A city is a milieu in which strangers are likely to meet...What I think of as urbanity is precisely making use of the density and differences in the city so that people find a more balanced sense of identification on the one hand with others who are like themselves but also a willingness to take risks with what is unlike, unknown.... It is the kinds of experiences that make people find out something about themselves that they didn’t know before. That’s what urbanity is at its best....To me, how to privilege the notion of difference that is what urbanity is all about. - Richard Sennett
This studio is a precursor to a multi-disciplinary project for urban regeneration that is being undertaken by Monash Art and Design students in conjunction with the Glen Eira City Council. The Faculty has been asked to initiate proposals for the urban regeneration of the local environs of Murrumbeena Train Station. In second semester, an elective will be available to architecture, multi-media, industrial design, painting and sculpture students to participate in a collaborative project on this site. This studio aims to provide foundation material for this collaboration.
While the site is defined, a specific program is not – this will be part of your task.The studio will focus on architectural design that asks questions of the city, urbanity and community and notions of identity and classification versus ambiguity and hybridization. We will be looking for the unexpected, celebrating moments of difference and dissonance, developing strategies for recombination and ultimately propose interventions that assist Glen Eira City Council to envisage new ways of conceiving the locale as an urban centre.
Studio hours are: Mondays 5-8 at my studio (10 Bond Street, Abbotsford) and Thursdays 5-8 at Monash
Marc Debney, Bar and Studio
Bar and studio buildings moved into their open positions.
Marc Debney, Bar
Bar building during the day showing connection with Murrumbeena Train station.
Marc Debney, Artist Studios
Artist studios act as work places and galleries for the artists creating a more vibrant frontage to the station platform.
Marc Debney, Closed Bar
The bar building is moved into the closed position acting as a coffee stand for passengers waiting for the train.
Marc Debney, Bar section plan and elevation
These drawings show the bar building pulled into its most open position creating its maximum footprint and allowing the building to act as an open air bar and café.
Sera Borensztajn, Murrumbeena: a living memory
“The city is the locus (site) of collective memory... as certain artefacts become part of its memory, new ones emerge.” --Aldo Rossi, 1984.
As the physical condition of Murrumbeena begins to dilapidate, its rich history begins to peel away in layers through the fabric of the town, revealing hidden pasts. This projects aims to reveal and revive these memories. But how can past memory be used as a design tool to activate for the future?
My project will give the memory of Murrmbeena a new life, through a hybrid building comprising an aged care centre and child care centre. The design process consisted of taking an architypal façade characterizing the built style of the area, flattening it, and then inverting it, effectively casting its memory. The façade was then extruded along a curve, providing wonderfully irregular sectional spaces inside, which change throughout the building, reflecting the dynamic nature of memory itself over time.
Sera Borensztajn, aged care and child care centre plan
The thickened walls in the floor plan emphasize how this ‘absence’ of memory, becomes active, by incorporating into the structure spaces for storage, seating and various types of program, the memory is further brought to life as users are able to actively engage with the ‘memory’ on a daily basis.
The centre both internalizes the memory of Murrumbeena, while producing a new form of architecture, hence both referencing the past and projecting towards the future
Levels throughout the building creates links between the existing car park and train station, providing parents with a fast route through the building to drop off their children then catch the train to work.
The levels also create a blurring of thresholds in the building, creating moments of surprise and intensified social encounter between the two age groups, for example the moment where a stair becomes a desk, or a ramp becomes a chair.
Sera Borensztajn, casting model
This model is a cast of the negative space of my final building, inspired by Rachel Whiteread’s cast models, and conceptually reflecting the design process I undertook. This is looking into the roof of the model at the negative space produced by the models’ inhabitable roof scape.
Sera Borensztajn, aged care and child care centre elevations
The ‘section’ of the building changes depending on angle of approach.
The section also extends onto both the carpark and train platform, in order to give back to the community some public shelter.
The increase of height in the building towards the train platform, provides a noise and security barrier against the train platform, and also reflects the gradual increase in roof height throughout the building depending on the age zone.
Sera Borensztajn, conceptual site model
This is a conceptual model based my reading of Aldo Rossi’s, ‘Architecture of the City,’ 1984.
I came to understand the city as a single ‘superimposed’ image, comprised of many layers of history. The ‘buildings’ within the city then become to embody memory, as well as function. If there is no way of tracing this memory, this can lead to a void/ absence in the city. Alternatively, if there are many traces, for example through the visible peeling of layers of paint, then this can lead to a dense superimposition of memories, inscribed into the materiality of the city.
It is about the process of tracing a city, finding its artefacts and their relation to the city and their inhabitants.
the model juxtaposed points of memory void, memory density and the juxtaposition of a new form built from past memory in the site in Murumbeena.
Sera Borensztajn, Sectional Perspective
External perspective showing the inhabitable roof space of the centre, and its relationship to the train station. It is paired with an internal perspective into the centre of the space, highlighting the skylight and connection to play space on the roof, and mixing of age groups.