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bolte bridge DOCKLANDS melbourne

ACKNOWLEGEMENT University Of Melbourne Parkville Melbourne School Of Design Landscape Architetcure Studio II coordinator. Heike Rahmann Tutor. Fiona Johnson, Elliot Summers Group Work Ass1. Heather Forward, Sally Barry ass2. sam Otto, Tomoki Mita, Hiroshi Yoshinaga This folio was produced by veronica carrasco 211 435

CONTENT site + concept one Exploration Site + concept two Exploration Responding Design statement Design principles Precedent Iteration one Iteration two Iteration three Design proposal Conclusion references

At a first impression a sense of void tends to occupy the feeling of an empty urban site. This is a void that is not empty of content but contains various organic and non-organic elements. According to Michael Spens, these elements are continually and equally appearing and disappearing forming a “rhizomatic assemblage of highly contrasting urban fragments and landscape parcels” (Michael Spens 2007) The elements within a site create dichotomies of personal experiences that further render a conceptual notion of varying experiential multiplicities. This is a process that is formed only through the introduction of an acting moral agency within the perceived void of the site. This engenders a distinct transformation of the meaning of urban landscape as “architecture has become readable as landscape, or as non-landscape, as building become non-site” (Spens 2007). Elements therefore form no consistency as each embodies differences that place them within the interplay of non-site. Connectivity between these elements becomes evidence of the speed in which processes are taking place which provokes a stimulus response. The internal and external qualities of site are echoed in the multiplicity of experience in the non-site. This is interpreted as a breakdown of boundaries and the elements within them. The breakdown of the boundaries is proposed in the writing of Deleuze and Guittari (D&G) in the concept of deterritorialization. They seek to deconstruct notions of territory becoming “lost territory” which involves a continually moving system of value and exchange where things depart, escape or arrive. (Deleuze and Guittari 1988)



SITE A similar framework is used by Ignasi de Solà-Morales to explain abandoned and unproductive spaces as Terrain Vague. Solà-Morales describe the “individual of the contemporary city” as a “force” in a system within an urban environment. (Sola-Morales 1995) Therefore an intervention is described as a force which travels within these urban networks. Solà-Morales says that the archival quality of photography allows the ability to engage with the materiality of place, connecting impressions of the past and the present and allowing for a sense of continuity. To further put this into practice, in our design intervention, the act of marking a line signifies an aesthetic experience that transports or lifts. Similarly, D&G define a concept known as a “line of flight”. These are elements that are able to generate geographic marking on a map. (Deleuze and Guittari 1988)

+ CONCEPT ONE The photographic documentation of the elements in the site represent the objects existed at an exact time. This quality of temporality allows for a sense of continuity. The act of documentation is a material deconstruction that is not permanent. K.Lynch and G.Hack (1984) describes that a site once disturbed experiences “a readjustment of elements”. This is an act of information exchange. Another example is how site acoustics are transformed into a “pleasant or informative sound” through the influence of a person. These judgments influence the exchange of information and the way site is experienced. I may decide to create walls or plant trees to diffuse or divert the sound thus affecting the dynamics of the elements in the site. Yet sound may not be stopped. These elements form an important continuing process that help to preserve the character and stability of urban environments.

EXPLORATION Can we explore the dichotomies of experience which exist within the boundaries of Terrain Vague? By drawing a straight line mapping the first visual impressions of the site, we will impose an artificial boundary through the site. This boundary creates a physical and visual division across the site and provides a hypothetical framework from which to experience and deconstruct elements in the space. The experience of the site will be interrelated with physically walking on the lines and sound recordings which will be taken from each end of the drawn lines. Through the interrelationship of the sound, walking experience and visual boundaries of the site we will explore some of the conceptual possibilities of Terrain Vague.

The important words in the question were order and disorder, reveal, tension. We discussed these as follows. Terrain Vague creates a dichotomy of personal experiences in the participant in the space. It can be seen in a positive light, as a vessel for creative expression and opportunity or as a negative, uncomfortable experience, which amplifies the differences between the ordered nature of its context and its own internal chaotic feel. Based on this premise we brainstormed the question. Is it possible to reveal a creative tension between order and disorder in landscape?

ORDER & DISORDER. The site in Collins Street is situated within a highly urbanised environment. It’s surrounds are highly structured and ordered, yet it sits as its own separate entity. Everything around it has a purpose and an order. It’s lack of purpose imbues a sense of disorder on us and a feeling of a need to ‘fix it’. REVEAL. To whom is the tension revealed? In order to experience tension the participant brings their own judgments and personal experience. The revelation of tension is subjective. TENSION. Tension exists as a result of the confl icting interpretations of the site. When one enters the site its vastly different nature to its surrounding context creates tension. This may be positive or negative, or most likely both, as the participant grapples with its uniqueness within it’s environment.

The challenge of the Terrain Vague site is that is provides a divergent focus within a specific context . After discussion and reflection on the original question, we developed a new question. Can we explore the dichotomies of experience which exist within the boundaries of Terrain Vague?

“The site and the purpose for which it will be used – the two sources of site design – are curiously interrelated. Purpose depends on the limitations of the site, and site analysis depends on purpose.” Kevin Lynch, The Site in Site planning, p.29

“… the realm of architectural engagement was conditioned by the realization that landscape design and architecture are no longer inhibited by outmoded site contextualities.” Michael Spens, Introduction in Site/ Non-Site: Extending the Parameters in contemporary Landscape, p. 8





Urban centers are subject to continual transformation. Expanding cities are facing pressure to create environments to support new infrastructural development for the activities of future residents. The contextual significance of these landscapes can be explored through the desolate sites of terrain vague these act as platforms and can play a significant role in revealing hidden elements. Early conceptions manifested by the Surrealist, Dada and The Situationists used a walking methodology as a means of understanding the consequences that early modernization had upon an individuals social environment. They sought to understand the environment through creative inquiry rather than conventional methods of analysis.

These deambulations and derive also reflected an anticapitalist ideology which served to demonstrate a symptomatic relationship that the walker has with its urban environment. This psychogeographic reading of a site reveals the interdependent qualities that can inform a design intervention. The site beneath Bolte bridge in Port Melbourne exemplifies the ubiquitous nature of terrain vague. Potential urban connections lay dormant and hidden from their surrounding environment. The site’s connection to the water edge maintains its environmental and cultural value. Yet, the desolate appearance of the site maintain interpretation as a mere landmark in the urban landscape disconnected from its surrounding context and recognized through partially framed vistas amongst newly constructed development.

EXPLORATION Group approach. Positioned ourselves like The Situationist. We were looking for coincidences to guide our experience of walking. Medium. Photographed front, ground, left and right every 1 minute. No zoom was used. Method. A line represents the direction of the walk. The line is explored in two ways; drawing a line and following a line

The trip, undertaken without aim or destination, had been transformed into a form of automatic writing in real space, a literary/rural roaming imprinted directly on the map of a mental territory. Francesco Careri, Walkscapes: Walking as Aesthetic Practice, p.80. It was necessary to “go from the concept of circulation as a supplement of work and distribution in the various functional zones of the city to one of circulation as pleasure and adventure,� to experience the city as a playful territory to be utilized for the circulation of men toward an authentic life. Francesco Careri, Walkscapes: Walking as Aesthetic Practice, p.108.

a walking track is defined by following signs and open view

a walking track is defined on a road map.

DRAWING A LINE. The line is defined on a road map that represents a built environment. Connected and disjointed routes are chosen in order to explore the gradual change in infrastructure and micro ecologies that inform characteristics of the site. These include the water edge, shopping areas and abandoned sites. Textures on the ground are major sign that a shift from infrastructure to no infrastructure has occurred. The ground becomes a dominant source of information. For the walker it communicates the change in (environment/space/place/time). Observed in the photographs and the walk was the repetition of graphic elements. The blue, green, white and grey signage is characteristic to new residential development and construction sites. This creates an eerie and sterile environment and it is heightened by the absence of people as you approach the site under the Bolte Bridge. We concluded that perceiving the gradual changes of environments within an urban setting is largely dependent on the sensations felt. To a designer this is interpreted as a “design hunch” and functions as a tacit knowledge that is later transferred in the design process.

FINDING A LINE. Consist of looking for graphic representations like patterns in infrastructure, pedestrian signs and advertisements to form the links that mark a path for a Anti- walk experience. Several observations demonstrated a connection between scale and direction. The photographs taken of the front perspective served to position the walker towards a general direction, seeking an open landscape, whereas the photographs of the left and right perspectives revealed different views that allowed a direction of a path to be formed. Following the landscape and looking for these “lines of sight” (views) further challenged us to think about the value of scale in our interpretation of landscape as an open horizon. Perhaps a collection of views formed our own desire of a pleasant environment. (questions about picturesque values being attached to landscape confused the definition of a pleasant environment) By relating our interpretation of the landscape as an open space we altered its significance to more closely resemble notions of a vista. This revealed new questions about what makes a picturesque urban landscape and how they are formed, are we looking for hospitable and/or familiar environments? and what does this demostrate?

DESIGN ELEMENTS THAT COULD BE DEVELOPED. The ground acts as an important carrier of information which is mediated thought visual and sensory perception. This understanding can be used to heighten differences in programed space. These are design elements and they each represent different design positions.

.......................................................... The skyline defines the characteristics of the site. A view can be determined and constructed. A user experiences a vista.

RESPONDING The site beneath the BOLTE bridge was ideal for identifying some of the cultural and environmental characteristics that lay hidden and unperceived. The site represents a space that has been left almost forgotten from the newly constructed urban development. These found elements seem to hold a unique intersection of narratives that represent the rapid shifts that are occurring in urban centres due to the increased of population growth and a climate change. Docklands photographs, Printed by Ian Hill in September 2000. Copyright held by the Docklands Authority with limited rights provided to the State Library of Victoria for digitizing.

I see these elements as cultural significant. They preserve a kind of physical memories of land. Under this conceptual premise the site is read as a ‘non site” or “terrain vague” a term that partly represents a hidden layer of information.

DESIGN STATEMENT The design proposal will aim at activate potential areas beneith the Bolte Bridge and the surrounding water edge while still maintaining a connection to the urban character of the site. The will be achived by creating various moments of interaction and exploration allowing people the opportunity to respond to the environment. Circulation will be achieved through the use of gradual landform elevations and paths which will reveal a view or an installation. This will create a sense of connectivity in the user as they explore the site. Also by further highlighting the significance of the Bolte Bridge as a landmark within the site, it will allow for a symbolic connection to be made. These symbolic elements create a complimentary landscape that is responsive to the contextual surroundings and allow for an interactive response and experience from people.

ELizabeth Meyer describes interactivity as a way to “rescue the visual by connecting it to the body” she investigates the relation between something beautiful being an emotional response and therefore something that is ephemeral. The sensory experience, as stated by Anne and Spir “the domain of aesthetics must come to be seen as coextensive with the exosphere”.(Meyer 2008 p8). She further explains that public understanding of sustainability must exist in more than just the ecological health realm but also the cultural sphere. “While I do not believe that design can change society, I do believe that it can alter an individual’s consciousness and perhaps assist in restructuring her priorities and values.” Elizabeth Meyer 2008 Sustaining Beauty: The Performance of Appearance – A Manifesto in Three Parts. p10

interactivity The Dolder Grand Hotel Vetschpartner Landscape Architects Zurich, Switzerland Adaptation of the Surroundings of the Lighthouse of Finisterre RVR Arquitectos Spain

sensory qualities Pedestrian Zone Innichen by AllesWirdGutSan Candido Bolzano (Innichen), Italy Ăšjbuda City Centre by Garten Studio The ZĂźrichhorn Playground By Budapest, Hungary Vetschpartner Landscape Architects Urban Park & Playground by Rehwaldt Zurich, Switzerland Landscape Architecture Burghausen, Germany Urban Park & Playground by Rehwaldt Landscape Architecture Burghausen, Germany

Belvederes Drentsche Aa Strootman Drenthe, Netherlands

DESIGN PRINCIPLES Engagement with Mooney ponds creek and sea edge Pedestrian interaction with landform deformation Provide visual relief from surrounding urban environment. Incorporate issues raised by climate change predictions by allowing for gradual change and renewal of over time

performance of apperance Natural Swimming Pool Grossenhain Ăšjbuda City Centre by Garten Studio cccwall Weidinger Landschaftsarchitekten Budapest, Hungary Kengo Kuma Grossenhain / Germany Milan Rhine Park in Duisburg by Atelier LOIDL Duisburg, Germany

PRECEDENT GUADALUPE RIVER PARK SAN JOSE, CA. is a flood control project for San Jose designed by Hargraves Associates. San Jose is a dry climate and the city has had severe problems with unpredictable flooding occurring every few years. The park aims at resolving problems associated to the proximity of the urban environment while also bringing stability and health to the river system. The park functions as a wild riparian corridor as well as a recreational park through layers of interactivity. The lower layers act as flood control. Long channels allow for flood control as it moves through the structure and controlled topography that allows for seasonal water level fluctuation. The second layer is introduced through the landform that gives way to established native habitation allowing for passive recreational use. changing state also creates a virtual surface of

undulating river bank The river’s negotiation

between the manmade environment and the spontaneously appearing vegetation. The third layer aims at introducing the urban environment by creating constructed channels that imitate the form of the freeway. The repetition of elements such as seat walls, stairs and terraced banks that undulate create an experience of fluidity that connects the park through form to the surrounding context. This landscape was designed to change and respond to users as well as environmentally through flood control and native wildlife and vegetation of the site. The connection between the manmade park and native riverbank landscape is blurred by the focus in user experience and the integration of urban ecologies. The environment enables you to come in and participate in your own way, in any way you see fit.

viewing notions of beauty and the sublime in nature not as an expression of the picturesque in landscape but rather the performance of beauty as a medium for transferring ecological and cultural processes. This can be used in design by applying sensory user experience in an environment .


By hiding the view of the water edge and the city a natural sense of curiosity is provoked.

REFLECTION. This intervention was successful at exploring potential views throughout the site. These views were tested by manipulating the height and the shape of the landform at different areas. A central path allowed me get a feel for scale and investigate what different connections can be made to the water edge. Overall I feel this model relies too much on the formal elements to define a sense of scale. This makes the design look crowded and over manipulated. I would like to further explore an overall simpler approach. Perhaps by creating a less controlled sense of circulation throughout the site the experience of discovering a view will be less controlled.


The path also creates a visual contrast between the vertical structure of the bridge. Different heights applied to the landform for a greater sense of movement within the site. An angulated path along Mooney Ponds creek creates an easy transition to the water edge.

REFLECTION. The intervention made me question the reason for placing a structured pedestrian path crossing the site diagonally. Winding paths were added to allow for circulation to the different areas of the site The path also creates a visual contrast between the vertical structure of the bridge. I think these path dominates the space and again takes on a very controlled direction for movement in the site.


Hexagonal cylinders are placed under the path. Each face is colored to represent different programed spaces. The proximity of the water edge is made accessible by adding steps along the boardwalk. This allows for passive recreation use.

REFLECTION. This intervention aimed to further refine ideas about circulation and views. I feel that the stairs placed along the boardwalk are significant in allowing for an interactive use of the water edge. The intervention failed at minimizing the use of structural elements such as a lonely blue pool and the colored cylinders. I think these objects look gimmicky and have no real reason for being in the site.





Dockland Drive was an important point of entry It offered the opportunity test how the horizon line can inform orientation in the space.

The site two dominant water edges The Yarra river and Mooney ponds creek both traditionally used as for hunting by indigenous people and fishermen today. This elements is represented by allowing a gradual stepped platform that allows for the interactive use of the water. The platform functions as a level that allows circulation to occur through views and the anguled surface. The site was very flat possible because it’s original state was a wetland and a swamp area. I considered this an important characteristic of the landform that wanted to preserve the landform and the use of low lying vegetation.

CONCLUSION The final proposal is the result of rigorous testing of views and varying modifications of the height and the shape of the landform. The overall design is a response to the different ecological conditions of the site. The inclusion of the rain gardens helps to maintain and regenerate the native flora and fauna of the area. This allows for a distinct visual character of the landscape to develop over time. Open lawn areas allow provide for passive recreation space and open views while the promenades enables people to come in and participate in any way they see fit. Further exploration of the surrounding context would allow for a more integrated approach to programing the use of the site. I also believe that environmental studies of the land and water ecology would strongly reinforce and inform an intervention that is focused on responding to the character of the site beneath The Bolte Bridge.

REFERENCE IMAGES. Site + concept one : google satellite, 2011 A walking track: google satellite, 2011 Responding: Docklands photographs, Printed by Ian Hill in September 2000. Copyright held by the Docklands Authority with limited rights provided to the State Library of Victoria for digitizing.

IMAGES. Deleuze, Gilles and Guittari, Felix. 1988. A thousand plateaus: capitalism and schizophrenia. London : Athlone Press. Lynch, Kevin, and Gary Hack.1984. Chapter 2: The Site In Site Planning. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press Spens, Michael. 2007. Site/Non-Site: Extending the Parameters in Contemporary Landscape. AD Architectural Design.

Guadalupe River Park: Matthew Barney, the

Sola-Motales Rubio, Ignasi. 1995. Terrain Vague. In C. Davidson, Anyplace, MIT.Pages 118-23

Iteration two: Bruce Nauman, Square Depression. Gerrmany 2007.

Careri, F 2002, Walkscapes : el andar como práctica estética = Walking as an aesthetic practice / Francesco Careri ; [traducción al castellano Maurici Pla ; English translation, Steve Piccolo, Paul Hammond], Barcelona : Editorial Gustavo Gili

Iteration three: UrbanBs, Fleur de Sel. Festival Jardins des Métis-Reford Gardens, Grand Métis, Quebec, Canada. 2010

Meyer, Eliabeth. 2008. Sustaining Beauty: The Performance of Appearance – A Manifesto in Three Parts. Journal of Landscape Architecture Spring 2008:6-23

Iteration one: Cremaster cycle .

Bolte Bridge Melbourne Docklands  

2011- MSD Landscape Architecture Design Studio 2

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