Blurring the boundaries between art and architecture

27 August 2020
Chris Fox unveils new large-scale public art installation
Artist Chris Fox, today unveiled a new large-scale sculpture, Interchange Pavilion, in South Eveleigh's reimagined Village Square inspired by the site's industrious heritage and history of the area.

Photo credit: Josh Raymond

Senior Lecturer in Art Processes and Architecture at the School of Architecture, Design and Planning, Chris Fox is known for his sculptural works that explore and test the boundaries of architecture, construction and art.

Chris Fox takes an integrated approach to design and artistic thinking connected to his cross-disciplinary teaching at the University of Sydney. He looks to equip students with the conceptual and technical skills required to creatively explore dynamic transactions between art and architecture.

Architecture is more than developing land for functional use; it is about moments in culture and society where we push the limits of what is tectonically possible.
Chris Fox, Senior Lecturer in Art Processes and Architecture

Interchange Pavilion is only possible because of advanced computational design workflows, allowing precision modelling of complex forms,” he said.

Inspired by South Eveleigh’s rail history, the multi-award winning artist and the Studio Chris Fox team, have created an installation that combines over 250 metres of stainless steel ground rails, 15 tonnes of GRC (glass reinforced concrete) and 1400 pieces of Australian hardwood.

“Robotic methods of manufacturing are used: six axis milling of the twisting GRC moulds, CNC routing (a computer-controlled cutting machine) of the timber as well as the 1650 pieces of digitally fabricated aluminium. Interchange Pavilion design and building technologies are pushed to their limits to build what might have been an unbuildable form in another era,” said Mr Fox. 

“The work is not just a building volume  - it is an artwork involving the transmission of ideas about journeys through the South Eveleigh site and the ‘railway switch’ where paths converge, diverge and through the switch new directions are embarked.” 

School of Architecture, Design and Planning Dean Professor Robyn Dowling said: “This work is a contemporary take on the School’s recognised tradition of melding art and architecture to improve the quality of public spaces in Sydney.”

Chris Fox, renowned for transforming the historic 1930’s wooden escalators from the heritage-listed Wynyard train station into the celebrated artwork Interloop, once again draws on architectural forms to create Interchange Pavilion.

Interchange Pavilion is inspired by the rail tracks and draws reference from the geometry of a railroad switch: the point at which the train tracks arc in a new direction and change their course. The rail lines transmitted through the ‘switch’ not only define connections between the Sydney rail network and the South Eveleigh site, but also symbolise a network that maps our pathway across the city.

Interchange Pavilion will be the sculptural landmark of the wider contemporary public art program at South Eveleigh facilitated by Mirvac and curated by Carriageworks. The new community precinct focuses on a public art program, including sculptural and botanical interventions, landmarks and meeting places created by a number of local artists.

Studio Chris Fox Project Team: Chris Fox, Justin van Ryneveld, Yuxiao Wang, Tommaso Pagani, Simon Giang, Harry Stitt, Tina Salama, (Shop 1) Gabriele Ulacco

Commissioned by Mirvac (South Eveleigh)

Curated by Carriageworks (Daniel Mudie Cunningham)

Engineered by Bollinger+Grohmann (Sascha Bohnenberger)

Aluminium Fabrication and Installation by Lumark

GRC Fabrication by Shapeshift

Timber Fabrication by Wright Marine

GRC and Timber Installation by ACS

Groundworks by Diversified

Lighting by Westudio and OnPoint

Landscape by Aspect and Jiwah



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