Sydney-based architect Andrew Burns has been chosen to design the inaugural Fugitive Structures architectural project.

A collaborative initiative between Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation (SCAF) and BVN Architecture, Fugitive Structures is an annual invitation-only competition aimed at emerging and mid career architects who are asked to design a small-scale temporary pavilion in an urban setting.

The structure will be built in SCAF’s Zen Garden in Sydney.

2012 is shaping up as a huge year for Burns, who attracted international attention earlier this year with his design of Australia House, a mini gallery, studio and atelier in the 'snow country' of Niigata Prefecture, approximately three hours north of Tokyo.

Australia House. Photographer: Brett Boardman

He also recently won a prestigious UK limited-invitation competition to transform a complex of London’s inner city laneways into the city’s newest park in collaboration with British landscape designer, Sarah Eberle.

He spoke to A&D about it here.


Dr Gene Sherman AM, Executive Director of SCAF said, “Fugitive Structures refers to a new creative endeavour fashioned around the work of architects from Australia, the Asia Pacific region and the Middle East and will deliver an original, modestly scaled and compelling space in the centre of our busy city.”

Burns commented: “The pavilion has an ambiguous presence, between architecture and art object. Through framing, it transforms an ordinary rose apple hedge into a landscape of beauty. The structure responds to elemental themes; darkness and light, the wonder of the night sky, the arc of the sun and the presence of bushfire on this continent.”

The Fugitive Structures’ concept references London's Serpentine Gallery's highly successful Architectural Pavilion series where, to date, 13 sponsored projects have drawn millions of British and international visitors to Kensington Gardens in the Northern summer.

Dr Sherman said: “Over the years I have been inspired by the creative energy and simplicity of execution behind the annual Serpentine Gallery Pavilion project. I wanted to reference, but not imitate the concept, preferring to concentrate on young architects in our region, and giving them the opportunity to freely explore architectural ideas and space without focusing on a utilitarian outcome.”

BVN principal Phillip Rossington said: “Gene Sherman’s interest in and support of architecture culture is to be commended.  It is very exciting for BVN to be involved in the Fugitive Structure’s project.  This first scheme by Andrew Burns is a powerful and elegant site-specific pavilion and we are looking forward to working with Andrew to assist in realizing the vision.”

Fugitive Structures marks a distinct new departure for SCAF but remains firmly anchored in the Sherman Contemporary Art Foundation’s visual, cultural and ideas program.

Since its launch as a foundation in 2008 has seen 15 exhibition projects and installations that have filled the gallery with artists, architects and designers such as Ai Weiwei, Jitish Kallat, Brook Andrew, SANAA (Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawa) and Tokujin Yoshioka;

And hundreds of forums and talks have brought together top tier creative practitioners, writers, chefs, filmmakers, environmentalists and scholars and have linked these carefully selected experts with the broader community, from the region.

A new vibrant program is planned for 2013.

Fugitive Structures, which will open to the public on Friday 22nd March 2013, has grouped together a unique coalition of builders, engineers, architects, urban planners and landscape designers who, together with SCAF and BVN will bring the project to fruition.  Exhibition dates: 22 March – 14 September 2013