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SECTION 8

> AUSTRALIA | MELBOURNE 2006

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In simple terms Section 8 is a bar in a carpark in Melbourne’s Chinatown, but in hindsight this pop-up that has never popped-down sparked an inner city bar design revolution.

 

Section 8 is 100 recycled timber pallets, 2 shipping containers, 140 lineal metres of fibreglass sheet (trimdeck profile), 7 HB350 steel trusses, 39 HJ150 steel purlins, 14 x 100mm sheets of 5mm steel posts, 6 cans of white aerosol road paint and 25 Chinese paper lanterns..

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Section 8, despite its toughness, creates a kind of urban salubriousness, like an accidental living room in the city. It is a site of convenience and liberation rather than the expression of style or design will; it is not consecrated to the mechanisation of the human subject or even to the rationing of dim (borderline witless) theory.

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It represents an accidental architecture, really. It’s an architecture of refuse, off cuts and second-hand utility. The simple beginning is something so insignificant in itself, so far as its content goes, that for architectural thinking it must appear as entirely accidental. This architecture is just a little squalid, a little thin on the ground, but at least it takes the punter out of the usual air-conditioned nightmare. This simple beginning has only the bare bones of architecture; it seems impoverished in its materiality, empty of content.

Soon it will disappear. That’s what they said more than 10 years ago when it opened.

 
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Photography by Tanja Kimme.