Rediscovering an old love – the second date


Almost two months ago I expressed my wish to have a look inside the Australian Academy of Science, a building that I had rediscovered a love for during my time in Canberra.  Finally I got that chance last week as I got the chance to attend the Australian Institute of Architects Gold Medal Talk by this year’s recipient, Lawrence Nield.

If you want to know my thoughts on Lawrence Nield’s talk you will have to take a look through my twitter feed but my main reason to attend his talk was to take advantage of a rare opportunity to see inside the Australian Academy of Science, a second date so to speak. As second dates it didn’t disappoint as not it only involved to seeing the interior of the building but also a chance to see the building in a whole different light at night.

I spent much of the time waiting for the lecture to begin staring at the lights in the main auditorium. They reminded of something I had tried to do in a third year architecture project but my discs were coloured and there were many more of them.

These strings which from a distance appear to be a solid object were introduced much later after it was discovered that the sound baffles created a form of optical interference which made people in the room feel ill. These strings of wool fixed the optical problem without spoiling the acoustics (1).

In the foyer after amongst I discovered these hand drawings of the Roy Grounds’ proposal.

After partaking in some canapes and a glass of champagne I had to bring the second date to an end although as I stood out there in the dark I did take a number of photos as the building changed colour with the aid of some lights. I think this light show only happens when the building is being used as I can’t remember having seen it on my numerous trips past at night in the bus.



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