ANCIENT INSPIRATIONby Urban Art Projects
A Chinese dragon-inspired design became the driving force behind this elemental range of street furniture set in the Gold Coast’s Chinatown.
Commissioned to give life to the mythical designs of Dan Plummer, Urban Art Projects (UAP) created a suite of street furniture to grace the new Chinatown Gold Coast development, offering an air of Chinese culture to the coastal area.
Combining Chinese mythology with local context, Dan Plummer, Plummer & Smith, drew inspiration from the winding rivers, urban flow and tidal patterns of the Gold Coast region to create a metaphoric representation of the serpentine form of the Eastern Dragons of myth.
The long and sinuous contour seat at the heart of the streetscape, which mimics the snaking movement of a dragon, is custom designed to fit within the edge of two planting areas to define gathering areas within the precinct.
Holding a significant position in Chinese mythology, the dragon was a key inspiration for the furniture and embellishments of the Chinatown development. The Chinese philosophy of Yin/Yang is also referenced in the designs, representing the ‘sunny side’ (Yang) of the Gold Coast location which is renowned for its sun and beaches, through touches of gold woven into various pieces in the suite.
In addition to the elements of Chinese culture that inform the design of these pieces, the materials chosen have a deliberately significant impact. Wanting to select a palette that was authentic, the materials for the suite, predominantly timber and stone, were chosen for both their aesthetic and practical qualities. All the materials used have an ‘elemental’ quality and a robust nature, ensuring the streetscape would endure.
Natural timber was selected for the seat slates due to its ‘natural’ aesthetic, allowing it to sit comfortably within the landscape and reflect a sense of the passage of time as it weathers. Though protected with matt finishes, the timber was not stained in order to enhance the shine of the furniture's brass and mosaic features.
The final unique element of the design is a series of patterning embedded in the stone. A wave pattern was used on the contour seat and electrical box seat of the suite to represent the surface of water, with a carved-away element submerged beneath. The sand pattern used is a reference to the tidal sandbank patterns of Broadwater. Placed on the sub-surface of the units, this pattern also serves as a metaphorical reference to the surfacing and disappearing of the ‘dragon’ form that was the inspiration of the designs.
The overall impact of this unique series of streetscape pieces designed by Dan Plummer and created by UAP, offers a harmonious blend of ancient and modern, fantastical and practical.
Urban Art Projects
P +617 3630 6300
Client Gold Coast City Council
Designer Dan Plummer, Plummer & Smith
Manufacturing & Installation UAP
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