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Prohibited Use. Brendan Jones

Background In an attempt to control the redevelopment of the fabric of our cities and their scale, the rhetoric of the “contextual response� is a chief, guiding notion in architecture. This notion has buried its way into our town planning codes. What if these codes are wrong, what if the architect followed the codes but took the opposite position -could our cities be a better, more engaging places to be? Proposition Prohibited Use asked the students to engage in the issue of social exclusion in an attempt to understand this contemporary problem and make their own minds up.The studio acknowledges the seeds of social justice in students, mindful that architecture is no panacea.

The context is complex and political, a given environment perhaps, for graduate architects. It is also a reflection to a our commitment to engaging students in this world. This is architecture as we know it. In a broader sense Prohibited Use is a vehicle to achieve innovative architecture from the opportunistic: the context, the composition of the team, its use and users. It follows an interest in an architecture that can be made from the process of making architecture; - a response to a place but an unashamed alteration of it – a subversion that perhaps looks for a flip side. It is hoped that this transformative potential opens things up, even uncertainty, and can create liberating possibilities for action. Working methods Prohibited Use focuses on the forging of a team from the beginning. The studio celebrates the messiness that a mix of students, environment, studio leaders and learning agendas brings. The studio was divided into two parts. In the first part, three groups pursued a scheme for Violet Town. In the second part, the students produced team-based designs on green field sites in the middle of Melbourne. The teamwork is represented in the following pages.


Team 1 Amy Snoesktra, Haslett Grounds, Jannis Merz, Vei Tan

Mental health : Rural Communities Our initial research foregrounded our position for two projects through an investigation of community perceptions of mental health. Our investigations established that the formation and engagement of strong communities around mental health issues, combined with the provision of local education and services, provided the best opportunity for prevention and treatment of mental illness.


Violet Town : Truckstop Treatment Garden Engaging with existing outreach services this project proposes a new rural centre for mental health treatment and education. The project combines engagement with the Hume hwy and the strengths of the existing violet town community to form a vibrant hub for trucks, travellers and the town itself. Appearing as an architectural monument of stark simplicity, the proposal serving as both an icon of attraction and an expression of social division whilst the interweaving truckstop and treatment garden explores opportunities for contrasting experiences and interactions

Treatment Research Public Truck Depot


Flagstaff Gardens : Social Framework The juxtaposition of services and amenity for the homeless as well as for recreational users of the park suggested a relatively open network of social spaces, driven and defined by the existing users of the park. The proposal explores the nature of the park as a respite from the city and engages the existing activities to create a permeable architecture to enhance and extend the existing amenity of the park. Our insertion into the park considers the timeline of the structure as uncertain, inviting cannibalistic occupations and reinterpretations; inevitable change and destruction over time.





Team 2 Nicholas Barker, Marcia Hrchan, Zi Lim, Helen Walter


Rural Consulate The Rural Consulate responds to the hypothetical scenario of Violet Town participating in the Victorian government’s policy of resettling refugees in regional areas. The Rural Consulate is a reciprocal support structure that addresses the imperfect fit between a small town that needs more people, and newcomers who need a place to start a new life. The architectural expression is one of collision, acknowledging the potential impact of this clash on both the square peg and the round hole.


Consulate for the homeless A Consulate exists to assist and protect the citizens of one state in the territory of another, and to facilitate trade and friendship between the people of the host country and those of the country the Consulate represents. This ‘Consulate’ for the homeless in the heart of Melbourne’s white collar district poses the question: whose territory is it? It mixes facilities for the homeless with those for the general public, as a way of considering both as members of the same broader user group. The footings of a ghostly future building are installed as sculptural elements through the gardens – a symbolic reminder of the expanding problem of homelessness, and an acknowledgement that facilities like this Consulate, no matter how far it extends, can’t solve the problem.


100 0


Flinders St





Flinders Lane Collins St Little Collins St Bourke St Little Bourke St Lonsdale St

100 0

Spring Sprin ng St

ts en rtm pa l a on ia i nt dat p de -u o k si re omm /loc s e al c g m a on ra y oo iti o c r n t ns en e s rs lass he e tra erg k tc ki bi ow e c g em lic sh os in b c p in g pu bli ipur tra nin pu lt y i & u m rar ing al d lib ter un op ca mm tion ksh co cep or re ft w y a cr ller ga



entry concourse ou ourse

Whose territory is it?

/ This ‘Consulate’ aims to support both sides by bringing them together in one place. Exclusion is a two-sided situation.


It disadvantages the excluded and the excluding.

‘A country like this should not have this problem’ In 2010 Prime Minister Rudd promised to ‘halve homelessness by 2020’.

Footings extend past the end of the building – a symbolic reminder of an expanding problem The portal shed is extendable architecture



Team 3 Andreas Tourogiannis : Derrick Leong : Ella Darby Kai Hong : Tim Brooks







Sex Workers Through our initial research into the socially excluded and the sex trade we came to realise that at a basic level exclusion from society (and lack of basic human rights in the workplace) was really a matter of perception. This led to research into the psychoanalytical theory of‘the gaze’, which discusses the power inherent in the act of looking, especially at an erotic object. If you can look back, you can’t be possessed by the gaze of the other, and a shared responsibility between the two can be intimated. Once morality is removed from the provocative nature of sex workers, it can be looked at in economic and social terms - and thus in inclusive urban spatial terms.




Community Garden

Market Permanant

Open Space/ Multi use

Market Extension

Outdoor Recreation

Amphitheatre Cafe/Outdoor eating PARK

Health Centre

Exhibition/ comunnity room




Violet Town Violet Town has been a transitory destination throughout history. Benefitting from the fact it lies on a major intersection between activity points, the settlement is defined by the activity of others. The town now lacks identity and purpose - no goldrush, no Hume. No Violet Town. To revitalise the town and its community we propose a new urban space which draws together existing community groups and provides facilities to allow transitory programs to take place. Build on Violet Town’s strengths (a thriving market, close knit community) and allow for growth. Violet Town becomes a major transitory destination again, re branded as a vital link to the surrounding towns with its new emergency ambulance facility and ability to stage major public performances/ exhibitions/workshops and meetings. 15

Pleasure Park - King’s Domain We designed a Sex Workers Centre which resides -both provocatively and easily - within a historical garden. Strongly referencing differing portrayals of women throughout history and society, Pleasure Park provides facilities for the Scarlet Alliance. Alongside these facilities, which include rooms operating as a brothel as well as a medical clinic and education rooms, we have created a complimentary axis to the Shrine of Rememberance which houses various co-programs and links St Kilda Road to the Yarra River. Anamorphic projections shape the existing contours into bold representations of the human form. Drawing on the erotic object being paradoxically able to expose and disclose itself, this process allows images to be sharply recognised or distorted depending on sightlines and the way the user interacts with the site.





Thank you to: Students: Amy Snoesktra Haslett Grounds Jannis Merz Vei Tan Nicholas Barker Marcia Hrchan Zi Lim Helen Walter Andreas Tourogiannis Derrick Leong Ella Darby Kai Hong Tim Brooks Thanks also to the guest critics: Ben Inman Jack May Kyla McFarlane Graham Crist Simon Whibley

Also appreciated is the advice from numerous others who informed the development of the studio.

Studio Details Title: Prohibited Use Tutor: Brendan Jones Pole: Expanded Field Date: Semester1, 2010 This and other documented examples of design studios run as part of the RMIT University Architecture program can be found on

Prohibited Use  

Upperpool Design Studio, RMIT Master of Architecture (Professional), Semester 1, 2010. Studio Leader: Brendan Jones, Director: Antarctica Ar...

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