His sandals brush along the sandy red dirt. He pauses as he recognises a familiar garden bed amongst a row of many. The red dirt changes to timber in a shift from public to private. The timber steps creek under his feet as they break away from the ground plain to the raised porch. From here, the timber floor begins to wrap up the exterior walls, eventually dissipating into the idyllic blue sky. He sits perched on the porch basking in the warmth of the sun while sheltered by the cantilevered spatial extension above. Objects float in the in-between space to mark ownership even in his absence.
Just as the timber of the floor subtly dissipates into the walls, the exterior space subtly dissipates into the interior. The light timber door opens to reveal the world within where furniture beckons for activity. Shelves and window sills gather objects and moments of human routine in a similar way that walls and corners do. These objects collect at these edges while they wait to be included, once again, in the ritual of activity.
In this room filled with objects and moments he is soon distracted from the harsh reality of the outside world. Now he is in his private space, free to do as he pleases. The desk invites him to sit and write… the tall window stretching from waist height to ceiling invites him to ponder private thoughts and memories. Through this vast portal the light of the day walks across the room delicately tracing over every object and then vanishes back out the door. The still objects remain long after their encounter with the sun, waiting patiently for the new day. Climbing the ladder to the bed alcove triggers a memory of the ascent to a childhood tree house.
At the top of this ladder he slides into the bed alcove. Tucked away in a loft of privacy and security he is protected but not closed off from the harsh reality of the outside world. A delicate light drenches the loft-like space. There is a distant echo of outside sounds that is quickly dissolved into the thickness of the walls. Personal objects sit on a bedside ledge close to his heart.
Hidden in the most intimate part of the chamber, a small window place pushes out to meet a leafy tree top in the foreground of playful clouds and idyllic blue sky. He sits in comfort and delight in the timber lined box that absorbs the warm beams of sunlight that dance through the open window. These beams of sunlight streak through branches and leaves of the tree just outside to cast soft shadows on quiet surfaces within the chamber. The edge of the window blends with the wall like a seamless skin stretching a deep puncture that opens to the outside world. The expanse of glass is precisely framed in a geometry that is simple yet thoughtfully composed.
WAYS OF MAKING HOME IN THE TRANSITORY HOUSE; imagining a chamber for an asylum seeker in Western Australia earned Mimi a high distinction, the Western Australian Architect’s Board Graduate Award and a nomination for the Royal Architects Institute of Australia and Hassell Studio Graduation Prize.
Just as much about self inquiry as it was about pursuing a research design project, this Master of Architecture dissertation was a process of gathering, cataloguing and imagining; influenced by traditional literature, Mimi’s architectural training and spatial history. See more here.