Image Image Image 01 Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image Image
Scroll to Top

To Top


Public Program and Education Hub for the 20th Biennale of Sydney 

Client: Biennale of Sydney // Location: Cockatoo Island, Sydney // Year: 2016 OPEN AGENDA COMPETITION WINNER

Project Team: Patrick Macasaet, Vei Tan, Bing Jie Chang, Justin Dinh, Yang Ren, Wenjin Lai, Tracey Doan



This project continues our research interest in exploring how contaminations of ‘other’ typologies can assist in re-inventing programmatic organisation, form and spatial arrangements. It seeks to amplify and exaggerate the qualities and behaviours of type through rule-based process design methodologies as a catalyst for opening up new possibilities.

Originally titled, “Pink Me!”, the proposal dwells into Cockatoo Island’s naval history and taps into the Dry Dock typology – reimagining it as a stratified and folded topography for educational and public programmes. It creates a fragmented dry dock to generate a permeable space; creating continuous visual links and merging circulation with function – viewing transition as program.  We view the proposal as a field and as a series of interventions that blurs the figure/ground relationship. Not only are we interested in the object, but also the layering of programmes, human interaction and events within the field where we are also interested (and encourage) on how the public engage and interact.  The field creates a fictional environment where human interaction, spectacle and fun takes prime.


Cockatoo Island has a rich shipbuilding and naval history with the Fitzroy Graving Dock being its first dry dock. Our interest lies in the dry docks’ formal and spatial arrangement where it exhibits a theater-like quality capable of generating an intense gathering area. We speculated that its’ “steps” could be amplified, manipulated and fragmented at different scales to provide flexible spaces for the education hub.


We looked at the historical expansion (and contraction) of Cockatoo Island’s figure and ground relationship. We used these values as a way of capturing the behaviour of growth and choreographed a series of experiments to generate proposals and tests.  The final outcome and experiment was not the product of a singular experiment. A number of iterations were created and experiments were choreographed and re-choreogprahed with minor or major variations in order to open new possibilities.

The proposal similarly is a series of flexible components that are able to expand and contract depending on the many functions the Biennale requires for each event such as workshops and lectures.


We used hard foam as the primary material for it’s lightweight and after-life possibilities.  After the event, the foam is to be donated to UTS to be used as model-making or similar creative projects for architecture, design and art faculties.

Background Photo Credit: Anton Rehrl