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Inter-Facing Change Tutor: Jenny Lowe

The earth has been evolving for very many years, from gases to liquids

to solids. Over these years the earth has been moving through many cyclic

periods of global warming and cooling. Early life forms in the more recent evolution of the earth inputted oxygen into the atmospheres that raised the earth’s temperature by 30 degrees, creating the conditions for humans to evolve. The reasons for the conditions of global warming that we are currently experiencing are contested and speculative but there is now agreement that the earth is warming. It might be that the earth is in a cycle of warming that is being accelerated by the inputting of CO2 into the atmospheres by the increasing number of life forms on the surface of the earth. This studio embraced

future scenarios for climate change as they affect Melbourne.

Students worked, in small groups, with the peninsula of Williamstown and designed strategic responses to a three-metre sea level rise. Various responses were proposed that worked with defence and/or adaptation. Individual projects then tested architectural responses to these strategies. In response to worsening water shortages Williamstown has been proposed

as a desalinisation centre. Students have incorporated the processes of the sea-water greenhouse, that uses prevailing winds as a renewable energy source producing both fresh water and cool air, into their architectural


Whilst developing strategic responses students were also making water harnessing devices to better understand sources of water. These were prototyped at 1:1.

“....and we really need to look again at how we live with this landscape. You can’t drought proof Australia. We need to learn to live with the landscape, not try to fight against it all the time.” ...........................................The Wentworth Group of Concerned Scientists

page 1 image: Water Harnessing Device prototpye - Philip Holub, Elke Howard, Andrej Vodstrcil



STUDENTS: Site Location 1 - Andrej Vodstrcil, Andrew Karabatsakis, Philip Holub Site Location 2/1 - Afiq Shazwan, Raj Andagare, Poh Fern Teng Site Location 2/2 - Elke Howard, Anna O’Toole


Site Location3 - Toni Pavlovic, Nikki Hill, James Gilliard Site Location 4 - Tim Heron, Ashley Mackey

SITE LOCATION 1: Andrej Vodstrcil, Andrew Karabatsakis and Philip Hobub proposed a sea-defense wall to preserve the wetlands and sources of fresh water at the mouth of the Kororoit Creek. The top of the sea wall continues the popular walking routes of the existing land-sea interface. Andrej Vodstrcil,

above, tests a seawater greenhouse for desalinization and food production, managed wetlands as filtration system for supplies of fresh water from the creeks, new access to the sea for local fishermen and public facilities at this future



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SITE LOCATION 2/1: Afiq Shazwan, Raj Andagare and Poh Fern Teng investigated ways of maintaining the Williamstown Beach in the face of 3 meter sea-level rise. The solution that they pursued was an extension of the existing groynes that protect the beach as a recreational, productive and monitoring

sea-defense wall. Afiq (1) developed a productive greenhouse that extends the existing botanical gardens and works as a public park. Very innovative mouths for the harnessing of prevailing winds had been undertaken to produce fresh water that might preserve the existing






SITE LOCATION 2/2 Anna O’Toole (1) and Elke Howard (2) tested the preservation of a beach at Williamstown with a sea-defense wall at the back of the existing beach. A density of housing is built into the sea wall with the facades of the housing becoming the mechanisms for the desalinisation process.

botanic gardens and parklands in future scenarios. Poh Fern(2) borrows cooled air from Afiq to design an aquaculture station that monitors the difference between existing oceon conditions and changes. Raj provides a facility that manages the transfer of water between preserved existing sea level and the rising sea level.


Anna’s(1) testing of the housing along the back of the beach negotiated density and height to the housing whilst controlling the amount of shadow this cast over the beach. Elke (2) tested tower housing out on the points where shadow was not an issue. Here the capturing of prevailing winds for desalinisation could be optimised.

SITE LOCATION 3: Nikki Hill and Toni Pavlovic have entwined a productive seawater greenhouse around the Burbank Oval integrating a new grandstand that benefits from the cooled air. Steps into the sea at this point register and monitor the rising sea levels.

SITE LOCATION 4: Tim Herron and Ash Mackey have tested the Point Gellibrand reserve and Shelley Beach as a desalinisation site and area to be developed for vertical farming. Ash tested vertical productive towers that worked with the seawater desalinisation process whilst Tim (above) tested lower

rise vertical farming. Tim sited productive greenhouses along the existing land-sea interface to optimize access to prevailing winds. Public access to the space between the 2 wind harnessing mouths extends the parklands into this cooled growing space. As sea levels rise these greenhouses preserve public ground within them.


RMIT Architecture Lowerpool Design Studio, Semester 2, 2008 Studio Leader: Jenny Lowe