The aim of this intervention is to improve the pedestrian connection between one side of the Convent, the Steiner school, Children’s Farm and artisan studios precinct with the central precinct of cafés at the main entry to the Convent. The other aim was to provide public access into an otherwise inaccessible cluster of buildings. The spaces which the intervention traverses are awaiting funding to be further developed and restored. In the meantime they have been appropriated for temporary conceptual art installations. The breezeway intervention is imagined as a kind of portal or ‘wormhole’ connecting two sides of the Convent. The wormhole carefully negotiates its way through existing openings while minimising disruption to the existing building. The walls, ceiling and floors were left in their unrenovated state with minimum demolition. The design is made up of three parts, two timber and steel tubes which connect the outside to a large central atrium space where a steel cage which contains the pedestrian movements. This cage was positioned by Nigel Lewis and is intended as a temporary component which will be removed when funding is found to restore the building providing access to the internal spaces.
The built form intervention is designed to be easily deconstructed and recycled. There is an efficient cost effective use of materials which is not gratuitous that simply fulfills a functional requirement. The timber is a hard wearing spotted gum which has been sustainable sourced. The electric lighting is kept to an absolute minimum, the space relies on borrowed light from the openings and central atrium spaces. There was no necessary demolition and the site building waste was kept to an absolute minimum. The project enhances the cultural and social richness of this community precinct by improving connectivity and engaging with the existing built environment in an new and positive way. The breezeway connects the artisan studio precinct to the main entry to the convent. This improvement in pedestrian movement is beneficial to the economic sustainability of the small artisan enterprises that exist in this previously hidden pocket of the Convent.