Sean Godsell, Melbourne-based architect, is known especially for his residential architecture, single-family houses mostly built in exceptional places where they seek to reach a gradual, progressive mimetic adaptation with the surrounding landscape, as the architect’s hand-drawn sketches masterfully emphasize just with a few lines.
Sustainability and an obsessive tension towards a concise sobriety are the common notes shared by all his works, characterized by an apparent deceptive simplicity: essential industrial, minimalist forms that reveal at a closer view sophisticated construction techniques. His realizations from the smallest to a larger scale are bespoke-works, fine crafted pieces, all exquisitely detailed.
Part of the podcast will be dedicated to some of his single-family houses, mostly embedded in amazing, pristine natural environments: the ‘House on the Coast’ that, attuned to the virgin context, encourages pauses of reflection and ‘Peninsular House’, involving the viewer in an authentic seductive game, anticipated by a sequence of glimpses in a slow theatrical progression. Some considerations will be reserved to the skin wrapping Design Hub, for RMIT University in Melbourne, a sophisticated, complex technological realisation conceived in 2007, an envelope emulating the performances of human skin, capable of dynamically modifying the geometric configuration of the facade, ensuring the best comfort and energy efficiency.
We will conclude with two temporary structures, the Vatican Chapel, in the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, conceived in occasion of the International Architecture Venice Biennale, a proposal of apparent nude simplicity, result of an elaborate engineering construction, part of a religious experience-making, and the MPavilion that, resembling with its fully automated outer skin a flower in the park, has in 2004 inaugurated in Queen Victoria Gardens, Melbourne, a series of annual summer pavilions by the most renowned international architects.
On a final note, we will focus on Godsell’s active social involvement, with reference to ‘Future Shack’ and a series of prototype pieces of urban furniture proposed as possible temporary shelters for the homeless.