Architecture - Honours

The Hourglass of Democracy

The final assessment of our honours degree asked us to design and document a new 'Hall of Democracy' for Brisbane's inner CBD. My partner Bianca Meredith and I were challenged with the task of producing technical documentation, presentation panels, and a physical model to showcase our ability as architects.

Design statement

Democracy is represented in the shape of an hourglass, two opposing sides, the left and the right, battling back and fourth to no avail. This project exemplifies the power of unity and connectivity, physically and symbolically. Shining light on the most important part of the democratic process; the power of the people and their voice.

The building is made up of a left wing and a right wing, symbolising this two party system which has strangled the people and their ability to enact change for far too long. The opposing wings are unified by a connecting point; the bridge of unity. Seeded with individually designed Luxfer prism floor bricks, a redirection of light is produced to highlight the true source of power and change.

Beneath the bridge lies a public speaker’s auditorium, and as light is redirected onto this area, the true force of change is highlighted, this force is with the people and their voice. Surrounding the hourglass is a strong and connected shell that emphasises a system that holds a level of beauty and unity to it; however, the real beauty and unity lies within and behind this rose veil of democracy.

The Hourglass is a physical manifestation of a system that so frequently is flipped back and fourth. Providing a place for the people to interact, learn, engage, and discuss with members of governing bodies will create transparency between policy makers and the common citizen. This transparency is embodied by a birdcage facade surrounding the entirety of the structure. This serves the dual purpose of providing shade and natural cross ventilation to every part of the building, while also creating the feeling of vision; inwards, outwards, and ahead.

Modern Democracy

Democracy is a long-standing political ideology in which power is represented through elected officials providing change for the benefit of common citizens. This romanticised definition is flawed in practice and perceives modern day problems and social issues through a rose coloured lens. Governing bodies are at a precipice of cataclysmic change, where power and knowledge is being unearthed at an exponential rate. The hourglass represents the ticking time bomb of this pseudo-democratic system, which as history shows has been paralleled by greed, selfishness, and a hunger for power and personal economic gain. Hope for the future of democracy lies within the voice of the people, provided with a platform for their voice and opportunities for discussion. The Hourglass is designed and intended to be used around the people, for the people, and by the people.

Studio bosh link to the hourglass video fly-through

the hourglass renders

The hourglass presentation panels

The hourglass physical model photos

Josh Anderson

Locally grown, globally raised, with a peculiar taste for the unknown. Josh finds inspiration in the micro and the macro while paying homage to the individual. Expected to graduate with honours mid 2021, Josh intends to continue his architectural journey through his masters degree commencing in 2022.