The recent unveiling of Interchange Pavilion, the breath-taking sculpture-formed amphitheatre created by artist and architect Chris Fox adds an exquisite drop of architectural design and artful beauty to the urban city landscape of Redfern’s Eveleigh community precinct.
Two-hundred and fifty metres of stainless steel rail, 15 tonnes of glass-reinforced concrete, 1,400 pieces of hardwood and 1,650 pieces of fabricated aluminium hardly sound like the makings of something that is beautiful and ambient. But in the hands of Fox and his team of engineers these exact materials form an alluring 350-square-metre public arena inspired by the stories and historical landscape of Redfern’s Eveleigh rail precinct.
Fox explores the conceptual and material boundaries between art and architecture in his work. These inquiries are particularly evident in Fox’s public artworks, which includes Interloop, a remarkable large-scale sculpture suspended high above the York Street escalators at the heritage listed Wynyard Station in Sydney’s CBD, and Interchange Pavilion at South Eveleigh.
Interchange Pavilion stands not only as a public art installation, but an extraordinary purpose-built structure designed by Fox as a meeting place for paths to cross, and a venue for music, performance and the like.
Explaining the concept of ‘interchanging paths’ and how the idea resonates within the context of this work, Fox says, “Interchange Pavilion is inspired by the iconic geometries of the meeting point between two train tracks. It began with the rail tracks of the area around Redfern Station, Carriageworks and The Locomotive Workshops, where I noticed the distinctive switch geometry, in particular a point where the rail lines diverge off into many different tracks. The switch became a way to follow all these different stories, routes and paths that have occurred on this site. The artwork is also an opportunity for visitors to reflect on these histories but also to come together before diverging into their own future journeys.”
On the outside three concrete shells are coerced towards a central meeting point forming an open-sided structure. On the inside a series of curved wooden pathways sweep up and outwards to the open air, while fabricated stainless steel rail lines trace numerous interchanging paths from the ground up. Streams of changing light and shifting shadows fall over the pavilion day and night accentuating the beauty of every angle, curve, twist and turn.
Fox’s Interchange Pavilion is the fourth site-specific work to be developed as part of the wider South Eveleigh public art project facilitated by Mirvac and curated by Carriageworks’ Daniel Mudie Cunningham. It is located in the centre of the Village Square at the junction of Davy Road and Central Avenue, South Eveleigh, and is just a hop, skip and a jump from the historic South Eveleigh Rail Yards, Locomotive Workshops, Carriageworks and Redfern Train Station.
Across the way visitors are invited to enter the foyer of the Axle Building through the revolving doors to see multidisciplinary artist Jonathon Jones’ installation Untitled (red gum slabs), and nearby are two works by visual artist Nell. Nell’s Eveleigh Treehouse is a series of interconnected pods evoking the childhood experience of tree-built cubbyhouses, and Happy Rain welcomes passers by to Yerrabingin House with a LED light smiling cloud on the building’s exterior wall.
Interchange Pavilion brings a fusion of art, architectural design and skillful engineering and construction into the public domain and is sure to become one of Sydney’s most iconic landmarks. This is a place you won’t want to miss!
Watch the development of Interchange Pavilion below, and to find out more about Chris Fox’s creative endeavours visit Studio Chris Fox.