Interchange Pavilion

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  • 2021

  • Architectural
    Urban

Designed By:

  • Studio Chris Fox

Commissioned By:

Mirvac

Carriageworks

Designed In:

Australia

‘Interchange Pavilion’ in Sydney, by Studio Chris Fox, is a meeting place where tracks converge, a place of interchange where paths cross. Drawing inspiration from the precinct’s rail history, the pavilion is a tribute to the diverse stories and journeys of people connected with South Eveleigh and the Rail Yards.


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'Interchange Pavilion' by Studio Chris Fox, Photography by Josh Raymond
'Interchange Pavilion' by Studio Chris Fox, Photography by Josh Raymond
'Interchange Pavilion' by Studio Chris Fox, Photography by Josh Raymond
'Interchange Pavilion' by Studio Chris Fox, Photography by Josh Raymond
'Interchange Pavilion' by Studio Chris Fox, Photography by Josh Raymond
'Interchange Pavilion' by Studio Chris Fox, Photography by Josh Raymond
'Interchange Pavilion' by Studio Chris Fox, Photography by Josh Raymond
'Interchange Pavilion' by Studio Chris Fox, Photography by Josh Raymond
  • CHALLENGE
  • SOLUTION
  • IMPACT
  • MORE
  • The 'Interchange Pavilion' was tasked to navigate the functional requirements of an architectural pavilion, while holding the poetic intent of an artwork. It is a part of the wider contemporary public art program at South Eveleigh designed to engage local residents, workers and the wider community and to pique curiosity about the site's unique rail history. The pavilion had to offer some shelter, but it is also a focal point for the Village Square and a functional amphitheatre for events both small and large.

  • Studio Chris Fox worked with the salient geometries of the railroad switch; the point where a train can change course from one trajectory to another. Peeling from the ground plane, geometries arc overhead to create an embracing volume. The archetypal image of the railroad conjures a vast collective memory; a nostalgic notion of an industrial age. The multidisciplinary approach to the flamboyant design was facilitated by the studio's computational workflow. A very detailed and complex 3D model was produced to manage each component of the project, including over 3200 digitally fabricated parts.

  • The project has created lasting impacts both on the local community and wider industry. The pavilion has become the heart of the precinct. People from all backgrounds are welcome to gather and exchange stories in the amphitheatre, in a space designed to create connections. The project has pioneered a combination of cutting-edge technologies: from scripting forms and robotic milling to CNC routing all aluminium sections. The team has pushed the boundaries of what is geometrically possible with high-quality materials such as Native Australian Timber. This method of working has set a precedent for new ways of using complex computational design.

  • Studio Chris Fox has shown careful consideration for a continuing geometry through all parts of the project - from the ground to the roof, from the seating to the external skin. The team drew on the rich history of South Eveleigh, once home to bustling Railway Workshops that employed people from both European and First Nations communities. This powerful heritage narrative lead the team to focus on the geometries of the railroad switch track; the point where a train can change course from one trajectory to another. An intuitive location for paths to cross, this would become the heart of the pavilion. Here, a new meeting place has been created, reviving the spirit of the place, once again inviting people from all backgrounds to converge in this space. The tracks continue from ground to sky, to form geometries that rise overhead, meeting once again at a point of confluence. Visitors are drawn into the pavilion by the railroad switch tracks, which create an instant emotional connection to the railway heritage of the site. Once inside, they are invited to pause inside the amphitheatre on fluid, ergonomic seating made from timber that references railway sleepers, protected from the glaring sun.