717 Bourke Street | Melbourne | Aspect Studios

717-Bourke-Street-Melbourne-Aspect-Studios

A multi level urban landscape realm wrapped around two buildings drove the design towards a highly architectural outcome. ASPECT Studios was engaged to design and document the streetscape, pocket park, podium forecourt and courtyards for this mixed use development in the Docklands.

ASPECT Studios was responsible for the design to 717 Bourke Street public realm areas on ground floor, level 4 podium and connection to ground floor areas and bridge connection to Southern Cross Station, level 5 podium areas and connections to level 4 and private courtyards on level 4.

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Melbourne: is that all there is? – an Airport as the gateway to the city

Bruce Guthrie wrote an article recently in The Age newspaper about the poor landscape that greets new arrivals to the city.

A FOREST of billboards greets visitors as they leave Melbourne Airport for the drive along Tullamarine Freeway to the city…

Surely we can do better. I’m not even asking for public art; in fact, I would settle for some decent landscaping on the freeway median strip and verges…..

Hong Kong it isn’t. That’s a showpiece, with dramatic vistas almost every metre of the drive to and from the airport. And it’s not Singapore either, manicured to within an inch of its life. But it could be Los Angeles’s LAX, an ugly duckling airport that with some thoughtful landscape architecture is now a popular postcard.

Read the full article at The Age – So, welcome to Melbourne: is that all there is?

Australian architects think about cities in 2050 and beyond

The Australian Institute of Architects has announced a shortlist of proposals for the Australia Pavillion at the Venice Biennale. The shortlist of 24 was selected from 129 submissions addressing urban spaces in 2050 and beyond.

Some of the proposals include:

  • New cities of 50,000-100,000 in desert areas
  • Cities which feature a ‘tartan-like texture of pure urban areas (or cells), pure rural cells, and cells which are a hybrid of rural and urban’, providing a ‘vital flexibility for a sustainable future’.
  • Cities hugging the coast from Noosa to Geelong to accommodate population growth and the preferred coastal climate; connected by a ‘very fast train running from North Qld to Victoria; pockets of vertical sprawl; new cities in pristine locations such as Botany Bay and the Royal National Park.
  • Cities in which ‘within tightly controlled boundaries exist Multiple Cities‘. Cities which address issues such as: what if a city grows not out, but up or down? What if a city’s growth boundary is not on its periphery but at its heart? What if new planning initiatives were introduced governing the use of air space? ‘A Green City, where the top plane provides wind and solar energy to power (and cool) the multiple cities below’, as well as all food production.
  • Cities ‘woven into the landscape’ – balancing dense human settlement with flora and fauna biodiversity, with major roadways converted into natural landscape corridors.

The competition fired the imagination of Australia’s architects and designers, resulting in inspired, possible solutions and imaginative proposals addressing the critical issue of Australian urbanism – examining possibilities across the terrestrial, underwater and airborne realms.

The two-part ‘NOW + WHEN Australian Urbanism‘ exhibition will highlight three of Australia’s most interesting urban regions as they are ‘NOW’, before dramatically representing around seven futuristic urban environments from the competition as they may be ‘WHEN’ we reach 2050 and beyond.

Co-Creative Director and well-known Melbourne-based photographer John Gollings said: “The large number of entries and range of approach and philosophy exceeded expectations. We felt that more than 50 per cent of the entries could have made an important contribution to the Venice Architecture Biennale, and narrowing the selection down to 24 was difficult.

“Of great interest now, is that these varied ideas must be turned into tangible 3D models which can be screened as virtual, built projects for exhibition in the Australian Pavilion in Venice. This process will challenge the normal speculative imaging often produced by architects, and lead to new presentation techniques benefiting the whole profession as the world embraces 3D, virtual, and holographic media. From the test results with our 3D projectors, now running in Melbourne, the Australian pavilion at the 2010 Venice Biennale will be a standout attraction.”

The Creative Directors said those shortlisted were far more than hypotheticals. Each uniquely responded to future challenges including population growth, environmental degradation, dwindling resources and climate change. Each entry reflected a highly creative diversity of possibilities fused with a diversity of design that mapped out possible cities of the future.

12th Venice Architecture Biennale:
Vernissage: 26, 27, 28 August 2010;
Exhibition: 29 August – 28 November 2010

SOURCE: Australian Institute of Architects

RELATED NEWS STORY: Sydney Morning Herald – Living in the future, with under-harbour views

City an ‘obese parody’

The Age reports

FEDERAL Labor MP Kelvin Thomson has savaged the Victorian Government’s handling of urban planning in a blistering newsletter to constituents.

Mr Thomson said the State Government’s planning blueprint Melbourne 2030, which aimed to reduce urban sprawl, had failed badly. He attacked State Government plans to increase Melbourne’s boundary by 41,000 hectares.

SOURCE: The Age – City an ‘obese parody’

Melbourne suburbs feeling the squeeze

Melbourne’s established suburbs will require 316,000 new dwellings over the next 20 years in a forecast released by the Government of Victoria. In order to determine a more accurate assessment the government has ordered 31 municialities to make “capacity assessments”.

For more information read the article at The Age – Suburbs to squeeze in more houses

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