The annual Powerhouse Architecture Commission is a unique opportunity for emerging architects to transform a public space into an immersive, multi-functional environment. Following the success of Four Periscopes by TRIAS and Agora by Penhale & Winter, Cadeau by Curious Practice is the third instalment in a series that considers the site, location and diversity of Powerhouse visitors and local community.
French for gift, the Cadeau pavilion takes its name from a 1921 sculpture by surrealist artist Man Ray. Like that sculpture, the commission emerges from a desire to re-contextualise objects and places: giving something new to each. The pavilion’s form, materiality and arrangement recall within each visitor an uncanny familiarity to structures and spaces known or forgotten, promising to uncover latent use and memory/opportunity within this – and future – sites.
Cadeau is not a ‘stand-alone’ building or singular gesture, it takes domestic architectural elements and plays with their scale; exaggerating and fusing components to create new meanings and focal points. This process of distortion produces an ensemble of habitable, ready-made ‘furniture’ used to define the central courtyard gathering and meeting place. Cadeau will be installed on the Goods Line, Ultimo until 25 September 2022.