Modscape’s Ngv Architecture Commission Entry: Living Rooms

Modscape was among 100 entrants in this year’s NGV Architecture Commission with our Living Rooms design in collaboration with Andrew Simpson Architects. Living Rooms is an interactive piece of public architecture that prompts user reflection of the expanding size of residential space and the ecological footprint we occupy.

The installation is comprised of three spaces – the first is a tangible illustration of the standard home size from a century ago, while the second illustrates today’s standard home size. The final space provides an opportunity for reflection of our footprint, with an outlook to the gallery gardens.

Part dwelling, colonnade, theatre, forest and city, Living Rooms is a measuring device, a playground and a place of discovery. It has no permanent lines of enclosure, but offers an engaging and immersive experience. It is attuned to the impact of our bodies on the environment and spatialises our ecological footprint. It speaks to our past and present and invites us to contemplate our future. It anticipates a life beyond, through adaptation and reuse. It’s a place for children and the imagination.

A custom system of 154 steel poles make up the field of columns that comprise the installation. These are coated with thermochromic paint, which changes colour with temperature fluctuation, encouraging interaction and consideration of our impression and effect on our surrounds.

Translucent weather-proof fabric is loosely suspended from the structure and inscribes the three volumes. The final space forms a proscenium arch and offers a space to lie on the grass, rest, chat or hold more formalised events.

Living Rooms is explicitly intended to be repurposed for future use. We approached the Footscray Community Arts Centre about acquiring the installation at the close of the exhibition for ongoing future use as performance and event infrastructure.

See the shortlisted 2021 Architecture Commission designs at the NGV website.

*contingent on the management of COVID-19 protocols.