'Melt' — Exhibition Piece for 'Glass@FedSquare' — the Atrium, Federation Square, Melbourne, 2010

In September 2010, Architectural Glass Design Australia (AGDA) mounted a breakthrough exhibition of architectural glass panels in the huge volume of the Atrium at Fed Square.

Glassplay's piece was driven by the desire to harness the tension that is found between the visionary advances of contemporary architecture and the emotionally powerful possibilities that exist where art meets technology. The double-sided panel, entitled 'Melt', was an environmental statement which brought together the materiality and substance of the hand made, and the exciting possibilities of contemporary, digitally-based industrial processes.

Common architectural products are used throughout and include two 6mm, and two 10mm pieces of waterjet profiled and toughened float glass. The panel employs off-the-shelf stainless steel patch fittings in its structure, and finishes include sandblasting, enamelling, kiln firing, lamination and Dutch metal leaf.

The piece also incorporates profiled and patinated sheet copper, and a machined and sprayed feature made of mirrored Alucobond, a facade material with a host of advantages for both architects and artists working in the architectural realm.

The first of its kind in decades, the exhibition showcased the metamorphosis of a millennia-old discipline as 15 glass artists presented works ranging from the whimsical, to the political, the subversive, the traditional, the humorous and the experimental. Each of the 15 panels was 2.5m x 1m, with an average weight of around 130kgs.

Creative Director, Designer: Peter Campbell
Technical Director, Fabricator: Rick Allen