Leslie Street Spit is a living example of the complex relationship human and nature hold between and against each other. It is a gradient of transition and phases from industrial waste land to something vital to the local ecosystem. The project is located at the headland of the site, one of the latest parts of the landfill and a relatively exposed and volatile landscape. Comprised of an artist residence with the capacity of four, and a series of public programs including café, sauna and a swim deck, the project seeks to challenge given perception of inside and outside, land and water as a definite boundary.
The site, through a series of landscape intervention, softens and protects the shoreline and the building, while also accelerating the natural reclamation process. The building itself features a gabion wall enclosure with locally salvaged infills that acts as a reminder of the fundamental composition of the site. Additionally, a series of sustainable building systems are deployed, making the building completely off grid, relying only on natural resources to sustain its functions. The building also challenged the concept of roof, rather than the basic architectural element that shields us from natural forces, but as an extension of the ground and an element that welcomes natural forces. It is investigated as a tool for framing views, capturing sustainable energy and ultimately a key device in engaging the concept of land and water, public and private, comfort and well-being.
While the building is permeant in its position, its context and its material composition will be in constant transformation and fluctuation, making it part of the evolution of the Spit itself.