Dandenong has a hole in the centre of it four times the size of the MCG. The ‘Revitalising Central Dandenong’ project initiated by the state government and Places Victoria has bought out a large segment of the town centre, which has either been demolished or is facing imminent demolition. Places Victoria has developed an intricate array of urban planning guidelines for the empty area and is seeking to open the vacant area to private organizations in order to develop the area. While Vicurban sees the project as an opportunity to start from a state of tabula rasa, the studio will experiment with alternative approaches to refilling the urban fabric of the city. We will be examining architectural methods that seek to exploit opportunities within the existing urban fabric and facilitate an organic urban growth. The studio will investigate the role of the architect in these processes and analyse how different architectural typologies and organisations can either limit or engage with a bottom-up urban development. The final project will depart from the Places Victoria masterplan brief which calls for a civic complex including a local library, arts and cultural spaces and local government offices on the corner of Lonsdale and Walker Streets in Central Dandenong. Students will develop an organisational system based on an analysis and understanding of the latent processes at work in Central Dandenong, and deploy these as tools both for architectural design but also as a framework for critiquing the established framework for Dandenong’s regeneration.
Tutor: John Doyle Monday Evening 5:30 - 8:30 + Thursday Afternoons 2:00 - 5:00 Some classes will be held in the Foster St Studio (Dandenong)
Evdokia Achilleos, aerial view of proposal
My intention for the design of the library and civic centre was to create a single form that uses the variation of heights and volume to reflect the multiple programs to which it incorporates.
I wanted to create a form that related to the dominantly linear structures of Dandenong. The sectional model highlights the intersecting programs and the multiple spaces to which is created by the form including the rooftop outdoor spaces. Additionally the form produces sheltered outdoor spaces for the lower levels.
Evdokia Achilleos, library close up – Lonsdale Street
The complex forms that are incorporated in this proposal are unified by wooden fins which in turn control the natural lighting of each space. By having my entire structure wrapped with a wooden fin façade, a sense of what is private or public is developed. (children’s areas more dense) The internal lighting would illuminate the site, thereby improving the quality of lighting and safety of the area and may encourage public activity on the streets. This quality of lighting, along with the use of colour on the façade would aid the lack of vibrancy and vitality of the city and may attract the public.
Evdokia Achilleos, Ground floor plan
After exploring Dandenong I found that each block incorporated a series of pathways which created multiple access points for the public to pass through. This element is reflected in my design as the public can engage with the structure on both ground level and the first floor through the multiple thoroughfares produced. By removing parking from the site, foot circulation is promoted. To further engage with the surrounding context, the sense of order produced by the current vegetation of Lonsdale Street is imitated across the site. The museum, gallery and theatre are positioned on the embedded side of the structure, as little natural lighting is required for these programmes.
Evdokia Achilleos, First floor plan
I have positioned the library on the first floor and it is equally accessible from two levels, as well as from the east and west. There are two outdoor spaces connected to the library. The youth centre is connected to the youth area of the library and features its own outdoor space. These access points may encourage meeting places as they pass through varying sizes of outdoor spaces, whereby some are sheltered by the overhanging levels above. This in turn would heighten the levels of public activity which is currently lacking on Lonsdale Street. These sheltered spaces, created by the integrated awnings, reflect the prominence of awnings throughout the area.
Evdokia Achilleos, Lonsdale street view
This view expresses the formal relationship of the proposal to its surrounding context. My proposal consists of three floor levels. The two levels on the Lonsdale street elevation relate to the double height spaces of the neighbouring structures. The west side of the site features larger scale buildings (Government Building) which is why my proposal incorporates a third level on this side.
Evdokia Achilleos, Section through library, gallery and offices
The section further highlights the intersection of volumes to which the overall form is created by. Additionally the various access points and the possibility of rooftop occupancy is expressed through the section.