GIMME SHELTER – DION HORSTMANS’ FULL THROTTLE GEOMETRY

November 15, 2013

On a recent visit to Melbourne, I strolled past the construction site of the Collins Square complex, a new vital stop-off point between Docklands and the central CBD. Developed by Lang Walker in association with Hassell Architects, it involves two office towers with elegant dining and retail spaces; nothing too new there. But what is truly extraordinary is the bright yellow (echoing Melbourne’s eternally controversial ‘Yellow Peril’ aka Vault?) geometric canopy linking the two spaces across a narrow laneway, designed by artist Dion Horstmans. Like his freestanding and wall-mounted sculptures (you can see these at the Flinders Lane Gallery), the powder-coated steel structure plays with space/no-space, the solid and the void. And like his artworks, this architectural element also evokes a sense of dynamic motion (it is, he told me back in Sydney later ‘based on a body of work called Supersonic, an allusion to the great transformative cloud created by F18 jet planes as they break the sound barrier.’) And yes, you can feel the power of the thrust, sense the elegant aerodynamics of the beast. But I guess the greatest pleasure, the thing it adds to Dion’s already impressive oeuvre, is its sheer immensity: being able to walk around and under, whilst looking out through the bones of the thing is to experience Horstman’s work – and the space it enhances – in a totally unique way. More than site-specific, it’s site-terrific!

 

CAD MOCKUP OF THE COLLINS SQUARE CANOPY IN ACTION. (Image courtesy Hassell)

A DIGITAL RENDERING OF THE COLLINS SQUARE PLAN. (Image courtesy Hassell)

A 3D MAQUETTE IN DION’S SYDNEY ATELIER.

A 3D MAQUETTE IN DION’S SYDNEY ATELIER (II)

A SIGNATURE SCULPTURAL TRAILBLAZER, BY DION HORSTMANS.

Author: Nick tobias