Fareham Artist Spotlight: Geoffrey Nees

Fareham Artist Spotlight: Geoffrey Nees

Our latest project, Fareham, draws inspiration from global PassivHaus principles to provide a sustainably-led building designed to emphasise the beauty of its coastal locale in St Kilda.

  • By Gamuda Land
  • 5 February 2024

The building’s design will be enhanced by external artwork conceived by an artist whose previous sculptural work has been featured in The National Gallery of Victoria.

In complement to the building’s exterior and interior design led by architecture studio, BayleyWard, we have engaged the creative services of Melbourne-based multi-disciplinary artist, Geoff Nees to design a sculptural art installation on the building’s façade for residents and the public to enjoy.

 

Geoff will add his bespoke interpretation of the area’s naturally derived textures and materials to the artwork, with his art publicly renowned for finding a harmonious balance between intimate studio craft and big-picture public works.

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Artistic Heritage

Throughout his 20 years of professional practice, Geoff has worked alongside many leading Australian and international designers. He has led the delivery of large-scale façade designs and sculptures, including the façade for the Australian pavilion at the 2005 Japan World Expo.

In 2020, Geoff collaborated with internationally renowned and respected Japanese architect, Kengo Kuma on a Botanical Pavilion, an all-wooden structure made of reclaimed timber from Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens. The piece was featured at the 2020 NGV Triennial exhibition in Melbourne, seamlessly combining Geoff’s unique geometric influence with the expert architectural knowledge of Kengo Kuma.

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The Fareham Approach

The artwork at Fareham responds to both the architecture and the streetscape of St Kilda. It reflects the qualities and colours of the prevalent local materials, integrating into and celebrating their natural expressions within the composition of a public-facing piece that is cohesive and enduring.

“Starting as a paper concept, the artwork has evolved into a three-dimensional raised design, achieved through collaboration and the use of CNC technology which complements the building’s modern Australian architecture,” explained Geoff.

This process transfers the geometric details from the initial paper and pencil design to the building’s surface, a 200m2 stone space, reminiscent of the natural sandstone in the surrounding beachside locale.

“I wanted to create something that could be viewed from the road so it could have an impact on the public as well as residents. I envisioned a piece that would wrap the facade and then double in height within the intimacy of the interior which goes against the logic of what would usually happen.”

The sculptural effect of the artwork will come into full effect when viewed from the vantage point of commuters on passing trams, drivers and passengers in cars moving along the busy street and those walking on the far side of St Kilda Road as it is illuminated by the golden glow of the morning sun.

Upon entering the building, residents and visitors will be welcomed with Geoff’s work which unexpectedly doubles in height just beyond the threshold between the exterior and interior, making for an unexpected and impressive experience.

We’re excited to commence our work with Geoff to bring the future residents of Fareham a unique and experiential art piece at the doorstep of their homes.

You can learn more about Geoff’s piece by following us on Instagram, and more about Fareham by visiting the website here.