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    Zero-waste, self-sustaining house installation opens at Fed Square

    Zero-waste champion Joost Bakker’s latest project, a closed-loop home and urban farm, has opened in Melbourne’s Federation Square, the original site of Bakker’s first restaurant a decade ago.
    The self-sustaining, zero waste, productive house demonstrates the potential homes have to provide shelter, produce food and generate energy. The three-storey, two-bedroom home has the capacity to grow and cultivate fruits, vegetables, herbs, fish, mussels and snails, and all in an 87-square-metre footprint. The home also features an aquaponics system, a charcoal tank, a digestor, closed loop shower and water oxygenation system.

    All waste from the site is used to power the house and grow nutrient-dense produce and building materials have been selected for their healing or recyclable properties. The walls, floor and ceilings are made from a straw-based, fire-resistant panel called Durra Panel, which uses the hollow stalks leftover from harvesting wheat and other crops – one of the world’s most common waste products.

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    The Future Food System installation at Melbourne’s Federation Square by Joost Bakker.
    Image: courtesy Miele
    For Bakker, this is his fifth iteration of his “greenhouse” prototypes, which included the world’s first zero-waste restaurant Silo by Joost in 2012.
    “I want this to be a catalyst for greater sustainability and self-sufficiency in urban settings,” Bakker says. “I think in the future, we will all live like this.”
    Chefs Matt Stone and Jo Barrett, formerly of Oakridge Winery, will live in the house for the duration of the installation. Known for their zero-waste experimental dishes, Stone and Barrett will spend their residency at the house planting, harvesting food and showcasing the ingredients with on-site dinners, prepared using Miele’s energy-saving appliances.

    After the home’s stint at Federation Square, it will be packed up and moved to regional Victoria, where it will then serve as home to Bakker’s retired mother. “When she came through the house, she looked around and said ‘Oh, this will be easy to maintain,’” Bakker laughs. “Most people freak out about all the work there is to do.”

    Greenhouse by Joost, supported by Miele, is open at Federation Square until June. Check out the website for more information about tours and dining experiences. More

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    Ceremonies of camping: Corymbia

    Minjerribah, also known as North Stradbroke Island, lies between Moreton Bay and the Coral Sea, 30 kilometres east of Brisbane, Queensland. The lack of a bridge connecting the island to the mainland presents multiple challenges to the construction process, but for those who overcome them the rewards are generous: ancient landscapes, pristine beaches and a wildlife population encompassing beach-going kangaroos and migrating humpback whales. “Straddie” resonates deeply with those who live and holiday here, as it has done for the Quandamooka people for tens of thousands of years.

    Corymbia tells the story of a site passed down through family lines and acquired by Nick and Margaret to enjoy as a weekender with their two teenage sons. With time, it will transition into a place for their retirement. The original shack was once the centre of extended family gatherings on the island and the memories of this tradition continue to be honoured in and around the new house, which occupies the same footprint as the old. In the design of the new house, Brisbane-based architect Paul Butterworth, whose own childhood was shaped by sand fishing and surfing on Straddie, has layered architectural imagination with personal experience to further explore and celebrate the ceremonies of camping and the traditions of island life.

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    A central “living deck” for dining, lounging and gathering is used like an annexe to a tent.
    Image: Christopher Frederick Jones
    The house is conceived as a series of sheltered platforms designed to formalize occupation in the vegetated dunes that rise up from Cylinder Beach. To best capture a northern aspect, the house is pushed to the southern boundary, forming a defensive edge to close-by neighbours. A deep verge to the north provides a heavily vegetated foreground to the horizon. Between the verge and the house, a “great room” is formed in a clearing. This sun-drenched patch of lawn enables the site to adopt the flexibility of a campsite, encouraging an ease of movement around the house and garden. Local kangaroos are reportedly familiar with the sanctity of this resting place and are regularly spotted here, “lolling on the grass,” says Paul.

    The rituals of island life have influenced the architecture as much as the site’s position and aspect. This is evidenced on arrival, where a formal address has been traded for a landscaped arbour that acts as both passageway and privacy screen to the house and lawn. Stone walls, a paved path and an outdoor shower cleverly structure this passageway as an antechamber to the beach house while also servicing the washing of bodies, surfboards and fishing paraphernalia. With raw and robust materials, this arrival sequence reveals a respect for the ceremony of beach going and espouses a barefoot informality. Over time, maturing landscape will obscure the house from the street and the stone walls will become the only visible fragment of this humble shelter in the bush.

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    With skylights and gill-like windows, the bathing spaces give the illusion of being outside.
    Image: Christopher Frederick Jones
    In deference to the hot, humid climate and vernacular traditions of Straddie, the beach house is cloaked in a lightweight envelope of fibre cement sheet and rough-sawn weatherboards. Large openings that hinge out and stack away help to dissolve the sense of enclosure. At the centre of the plan a double-height room or “living deck” is imagined in the tradition of an annexe to a tent or caravan: open to the outdoors and used flexibly for dining, lounging and gathering. Flanking rooms benefit from the climatic regulation of this tall central volume, which draws cool breezes through the plan and expels warm air at high level to maintain passive thermal comfort.

    Materials and finishes are curated to amplify the client’s brief for a “refined camping-like experience.” On the ground floor, the transition from the duckboard edge of the living deck to the kitchen on the opposite side of the plan is cleverly expressed in the spacing of deck boards. As the gaps between the boards close, a sense of enclosure is introduced to the otherwise fluid, open-plan spaces. Only the bedrooms are considered truly internal, an idea reaffirmed by plywood-lined walls, ceilings and floors. The cocoon-like atmosphere of these most private spaces is a counterpoint to the bright openness of the living deck, sitting room and kitchen, which are designed to bleed out into the landscape.

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    Corymbia by Paul Butterworth Architect.
    Image: Christopher Frederick Jones
    While Corymbia is deliberate in celebrating the modesty of camping, it simultaneously embraces the luxury of experience that comes with enhanced connections to nature. This notion is manifested most intensely in spaces reserved for bathing. Here, richness abounds in the sensory experience of sunlight pouring down from skylights above and of views of the bush and sea, framed by windows that open out like gills. Considerable effort has been invested in capturing the essence of Straddie life in these places of reflection and pause, and the pay-off is reaped in the memories shaped by days spent here.

    Pitching a tent will surely offer shelter but the pleasure of camping comes with having a deeper appreciation for the ways in which people gather together, find refuge, manage thermal comfort and connect with nature. The key to re-creating a camp-like atmosphere is not to remove luxury but rather to reveal the richness in a natural experience over and above that of the constructed experience. Corymbia does this, with a humble intelligence and genuine deference to the land, the sky and the sea. More

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    Diller Scofidio and Renfro's first Australian building opens

    “Our design creates a new common ground for the University, the Hospital and the Charles Perkins Centre, while respecting the site’s historic significance as a gathering place,” said Benjamin Gilmartin, a partner of DS+R. “The landscape rises to encompass shared facilities for research and learning, branching out into a three dimensional network of open spaces connected at every level from inside to outside.
    “At the heart of this network is the Upper Wakil Garden — a multivalent and dynamic reinvention of the campus quad. A ‘cleave’ within the upper volume of the Susan Wakil Building draws light down into the Garden throughout the year, while its interlacing circulation acts as a connective tissue between academic workplaces and clinical spaces within.”
    The building accommodates seminar rooms, clinics, workspaces, a rehabilitation gym, a 350-seat theatre and a library. The architects have also designed a series of informal study and collaborative spaces.
    The building is bisected by a central atrium. “The key to success and longevity of this building is its principles of designing with nature – drawing light, views, and ventilation, allowing visual transparency across the facilities, designed for active circulation and socialisation with an emphasis on stairs over lifts – creating a healthy workplace and a place of learning of the future,” said BLP principal Raj Senanayake.
    The building’s two parts – teach and learning facilities and research workspaces – are delineated through two distinct facade treatments. The upper levels housing workspaces are clad in a facade shading system which the architects say resemble a textile, while the lower levels are clad in horizontal ceramic panels and aluminium screens.
    The building is one of the first project to be completed after the university introduced its Wingara Mura Indigenous design principles. The landscape design, by Arcadia Landscape Architecture incorporates the cycles of healing and reflects the Gadigal people’s approach to healing.
    “In many ways this environment contributed the unique response to place and building type that became the winning scheme,” Senanayake said. “At the same time, we had to negotiate the challenges of early online collaboration platforms that have now become part of the everyday practice of architecture.”
    The building was made possible by a $35 million donation from the Susan and Isaac Wakil Foundation, which was the largest ever gift the university had received.
    University of Sydney Chancellor Belinda Hutchinson said, “The opening of the Susan Wakil Health Building during this once-in-a-century global pandemic could not be more timely as it highlights the importance of an agile, innovative and resilient health workforce and the need to think differently to meet the health challenges of our time.” More

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    Radical ideas for affordable housing in Melbourne

    A Sydney architecture student’s plan to build a new landscape above Melbourne’s railways where residents could build their own houses has won the Melbourne Affordable Housing Challenge.
    The international ideas competition called for a pilot-phase concept for affordable housing within Melbourne, which could be easily rolled out to increase capacity of housing stock while using minimal land and materials.
    Evan Langendorfer, who is now a graduate of the University of Sydney, received the first prize for his Housing De-Railed proposal as well as the student prize, ahead of entries from the Netherlands and the United States.

    Housing De-Railed begins with the idea of claiming the air rights to the VicTrack railway. The trenched tracks would be capped and a new “green belt” landscape built above them.

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    Housing De-Railed by Evan Langendorfer.

    “Atop the new landscape, the housing scheme is implemented in a hybrid-mat typology,” Langendorfer writes in his entry. “This configuration allows for a repeatable grid that can be continued across the new land. Within this grid, each unit is constructed out of repeatable structural modules, which are designed for manufacturing and assembly. This allows the units to be constructed by non-skilled workers, its residents or the community.”

    The competition winner was selected by a jury comprising Winy Maas (MRVD), Ben Van Berkel (Unstudio), Karen Alcock (MA Architects), Tristan Wong (SJB Architects), Alan Pert (Melbourne School of Design) and editor, Linda Cheng. They found Housing De-Railed to be a “well-conceived and articulate” solution for a transit-oriented green belt. “The scheme puts affordable housing in the heart of the city and the proposed prefabricated module structural system, which allows owners to adapt and change over time, has the potential to create vibrant neighbourhoods,” they said.

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    Bleacher Housing by Sandra Maria Estrada Rosas and Maria Gabriela Vaca Sanchez.

    Winning the second prize Sandra Maria Estrada Rosas and Maria Gabriela Vaca Sanchez from the Netherlands, for their proposal Bleacher Housing. They have imagined a prefabricated timber modular system of housing units that would amass and link to existing transit infrastructure. The modules would be stacked and organized in a stepped pattern, providing space for rooftop terrace gardens and green roofs.

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    Highline Topia by Tingting Peng and Sijia Liu.

    Coming in third were Tingting Peng and Sijia Liu of the United States, whose Highline Topia proposal envisions a mix of landscape and housing above Melbourne’s famous tramlines. And Australian entrant Matthieu Bégoghina won the Green Award for his Neighbourhood Characters proposal.
    To see honourable mentions and the full shortlist, head here. More

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    Sydney architects design ‘beating heart’ of Adelaide Festival

    A demountable, lightweight pavilion has popped up in Adelaide’s theatre precinct, acting as the newest club for the city’s annual arts festival.
    Designed by Tina Engelen and Will Fung of Co-ap Architects, who won a design competition for the project, The Summerhouse replaces the Riverbank Palais, the floating pontoon club of the previous three Adelaide Festivals.
    The Summerhouse sits between the Adelaide Festival Theatre and Dunstan Playhouse in Elder Park, overlooking the river. Co-ap’s design is based around intersecting circles, which enclose an auditorium and bar. It will be open from dawn until midnight throughout the festival, which runs from 26 February until 14 March, playing host to fifteen headlining contemporary music acts, opera on the big screen and a range of other free and ticketed events.

    Co-artistic directors of Adelaide Festival Rachel Healy and Neil Armfield said the club would be the “beating heart” of the festival.

    “We wanted to create something very special, a festival centre that will surprise us again and again over the next three years,” said Healy.
    Armfield added, “Set amidst the beauty of the Torrens and Parklands, it will breathe with light and life and offer a place for pleasure, reflection, and stimulation: there’s truly something for everyone.”

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    City of Sydney proposes alternative Waterloo public housing redevelopment

    The City of Sydney has unveiled an alternative scheme for the redevelopment of the southern part of the Waterloo public housing precinct, which includes more social housing and fewer tall towers than the state government’s proposal.
    Councillors voted unanimously in support of the suggested changes to the NSW Land and Housing Corporation (LAHC)’s scheme on 22 February. The council scheme calls for a 23 percent increase in social housing on the estate, from 749 to 920 dwellings, as well as a mandated floor of 20 percent affordable housing for new developments in perpetuity, including more housing for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

    The LAHC scheme has been prepared by a design team comprising Turner, Turf Design Studio, Roberts Day, Tribe Studio, and Breathe Architecture.
    LAHC has already advised the council that they do not support the recommendations, citing impacts on assumed revenue as their predominant concern, according to a council report. This is just the latest disagreement between the council and state government, who have been trading blows over the redevelopment of the housing estate since the government unveiled its proposal in 2018. In 2019 the council endorsed another alternative proposal for the precinct that Matavai and Turanga public housing towers at the centre of the We Live Here campaign. Since then, the precinct has been divided into three areas, and the proposal now being considered is for the “Waterloo South” precinct.

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    The Land and Housing Corporation proposal, designed by Turner, Turf Design Studio, Roberts Day, Tribe Studio, and Breathe Architecture.

    Sydney mayor Clover Moore said the council’s proposed scheme would now be presented to the community for an extended public consultation. Her statement came after comments from housing minister Melinda Pavey blamed the council for delaying the delivery of social housing projects.
    “Throughout this long and complex process, the City has listened to and advocated for good outcomes for the Waterloo community,” Moore said.
    “Our emphasis has always been on increasing the amount of social and affordable housing as part of the redevelopment, ensuring high quality streets and public spaces, maximizing access to sunlight, and delivering sustainable and accessible buildings.

    “The City has attempted to forge a path that achieves the housing yield stipulated by the state government, while improving amenity and social and environmental outcomes for existing and future residents.
    “Our amended proposal, a collection of mostly medium-rise buildings, provides a safer, more accessible and greener design. It increases the number of social housing dwellings without reducing the overall number of homes created.”
    The council’s urban design program manager, Peter John Cantrill, said the state government’s plans to build nine towers of 20 to 30 storeys would lead to poor outcomes for residents.

    “We believe the changes we have made will lead to a better living environment for residents, without reducing the number of homes built,” he said.

    “The city has proposed just three high rise towers, with mostly medium rise buildings and the creation of two parks to better meet the needs of residents.
    “Our plan provides more sunlight and less windy streets in the area, with reduced overshadowing, by placing the three proposed high-rise towers more widely spaced at the south end of the estate.”

    The council’s move has angered NSW housing minister Melinda Pavey, who noted that the LAHC plan was the product of an extensive redesign and more than 12 months of negotiations with the council.
    “The behaviour by the council is both disingenuous to the local community and delays work to deliver new homes for those most vulnerable,” she said.
    “The political agenda of council should not be preventing the state from creating jobs and delivering new and better social housing for the Waterloo community.” More

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    KAWS at the Brooklyn Museum: A Coming-Out Party

    AdvertisementContinue reading the main storySupported byContinue reading the main storyArt ReviewA Coming-Out Party for KAWS at the Brooklyn MuseumThe Simpsons, Snoopy and the Smurfs are all here in a survey of the artist Brian Donnelly’s 25-year career. More

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    How to Remove Graffiti

    AdvertisementContinue reading the main storySupported byContinue reading the main storyTip How to Remove GraffitiHumans have been marking up walls for millenniums. Carry the paint colors you’re most likely to need, but never get attached to a clean, monochromatic surface.Credit…RadioFeb. 23, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ET“Graffiti is not going away ever,” says Thomas Corrales, 53, who works for the Los Angeles Department of Public Works training and overseeing crews of graffiti cleaners. Some 175 cleaners fan out across the city every day; in the second half of last year, they removed 3.5 million square feet of graffiti. Corrales grew up in a neighborhood where spray-painted tags were so pervasive that he became almost blind to them. Then one day in 1993, the unemployment office got him a graffiti-abatement job. Now he can’t help spotting even the tiniest Sharpie tags.Unauthorized paint on a wall can be many things — art, hate speech, social and political messaging, vandalism, the claiming of space. However it manifests, it often has a multiplier effect: Graffiti begets more graffiti, and tags will be tagged over. On occasion, when Corrales paints over graffiti, someone shows up to tag it anew before he can even drive away. Remember that humans have been marking up walls for millenniums; don’t get angry or take it personally. “We’re trained not to confront anyone,” Corrales says. If you ever feel unsafe, leave and come back later. Wear long pants and boots, preferably the steel-toed kind if you plan to use a water blaster (water sprayed at 3,500 pounds per square inch can take off skin). As you traverse streets, carry the paint colors you’re most likely to need, including gray, beige, tan and white. If you don’t have the exact color, use a spectrophotometer to measure hue and make a match. For walls, paint with either a roller or a paint sprayer. For stop signs, murals and most metal surfaces, use a water-based chemical remover mostly known by its brand name, Krud Kutter. City-approved murals are sealed with a clear coat that makes them easier to wipe clean. For the multistory spatterings that people make by filling fire hoses with paint and shooting it out with a fire extinguisher, you’ll want cherry-picker trucks. Clean sidewalks with a high-pressure water and sand blaster.Cityscapes are covered in layer after layer of paint, like an ever thickening skin. Never get attached to a clean, monochromatic surface. “You know that it’s going to be retagged,” Corrales says. “And you’re going to come back again, too.”AdvertisementContinue reading the main story More