their existence is revealed via ruptures in the park's surface, while their potentiality emerges as each cracks open in the lightness of the moment. In this reading of the city and its transformation into a spatial response lies its significance to the discourse on the interrelation between building and place (Benjamin) and on the reconsideration of the library itself (Benjamin).
Reinmuth, G., Balmforth, S. & Blythe, R. 2006, 'Commonwealth Place Kiosks', Canberra, Foreground of Old Parliament House.
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Canberra is distinctive in international terms as a planned city. At the centre of the planning geometry sits the nations Parliament House. Its foreground consists of a range of buildings containing Australia's major public institutions - a sort of 'architectural zoo'. Each of these public buildings has scale and gravitas - mostly concrete sculptural works containing the High Court, National Gallery, and so on. The termination of this axis occurs in the form of the National War Memorial. The brief required amenity buildings to be located in the foreground of old Parliament House. These buildings are small in size and of a 'prosaic' use. Thus, the design proposition was an exploration of the tensions that exist within the brief itself. How does one install a toilet just meters from the central axis connecting our Parliament and lake? The uncanny (Vidler) nature of the planned city and the formal nature of the setting resulted in small, blank timber boxes that read as sculptural installations within this largest of sculpture parks. The potential for absurdity when Griffin's overarching geometry of the city plan is pushed to the limits, exploited in small adjustments to these seemingly regular objects that, when seen at close range, defy explanation (Powell). The uncanny silence of the objects is counterpointed by a surprise - the hidden system of coloured tubes which filter light in a dispersed manner, a scaling up of the dappled shade of the trees adjacent.
Reinmuth, G., Balmforth, S. & Blythe, R. 2006, '86-88 George Street', CIty of Sydney, 86-88 George Street.
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This refurbishment of a state listed heritage building has set a new benchmark for contemporary work in Sydney's historic Rocks precinct. The existing building is in two parts, both of which have heritage listings with the heritage fabric consisting only of the perimeter walls. The project therefore emerged from graphic illustrations of the extent of heritage fabric which resulted in two key interventions - one inside the existing walls and one outside - became the primary areas of focus. Internally, the foyer was conceived as a bridge that leaves George Street to connect with the existing lift core. Initial investigations of a Scarperian 'tub' (Murphy) gradually evolved into a singular folded concrete tube that provides a dramatic 'pause' between street and office. Externally, an existing triangular remnant of street configurations was developed into a new public space, understood as part of the complex cut and folded landscapes characteristic of the Rocks area. A small canopy sits in the north-east corner of the space which has similarly evolved from a mapping of sun, wind and tenant use requirements. While the materiality of this canopy ties it to the Harbour Bridge and other steelwork interventions in the Rocks, its scale renders it with a 'toy'-like quality (Schaik, Timms). The project's significance is evidence in its numerous awards for design and sustainability: the Environ BPN Sustainability Award; the Energy Australia National Trust Heritage Award for Conservation Energy Management and as the first State heritage listed building to be awarded a 5 star Green Star office design rating.
Reinmuth, G., Balmforth, S. & Blythe, R. 2006, 'Maitland City Bowls Club', Maitland City, Arthur Street.
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An existing bowling Club requested a significant transformation to address energy and occupation issues while providing an iconic new form that signaled a new identity. Three key elements emerged as essential to the initial phase of work as they could achieve this transformation in a clear and direct manner: a new roof, new servicing, and a new facade to the bowling greens. The high visibility of the site, the opportunity to respond to the greater landscape context, the need to manage changing servicing requirements, and the need to open up the building to more light and space, led to the conclusion that a major new roof element was necessary and could form a major part of rebranding the club for the future. Functionally, this roof acts a new "backpack" of sorts, enabling and containing new and more efficient building services, while also acting as a giant rain harvester, and as a solar parasol protecting the building from the harsh Maitland sun. The contribution of this project is in the field of urban renewal, as an exemplar of the reuse and recycling of non-significant buildings to achieve a maximum material re-use and the significant sustainability benefits of this approach. The significance of this project is as a demonstration of a new design approach (the 'backpack') which deploys a challenging aesthetic approach to enable the retention of existing fabric and the addition of key elements necessary to see the revitalization of a building past its standard life.
Reinmuth, G., Balmforth, S. & Blythe, R. 2003, 'Peppermint Bay', Kingborough, 3435 Channel Highway.
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Peppermint Bay is a building which provides a threshold for visitors to the inspiring landscape and produce located in the valleys south of Hobart. The building is a key part of Tasmania's tourism infrastructure, providing a restaurant, retail outlet, garden (including sculpture park) and destination for a ferry journey from the capital city to the site. This winding journey from city to the peninsula by boat or car is continued at the site in a labyrinthine path through the garden, culminating at a 100 year old oak tree. This path also structures the building's internal arrangement and for further development of the site and garden over time. The project contributes to Australian architecture at many levels, from its parametrically designed grey metal roofscape (gathering of all roof and wall elements, exhausts, and entry and exit sequences into a single folded plate), its response to landscape, drawing on the Northern Romantic Tradition, (Rosenblum) in painting to inform its response to Tasmania's stunning landscape. A series of structural, material and detailing innovations have also been attributed to the project. The significance of the project is in the contribution it makes to the discourse on response to landscape in Australian architecture (van Schaik) and in particular to the sub-group of Tasmanian architecture. This significance can be evidenced in the substantial body of awards, publications and critical commentary (nationally and internationally) that the building has received.