The Waratah Studio is conceived as a private retreat, an inspiring communion with its surrounding environment. The structure will feature internationally as the focal point of the Trailfinders Australian Garden presented by Flemings at the prestigious Chelsea Flower Show in 2013, a collaboration between Phillip Johnson Landscapes and studio505.
As the visitor moves through the Australian Garden, the Waratah Studio’s articulated shading envelope presents the beholder with a subtly dynamic image, evocative of a blossoming flower. Expressing its communion with the landscape, it is fully permeable to its context, both inwards and outwards. In a display of geometric perfection, when standing front-on inside the structure looking over the garden, all vision of the timber petals disappear entirely. Step one foot to the right or left, and the petals reappear to remind the voyeur where they are once more. The digitally fabricated petals have been designed to capture natural light and create a striking dappled effect inside the studio.
The Waratah Studio is solidly geometric and fluidly organic. It is rational and emotional, simple and precious. It reminds us that everything is generated from opposites, in the same way that Australian flowers can be created from fire and water through the process of rejuvenation. These themes are also incorporated in the studio’s geometry and elements, presenting the abstraction of a flower born of fire and water - a driving concept that in a truly organic sense is reflected at every scale of the project. This theme is not only a concept, it also tells a story - in 2009 Australia did not participate in the Chelsea Flower Show as a result of the tragic bushfires that struck Victoria in the same year. In 2013 Australia comes back to Chelsea, rejuvenated and more vibrant than ever, and won the Gold Medal.