iLLUMS BOX was built for Sculpture by the Sea 2009. A free outdoor exhibition held during spring over 3 weekends, this annual exhibition attracts over 500,000 visitors each year. Held on a 2km coastal walk in Sydney's east - the exhibition is sited along some of the most spectacular sandstone coast cliffs with clear blue ocean and sky as its backdrop. iLLUMS Box is a sculpture and gallery of light built entirely of plantation pine timber pallets. The box sits to the south of Tamarama Beach oriented north to receive full daylight next to a sandstone escarpment . During the day it is animated by sunlight that filters through its apertures and into the cavernous spaces inside, changing the light quality as the sun moves across the sky. Shadows cast by the pallets change the box’s appearance on the outside resulting in the whole sculpture continuously changing with light. Two solar panels mounted on top charge batteries which turn on lights at dusk transforming the box into a lantern that intensifies through the night. Pallets made from newly cut timber immerse visitors with the soft raw smell of pine as they enter the box. This smell was very strong at the beginning however slowly faded as the sea spray absorbed the sculpture over the 3 weeks - reinforcing the ephemeral nature of this piece. Sited next to the ocean the sculpture had to be designed to withstand 150 km/h winds with minimal intervention to this sensitive and much loved beach location. The solution - the entire sculpture was anchored to the existing concrete stormwater drain with 1.5mm thick galvanised steel straps at only 6 points. This together with the designer’s desire and discipline to use only a single material (timber pallets) to create the galleries makes the sculpture a most efficient,economical piece of architecture in a beautiful natural surrounding. It’s proved to be a very popular piece, especially with children who ran inside discovering its spaces and wonder at the blue ocean / sky horizon that opens at its end. All materials at the end of the exhibition were reused or recycled - resulting in no waste.


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