Peripheral Living volume I Urban Architecture Laboratory
This semester we took as our starting point design issues raised by the recent Victorian bushfires, from a personal to a regional scale. We considered this tragedy as a catalyst for broadly re-thinking the limitations and possibilities of community life within such bush environments on the fringes of our cities. The communities of Kinglake, Flowerdale, Healesville, Yarra Glen and others in Melbourneâ€™s north-east are neither truly rural nor urban, but exist in an overlap zone of low-density peri-urban settlement, physically detached from, but still reliant on the metropolis for jobs and services. We researched contemporary and historical physical manifestations of this type of â€˜peripheral livingâ€™ both in Australia and around the world, while considering the liberties, restrictions and possible future directions for life on the edge of the city. Design projects ranged from landscape interventions on the scale of a township to architectural strategies for individual properties and structures. Excerpt from studio brief , July 2009 Nigel Bertram & Gretchen Wilkins
Bed & Breakfast/Emergency Housing Bo David Chu
The project proposes a new housing typology which acts as infrastructure for tourism and bushfire relief, to be located in Yarra Glen. The concept is to provide bed & breakfast accommodation to connect local residents and visitors. At other times these buildings may also provide emergency housing for bushfire relief workers and displaced residents from the surrounding region. As such the design establishes a hybrid residential infrastructure which serves the town in both everyday and emergency modes. 2
Locus Amoenus for the Metropolis Brenton Beggs Proposed â€˜green burialâ€™ ground on the periphery of Melbourne, fire break and park space for Yarra Glen residents and visitors
Site Plan_Yarra Glen
Collage_Redundant Rail Station/Cemetery/Park
Victorian Cemetery Trust Facts 522 cemetery trusts within Victoria 564 cemeteries within victoria Currently, cremation is the only ‘sustainable’ option in Victoria There are no ‘green cemeteries’ in Australia, however there are four ‘green sites’ already within Victoria
Map_Proposed cemetery in relation to existing cemeteries
Diagram_Memorial vegetation migration over time
Sectional Image_Aquaduct/Memorial Landscape/ Fire Break
Sectional Image_Redundant Station/ Memorial Landscape/ Park Space
In-between Infrastructures Cynthia Yim
Whit tlese a-Ye a Ro
In this proposal, situated in the bushfire affected area of Hazeldene, communal spaces are emphasised by integrating shared amenities in-between adjacent households. Through the introduction of different levels of public and private areas, the project attempts to enhance a greater sense of local community. 6
Diagrammatic layout of shared amenities Scattered cluster
The formation of each cluster of shared household space is a response to a landscape condition existing within the site. Instead of grouping the houses together in a cluster housing model, the existing fabric of houses would be retained, adding semi-public communal areas in between.
These areas accommodate a number of infrastructural elements, including storage sheds, water tanks and vegetable gardens, with each amenity to be shared between households to encourage communal interaction and a sense of ownership. 7
Marysville Tree-Changes Lucy Maplestone
The proposal tests how Melbourne city-dwellers moving to the country for a different pace of life (known as â€œtree-changersâ€?) might suggest new residential planning strategies in towns such as Marysville. By inserting a rural lifestyle into the urban fabric of the town, new hybrid types of infrastructure are introduced and new agricultural landscapes are created. An exchange system of home-grown produce facilitates community interaction and mutual support. Physical and visible overlapping of properties, including circulation, resources and ownership, mark a departure from conventional suburban models in which boundaries are clearly demarcated and individually managed. 8
Housing combined with agricultural production on re-used town blocks: plan and section
Planting and water systems intersect with the systems of living. Pavilions housing separate functions are the most stable and interior parts of the house, while the exterior paving, roof and landscape blur interior and exterior, heightening the connection with nature.
Can rural conditions be inserted into an urban condition?
RURAL CONDITION -space -multiple scattered buildings -no hoarding over land -landscape dwarfs house -less defined property boundaries
SUBURBAN CONDITION -well defined interior/exterior -hoarding â€˜my spaceâ€™ -house dwarfs landscape -defined property through physical barriers
Bushfire Shelter Infrastructure Yongpeng Sheng
This project addresses bushfire protection in Marysville, a rural town located in the middle of a forest. The design proposes to clear a fire-barrier zone around the perimeter of the town, which can then be used as recreation space and communal vegetable gardens. Distributed at key locations in the barrier zone are a small number of public refuge areas. These structures have non-fire uses, such as small art gallery, wine cellar, underground restaurant, etc., but are also function as places of last-ditch shelter during an emergency. 10
Marysville Regeneration Ngoc Ton Vu
The project is located between the centre of the town, the rural farm land and Reserve Park. It aims to establish a north-south residential zone which adapts to fluctuations in population during transitional stages in Marysville brought about from tourism, bushfire emergencies and other seasonal cycles. This is done by integrating different types of residential infrastructure which can be appropriated for both permanent dwelling and temporary shelter during post-fire recovery. The proposal explores a strategy of permanent, fire-resistant service cores upon which replaceable living structures can be constructed. 12
ace en space en space ate open
route on facilite
lanting a public a
Site plan Site plan 1:1000
Site planning The site is planned to create a continuous flow of green space from the Reserve Park into each cluster and the neighbouring houses. Planted areas visually define the semi private and public spaces while also establishing informal surveillance.
Architectural planning The concrete decks and fire-resistant wet service areas are designed to anticipate the addition and subtraction of population and accommodation. Conventional parts of the residential program are compartmentalised to achieve an open 13
After bushfire stage
and interactive living experience. The combination of permanent infrastructure and temporary structures allow certain parts to be â€œsacrificialâ€? in the case of a bushfire while others can be reused or adapted.
Walking the Periphery Danielle Douglas
community farm & workshed plan
Flowerdale is a small farming town located north of Kinglake, one of the areas most severely affected by the bushfires of 2009. To a visitor passing through, Flowerdale appears as quite dispersed community without a prominent center or edge. In response to this urban character, this project proposes a walking track that will link the townâ€™s existing trails, housing and infrastructure together, appealing to both tourists and locals alike. The track winds through both public and private property, guiding the walker along a series of interventions that negotiate points of difficulty along the track. These interventions take different forms depending on the local conditions and provide the community with a collective series of spaces and activities, such as a community farm, a garden or simply a more interesting path of travel. At points where the track intersects with the housing, opportunities for interaction between the tourists and the residents occur. 14
Legend Existing Trails New Walking Trail Existing Bike Path King Parrot Creek Intervention Location
Forest Living Wolfgang Werschnig
When people claim land that is covered by trees they must confront the realities of potential bushfire. This project proposes an alternative planning strategy for the residents in this area to use their property. The design includes a combination of tourist cabins and accommodation for permanent residents. To use the characteristics of the site as an attraction, it is important to establish settlements without destroying the landscape. The access system is a combination of a road and crossing stairs. This road is like a public artery connecting the different parts of the site and providing a entrance to the forest. Stairs are used as an access system to the housing, to separate the site into four equal parts and to provide a fire-protected infrastructure. 16
Cabins Tourist cabins are attached to the stairs at connection points. A scaffolding system provides the infrastructural services and acts a footbridge to the cabins. The simple structure reflects the character of other small buildings in the surrounding landscape.
There are four basic types of cabins. It is also intended that the design should be a shelter, to provide privacy. Sliding doors facing north can be opened, to get the feeling being part of the landscape.
Housing The housing for the residents is attached to the stairs and is separated into a fire-protected part (basement) and a light frame construction for living. The main idea is to protect the expensive infrastructure for water management in danger of fire.
All Along the Pipe Tristan Smith
The Sugarloaf pipeline has created a new corridor through the landscape of Victoria. This corridor can have a myriad of uses: regeneration project, firebreak and logging, as well as being used by hikers and motorbike riders to access existing forests. The pipeline corridor will become a meadow offering a grassland habitat for animals. This meadow will then be burnt off stimulating other plants to germinate that require fire to do so. 18
Some seeds have been buried deeper in the mulch layer. When motorbike riders, hikers, fire trucks and other vehicles cross over the mulch disturbance they generate will help to uncover seeds laid deeper in the soil. This will create pockets of plants in areas that have had an impact while others will just have the surface layer plants growing. 19
ground layer shrub layer
Perpetual Landscapes Chloe Edwards
This proposal helps to protect a currently existing township from the danger of fire devastation through the strategic use of vegetative plantings of various densities, heights and fuel value. Through the extensive research and analysis of vegetation classification I was able to obtain a methodology for creating planting strips, with knowledge of topography and weather conditions. The vegetative plantings not only enable for change throughout time of devastation and protection of dwellings and lives they also aim to rehabilitate and regenerate various forms of ecologies and endangered flora and fauna species. Using vegetation as a design material aimed to not only protect the township, but also aimed to save elements of the environment.
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Marysville Market Center Sergey Pochevskiy
Site view showing community hall, fire station and covered flexible space
This project proposes a new fire station and town hall complex on the site of the former Cumberland hotel in Marysville. This site was adapted into a temporary community hall in the months following the 2009 bushfires. Two buildings, a fire station in the northern part and town hall with public amenities in the south-eastern part, provide primary services, creating a multipurpose covered public space between them. The buildings can operate separately on a day-to-day basis and be adapted for emergency use if necessary. Multiple access and egress routes make the site more flexible in operation and allow it to be used as a vehicle depot, general car parking or weekend public space. 22
Hotel pool building converted into fire station
Site use diagrams of flexible space between fire station and community hall
Strategies for Marysville Dayne Trower
Marysville Four strategies were designed for the town of Marysville to outline a masterplan for post bushfire living. At the scale of the town, existing roads and tracks are connected to form a 4km ring road that acts as firebreak and access route in the event of fire. The ring road also connects to a new tourism strip and roadside market at the intersection of Marysville and Falls Road. A memorial landscape is proposed at this point of intersection. A housing prototype was also designed that utilises the remnant cuts prevalent in the post bushfire landscape. The solid ground floor acts as a deep foundation and core structure embedded within the landscape, with a lightweight structure forming upper levels.
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supported by the RMIT Design Research Institute
Design Research Institute
Studio participants: Urban Architecture Laboratory Master of Architecture (research) Rutger Pasman Viet Tuan Pham Simon Venturi Lan Tian Master of Architecture (coursework) Bo David Chu Danielle Douglas Xiang Li Tatjana Lukovska Lucy Maplestone Sergey Pochevskiy Yongpeng Shen Harvey Sy Dayne Trower Ngoc Ton Vu Wolfgang Werschnig Cynthia Yim Brenton Beggs (landscape architecture) Chloe Edwards (landscape architecture) Tristan Smith (landscape architecture)
Studio Details Title: Peripheral Living Tutors: Nigel Bertram & Gretchen Wilkins Pole: Urban Environments Date: Semester 2, 2009 This and other documented examples of design studios run as part of the RMIT University Architecture program can be found on issuu.com
Project Leaders: Nigel Bertram & Gretchen Wilkins - Urban Architecture Laboratory, with RMIT Master of Architecture (Professional Degree) Up...