Looking Back At 2017

The beginning of a new year is an opportunity to look back at some of the defining moments of the year just passed, to reflect, celebrate and learn.

In 2017, UAP continued to realise the vision of its varied clients. We expanded our global presence with the launch of satellite offices in Dubai, Melbourne, Singapore, Shenzhen and Detroit. UAP was humbled to win the American Architecture Prize and reach the World Architecture Festival Shortlists for Wahat Al Karama. We were honoured to collaborate with a range of influential creatives to create impactful projects across the globe, just a few of which are listed below.

North America

A 40-foot arch with two human silhouettes was installed beneath New York’s Washington Square Arch in collaboration with Ai Weiwei and the Public Art Fund. Ai Weiwei’s Arch: Good Fences Make Good Neighbours provokes discussion on issues relating to borders, immigration and access. Erwin Redl’s Whietout, a temporary art installation for Madison Square Park Conservancy, was created with a carpet of LED lights suspended over a lawn.

Ai Weiwei, Arch, 2017. Photo: Nicholas Knight, Courtesy of Public Art Fund

Teaming up with internationally-acclaimed French designers Ronan and Erwan Bourollec and Miami Design District Associates, our New York team realised Nuage, promenade. A cloud canopy of 60 stainless steel modules with coloured glass and native plants, it provides shelter and reinvigorates the Miami Design District.

SHoP Architects were called upon to work with Sarcon Construction to enhance new developments, creating an aluminium cladding system at the entrances of the SITE Santa Fe museum, and with JDS Development Group to develop bespoke wooden slats in the American Copper Buildings’ lobbies.

SHoP Architects, SITE Santa Fe, 2017. Photo: Jeff Goldberg / Esto


UAP was again honoured to collaborate with renowned indigenous Australian artists in 2017. Brian Robinson’s Citizens Gateway, for Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef and Tourism Tropical North Queensland, is situated at the doorway to the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns. Using a stingray sculpture, the work encourages viewers to consider their environmental responsibility. Reko Rennie’s Untitled, a Bogong Moth of cast bronze, aluminium, automotive paint and neon lighting, is now permanently suspended in the National Museum of Australia’s entry hall.

Working closely with artist Emily Floyd, the team brought Jackalope to life, a six metre jackrabbit with antelope horns which lends a whimsical element to the forecourt of the Jackalope Hotel on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsular by Carr Design Group.

Emily Floyd, Jackalope, 2017. Photo: Roger D’Souza Photography

UAP was thrilled to have the opportunity to transform Brisbane, developing a vision Promise of the Sun and public art strategy for the new Queen’s Wharf development along Brisbane’s riverside. Designed for Echo Entertainment and Destination Brisbane Consortium, it strategises a collection of artwork opportunities that vary in form, medium and scale to enhance the new development.

Working closely with Multiplex and artist Alexander Knox the team realised The Sound That Light Makes, a podium screen alongside columns which will enhance the façade of the redevelopment of Brisbane’s 300 George St upon its completion. UAP SUPPLY collaborated with artist, designer duo Plummer and Smith to develop Grafted, a new range of street furniture made from stone, timber and brass, inspired by horticultural practice and traditional joinery.  

Alexander Knox, The Sound That Light Makes, 2017-2018. Render: Early concept visual supplied.


Many of the artworks installed in China encourage viewers to actively engage with them. UAP had the honour of collaborating with famed artist Lawrence Argent, helping him to realise his final project. Beyond Reflection, for China Horoy Buildings, features a dragon emerging from beneath the ground, animated with lightning and mist, inviting passers-by to take a closer look. Arnaud Lapierre’s Ring.Chain for Shui On Land and China Xintiandi, features a stack of reflective cuboids in which pedestrians can pass through the work’s central void to experience surreal optical reflections.

Arnaud Lapierre, Ring • Chain, 2017.

Our Shanghai team also collaborated with Sino Group and Richard Sweeney to create what would become the artist’s largest permanent sculptural work to date. Reflection is an aluminium sculpture which acts as sun shelter, meeting space and artwork; installed in the Province Midtown in Zhengzhou. UAP also worked with Florentijn Hofman and Vanke Group to create Kraken, an imaginative, fun and inclusive playscape situated on the harbour in Yantian, Shenzhen.

Florentijn Hofman, Kraken, 2017. Photo: Charlie Xia Photography

UAP was involved in a vast range of projects in 2017 and would like to thank all those who collaborated with us. We look forward to another busy year, working with our clients to bring their visions to life and transform spaces worldwide.

Text by Clare Christensen for UAP