JONAH

BRICK BAY FOLLY 2018

Kevin Kun Ding, Norman Ning Wei, Kim Huynh and Cynthia Yuan.

The Folly is an architectural object that lacks a deliberate functional purpose which must instead examine its surroundings and allow them to bring it into existence. This Folly is stranded alongside a lake and together with the broader seaside location of the site, the biblical story of Jonah evolved as the inspiration for the build,  in which the prophet temporarily dwells inside a whale and received shelter from turmoil. The structure references an abstracted giant sea creature, stranded on land, prone to the conditions of weathering and eventually exposing its skeletal form.

Adhering to the traditions of a folly, although like a building, it provides no practical protection, only offering spatial definition. Visitors are invited to inhabit this semi-sheltered enclosure and perhaps imagine being inside the belly of a stranded whale. The large cantilevered arch or ‘nose’  trembles lightly in wind, implicating the condition of living creatures and the transience of flesh, while the colourful translucent ‘skin’ offers an interface between the visitor and the surrounding landscape.

Experimenting with non-traditional materials for the project in using PE piping for the structural elements, the fabrication of this Folly was an evolving journey of research and continual prototyping to celebrate lightweight construction where tension is predominant to achieve a unique and elegant aesthetic.

Read more about the 2018 winning Folly in Architecture Now.



The Top five finalists for the Brick Bay Folly 2018 were:

  • ‘Jonah’ by Norman Ning Wei from Moller Architects, Cynthia Yuan from MPM Projects, Kim Huynh from Paterson Architectural Collective and Kevin Kun Ding from Open Media Lab references the story of ‘Jonah and the Whale’, using PVC piping to form a skeletal structure covered in a fine stainless steel mesh skin, which gives shelter and creates a sense of enclosure.

  • ‘Current Affair’ by Andrew Caldwell from Jerram Tocker Barron Architects and Tina Williams from Architecture HDT is inspired by the adaptable nature of the mangroves and features a series of wind-catching posts and a central branching frame with a whimsical swing at its centre.

  • ‘Journey Morph #5’ by Daniel James Fennell, Bachelor of Architectural Studies student at the University of Auckland, alludes to a sense of movement and rhythm with a structure of red polypropylene rope held taut between galvanised metal chains and tubes.

  • ‘Outside In’ by Devo Staples of Tennent Brown Architects, Jonathan Molloy of Athfield Architects and Reed Wurster of GHD Woodhead draws inspiration from the sheds and homes of rural New Zealand, with a surprisingly colourful interior of woven timber.

  • ‘You are here’ by Madeleine Appelros, architecture tutor at Victoria University of Wellington, plays on sensory perceptions by presenting visitors with different external, internal and through experiences as they explore the structure.


In 2018 the jury consisted of Richard Didsbury and Jonathan Organ from Brick Bay, Karen Warman and Joanne Duggan from Resene, Richard Harris from jasmax, Justine Harvey from Architecture New Zealand, Dave Hunter from Fletcher Building, Tony Van Raat and Ryan Mahon, the 2016 co-winner.