Barangaroo Pier (SEE/MEANT)

(Barangaroo Pier (SEE/MEANT))

Traditional Custodians of the land
Gadigal people of the Eora nation

Watermans Cove, Barangaroo, NSW

Completion Date
Competition Proposal

NSW Government

Decibel Architecture


Place is made profound by an aggregation of culture, of people and of meaning that binds us to the earth that we inhabit. On the southern shores of Sydney Harbour, a subtle, intricate and sophisticated tapestry of knowledge and living has existed across 40,000 years.

Stories and language shimmer and slip away from recollection like sparkles of light on water. We seek to grasp these memories and weave them into our vibrant, future facing and contemporary culture.


(SEE & MEANT - Place)

The rich marine ecology that brought families together to gather and harvest is written into the spirit of the land and marked by the prolific ancient middens laid up over generations- forms and marks materialised by many hands, meals and stories.

SEE/MEANT seeks to reveal the inextricable connection between this place and the Eora/Gadigal way of life. SEE/MEANT enables many histories, many threads to be gathered and to be positioned within the whole, just as a midden would grow fuelled by love and participation in Place.

(SEE & MEANT - People)

The cement that forms our glittering towers is made from those very same limestone shells. We seize the opportunity to provide a space that presents our common histories known and unknown to all alike, and that requires not just a reconstructed physical form, but the creation of a place where we might converse, tell our multiple truths, share our many language stories and find a common wealth in our experience and hopes.

‘This moment exists now and forever –

a choice to see all that came before,

to imagine all that is yet to come,

and to consider our place

in the NOW.’

(The Flex)

SEE/MEANT sits upon the pier whose shape is formed by man, to resemble an act of nature. The curve prescribed in the isthmus of the pier reaches out across the water. It constructs a moment to look back upon all we have created. Our pavilion similarly is constructed- but with the purpose to look back in time, and forward in culture, to create a meeting point- a ‘flex’ as defined in mathematics- the point of tangential balance in any change of direction.


Our proposal will target Zero+ across water, energy, waste and Life Cycle Analysis. It will be a net contributor to the base elements of consumption- but more importantly SEE/MEANT is a generator of dialogue, of connectedness, and of proud responsibility.

Sourcing not simply materials, but engagement with artistic stories, writings and words, SEE/MEANT will be a place to inscribe what was missed, what was hidden, what was meant when we could not see. It will embed interaction with past, current and future generations through sophisticated human ritual founded in the labyrinths journey of self-discovery and played with to this day.


As humans we are all on a journey- this pavilion is no ivory tower, and no coal face of industry- it sits in the ephemeral now- open to all, hovering between water and sky. At once a casual collection of discarded objects and also a profoundly rigorous mathematical function wrought in space.

Simple and complex, the flex becomes a place of contemplation- framing views between water and land, between past and present- a pause on Wulugul walk, it invites consideration of deeper meanings and helps us to see what was meant.

(Watermans Cove, Barangaroo)