The philosophy of the Brick Bay Folly project is to support young and emerging New Zealand architects or students in an accredited New Zealand architecture programme to explore the intersections between architecture and sculpture, and the increasing overlaps in references, concepts and techniques between the two disciplines. The winning entry receives an overall $35,000 grant towards realising the proposed project.
The 2018 winners are: Norman Ning Wei from Moller Architects, Cynthia Yuan from MPM Projects, Kim Huynh from Paterson Architectural Collective and Kevin Kun Ding from Open Media Lab.
A Folly is an architectural object that lacks a deliberate functional purpose which must instead examine its surroundings and allow them to bring it into existence. The 2018 Folly, ‘Jonah’ is stranded alongside a lake and together with the broader seaside location of the site, the biblical story of Jonah evolved as the inspiration for the build, in which the prophet temporarily dwells inside a whale and received shelter from turmoil.
The structure references an abstracted giant sea creature, stranded on land, prone to the conditions of weathering and eventually exposing its skeletal form.
Adhering to the traditions of a folly, although like a building, it provides no practical protection, only offering spatial definition. Visitors are invited to inhabit this semi-sheltered enclosure and perhaps imagine being inside the belly of a stranded whale. The large cantilevered arch or ‘nose’ trembles lightly in wind, implicating the condition of living creatures and the transience of flesh, while the colourful translucent mesh ‘skin’ offers an interface between the visitor and the surrounding landscape.
Experimenting with non-traditional materials for the project in using PE piping for the structural elements, the fabrication of this Folly was an evolving journey of research and continual prototyping to celebrate lightweight construction where tension is predominant to achieve a unique and elegant aesthetic.