2015 Inception Award | Natalie Bornyan


This project speculates on social tensions within sexualised culture. By eliciting transformative and transgressive contact between the sexed body and the ‘body’ of material architecture, the project examines how sexuality can provoke new spatial relations. Sited within the George Hotel in St Kilda, the building brings its own rich sexualised history to the conceptual agendas of the project. Demonstrating how both the culture and spatial context effect behaviours and attitudes, the project re ects the way the female body mirrors socially constructed values and expectations.

examines how sexuality can provoke new spatial relations

This project intends to spatially and experientially break down the currently gentrified George Hotel and form new social interactions by reintroducing past sexualised programs back into the site. Through the dramatic insertion of the staircase, conflicting programs are confounded and collapsed to create new de nitions of public and private, as well as intimacy and exposure. The reinserted programs intend to honour the history of the site by reconnecting programs such as the nightclub, the public bathrooms, the half hour hotel, the strip club and the erotic theatre, whilst leaving the existing reformed restaurant, of ces and apartments intact. The structure essentially holds and connects the building’s contents together.

In the slow unveiling of the spiral stairs, the body moves through spaces of voids and enclosure, encountering unpredictable views and sensory stimuli through the changing material form. All materials have sexual connotations, from a sheer fabric, to a nude latex skin, to a smudge lipstick like texture formed with resin and silicon. Generating tension between the past and the present, both the permanent and temporary resident come to occupy the building simultaneously. The provocation of the penetrating staircase intends to engage any user of the building to be both a spectator and a participant, re ecting the condition of today’s sexualised culture.