Commissioned by the Darwin Waterfront Corporation and realized in collaboration with Dyskors, Pearl is situated in the centre of the Darwin Waterfront Precinct and consists of two stages: Masts (initial public artwork) and Shell (landscape design); followed by Pearl (architecture/cultural facility). This project is currently in the design development phase.
Shell is the name given to the landscape in which Masts (initial artwork) and Pearl (cultural facility) are nested. It consists of an inner landscape (the ground plan or footprint of Pearl, initially occupied by Masts and the adjoining stage) and an outer landscape (comprising the remainder of the landscape design, seating, function and performance spaces, family meeting places, kiosk and shade structures).
Pearl is informed by Darwin’s past and present regional association with pearls and pearl shells. The laminating processes involved in the production of pearls inspires its architecture. The recurrent layering creates a graceful, curvilinear series of walls that mediate between inside and outside. At the centre of Pearl is Tidal, a sculptural work inspired by the pivotal role Darwin’s exceptional tides play in pearl production. Pearl will have both permanent and temporary exhibition spaces, and will feature visitor-immersive, interactive digital art. The permanent exhibition narrates, in an innovative cross-media form, seven Darwin stories that can be flexibly accessed, especially by children, through a non-linear floor pattern called Labyrinth.