Fugitive Structures 2013_Andrew Burns Crescent House Commissioned by SCAF 2013 Photo Brett Boardman
Crescent House - Andrew Burns

SCAF's Crescent House by Andrew Burns
Article by Amy Frearson, Dezeen, 22 April 2013

Australian architect Andrew Burns has installed a charred timber pavilion with deceptively curved walls in the garden of the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF) in Paddington, Sydney. Named Crescent House, the structure was designed by Andrew Burns with a symmetrical geometry that comprises two intersecting arcs within a rectangular frame. 

Visitors are invited to follow the curve of the walls to a secluded space at the pavilion's centre, where light filters through tiny perforations to create a wall resembling the night sky.

The charred cedar cladding references the frequently occurring bush fires of the region. Meanwhile, the rectangular structure at the back frames a view of the hedge beyond.

"The pavilion has an ambiguous presence, between architecture and art object," says Burns. "The structure responds to elemental themes: darkness and light, the wonder of the night sky, the arc of the sun and the presence of bushfire on this continent."

Crescent House is the inaugural project in the Fugitive Structures programme, a series of temporary pavilions that will be installed annually in the Zen Garden of the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF).

Citing the Serpentine Gallery pavilions in London as an inspiration, the SCAF plans to invite emerging and mid-career architects to design the new pavilions, one of which will be constructed each year, for the next four years.

Andrew Burns also recently completed a pointy gallery and studio for artists in Japan.

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'Crescent House' is the first in an annual series of temporary pavilions to be installed at Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation in Paddington, Sydney. The aim of this 'Fugitive Structures' program is to engage a wide audience with architectural thought.

Two arcs are set within an apparently simple rectilinear form. The arcs bisect, creating a pair of infinitely sharp points and a threshold to the space beyond. This combination of fragility and robustness seeks to charge the conversations within the space with a particular quality.

The structure has an ambiguous presence; between architecture and art object. Through framing, it transforms an ordinary rose apple hedge into a landscape of beauty.

The pavilion responds to elemental themes; darkness and light, the wonder offered by the night sky and the burnt quality of yaki-sugi (charred cedar) recalling the presence of bushfires on this continent.

The pavilion and has been initiated and supported by Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation, BVN Donovan Hill, Andrew Cameron Family Foundation and the Nelson Meers Foundation.

Article by Amy Frearson, Dezeen, 22 April 2013. See complete article, images, drawings and slideshow at: