While plans for the development of Webb Dock site are currently underway, in the future, it is proposed, this land will no longer be occupied by customs and shipping activities, the land too valuable & close to the city, the port perhaps relocated to Geelong, a gateway to the north-western regions of Victoria, & like the port planned at Hastings, located at the periphery.
In the wake of the development of the Docklands, with its lack of grain & dearth of civic & municipal amenity, & Harbour Town with its failed proposition that shopping is the answer, the more recent release of land at Fisherman’s Bend raises the question, how might this place then be engaged with & developed in service of the public, & further, how might the Webb Dock site address deficiencies in the Fisherman’s Bend master plan, so that it does not result in missed opportunities, or perhaps more malignedly manifest in what the poet T. S. Eliot would refer to in his critique of modernity, as a Waste Land.
Through close analyses of the Fishermen’s Bend master plan, coupled with thorough & perspicacious analyses of the site, this studio, Landing, asks students to identify shortcomings in Fishermen’s Bend template together with the potentialities of the site, & to propose a series of interventions, transitions and sequences for Webb Dock and its surrounds, during the first five weeks of the studio, whilst also proposing how it will engage with & established networks with its proximate urban fabric. These propositions will be further tested, augmented, elaborated upon & refined in the following five weeks, the final five, focusing on the consolidation of the project & its presentation.
The studio seeks to bring into focus the relationship between architecture & its setting, with reference to the concept of staging, as it challenges the top down master plan approach, interventions & small- scale architectural gestures, it is suggested, making tangible unforeseen potentials, as they contribute to an enriched sense of place.