We began 2015 working with the Australian National University Heritage team and Tanner Kibble Denton Architects on the $1m restoration of the Mt Stromlo Director’s Residence. This iconic site had remained a ruin since the devastating Canberra bushfires of 2003.
Esem Projects was selected by ANU to work on the project following our successful Thinking Spaces installation of 2014. We produced and directed the audio-visual interpretation for the site, working closely with Heritage Officer Amy Jarvis and the collections of the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, as well as managing all aspects of the technical design and installation. Eyes on the Skies, Home on the Hill, The People of Stromlo and Wild Fire Wild Life offered different insights into the personal experiences of the Stromlo community, and a celebration of the achievements of the astrophysics research community over the course of the century.
We loved working with recordings of artist Rosalie Gascoigne, who developed her love of Australian landscape while living at Stromlo as wife of notable astrophysicist Ben Gascoigne, and interviewing Nobel Prize winner Professor Brian Schmidt about his experience of the 2003 Firestorm.
We were especially excited to hear the restoration project won the 2015 ACT National Trust of Australia Heritage Award for Outstanding Project.