"The tension between art and architecture, consumption and waste, expressed in an experimental hotel typology."
Study of the context of site, the Moorilla Estate, located along the Derwent River in Tasmania, raised some important tensions between spaces and time. The location of middens along the banks of the property indicates a lost indigenous culture. There is also evidence of environmental degradation, mercury pollution in the silt bed of the Derwent, due to past industrial waste deposits, and there is a species of native fern that hasn't been sighted in the area since the 80s.
Add to this, the possible future of rising sea levels, plus dwindling energy resources, this area may once well be cut off from the mainland. History repeats itself - Tasmania was cut off from the mainland with the flooding of the Bass Strait over 10000 years ago. This tension between past and future sites Mona in a very fertile place.
So there is this tension between the consumer driven hotel culture and the context of waste. The design highlights this tension with an outward appearance of industrial waste, concrete pipes thrown onto the site, and then an interior that sparkles with the sleek veneer of awesome consumption.
As an art hotel, the tension between art and architecture is drawn upon to express a kind of hyper-reality, with deep roots in space and time - the exterior chaos and abandon of reality, versus the interior tunnels of a futuristic order of alternate reality and fantasy.
Studio Leaders: Tandem Design Studio June 2013