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BVN Stories — September 7, 2022

5 Favourite Creative Spaces designed by BVN

At BVN, there’s certain reverence and kinship reserved for designing creative and cultural spaces. After all, we describe ourselves as a creative collective, with a shared vision for a better planet.

We believe this “better future” is one dreamed up by creatives, leaders and thinkers, brought into being by scientists, researchers, and artists.

As development swallows up so many of our cities’ artistic enclaves, our practice has a firm belief in the importance of making space for creative communities.

Here are 5 of our favourites:

1. Yarrila Place, Coffs Harbour

A spectacular emerald wave, whose iridescence and form was born from both the rolling surf of the Pacific and the forested foothills of the Great Dividing Range - the meeting place of the ocean and mountains.

Yarrila is Coffs Harbour’s dazzling new cultural and civic hub - nearing completion. It represents an evolving human landscape and diverse multicultural communities, while acknowledging the ancient and ongoing spiritual and cultural influence of the Gumbanyniggirr people.

Announcing its presence with brightly coloured optimism, the distinctive structure is intended to be visible, welcoming and memorable.

The building hosts public spaces, community facilities and Council services, a library and the Yarrila Art Museum. Locals and visitors can attend events and exhibitions, or soak in the sun on the open-air rooftop garden.

Yarrila Place, an arts and culture hub for the people of Coffs Harbour.

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2. Marrickville Library, Sydney

Reusing much of the 19th century wood and stone from the abandoned hospital that languished on the site for 20 years, Marrickville Library is a beacon for urban revitalisation, while remaining a welcoming public space for all. It’s an acknowledgement of the suburb’s strong sense of community, and its alignment with arts and culture.

Marrickville Library has become an icon among book-loving residents, while offering the versatility of quiet workspaces, family zones and a two-way café welcoming both passers-by and patrons.

Marrickville Library envisions the edgy, active, multipurpose open-air libraries of the future, creating a far more dynamic and inclusive environment than the hushed traditional reading rooms of the past.

3. Greenland Creative Hub, Sydney

In the centre of the CBD sits a new creative space, run by Brand X for City of Sydney. It's part of our Greenland Centre which opened in 2021.

At a time when commercial development and creative communities are often at loggerheads, BVN felt it was essential to give back to the arts with the state-of-the-art Creative Hub occupying the Greenland residential tower’s ground levels.

The entrance features original artworks by Agatha Goethe-Snape and Larry Bell – one responding to the cultural history of the site, and the latter, the building’s geometry and urban corner setting.

Featuring two rehearsal studios for performing arts, five recording studios and dedicated facilities for visual artists and filmmakers, the hub’s aim is to provide affordable workspaces for creative professionals in the city. It proves that world-class cultural facilities can co-exist alongside prestigious private developments.

Creative Hub comprises state-of-the-art rehearsal, music and production spaces, a gift to the city’s creative community from the City of Sydney, managed by Brand X.

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4. Blak Box Travelling Pavilion

A simple rectangular box revealing an intimate circular storytelling space, Blak Box is dedicated to practice of dadarri – the deep inner listening that resets our minds’ rhythms with those of the natural world.

The surround-sound pavilion, a world first, was designed by BVN principal Kevin O’Brien. Blak Box endeavours to locate an idea of Aboriginality as an interdependent condition with global connections.

Blak Box was originally commissioned by Urban Theatre Projects to house new works featuring a range of contemporary Aboriginal voices. The stories told were a response to the past, present and future of Barangaroo, where the fully-transportable installation first premiered. Blak Box has since toured its uniquely spellbinding storytelling space around the country.

5. UniSA Museum of Discovery, Adelaide

This future-focused public museum explores the intersection of science, art and innovation. Known colloquially as "MOD." it features Australia’s very first Science on a Sphere (SOS). The suspended globe, 1.8m in diameter, is illuminated by dynamic images pulled from planetary data picked by visitors via a touch screen panel.

Galleries are co-located within an industry incubator space to foster cross-pollination.

As a public research museum, UniSA’s mission is to engage with people regardless of their own academic experience. Even the relocatable gift shop has a futuristic air, assembled of mobile modular elements.

MOD. is aimed at giving people aged 15-25 new perceptions of science fusing art and technology across a range of interactive exhibitions, as well as a “Street Gallery” located alongside North Terrace, drawing in passers-by at all times of day.

A unique, future-focused public museum of discovery that bridges art and science.

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