The decline of Australian Manufacturing is ongoing. Mulgrave’s major employment sector has traditionally been its manufacturing industry. Yet it has seen a tremendous decline since 2007, leaving many unemployed. Mulgrave’s economic future seems unsteady.
This decline also affects the character and sensibility of the region. As it stands currently it is immensely isolated and seems almost uninhabited - a very cold and uncomfortable place to be in. Sadly, Mulgrave stands almost as a suburb with no future.
Counter to the decline in manufacturing, Australia’s healthcare and social assistance, as well as education sectors are seeing steady growth. Leading from this observation, the project proposes a future Medical Research Centre. Focusing on this idea of injecting a new type of industry, this has the potential to allow the expansion of the medical industry to grow in spaces where the manufacturing industry will eventually cease. This research facility will house various programs - with its main purpose being the cultivation of ‘knowledge capital’ as a force for future growth and development.
Drawing in the influence from the growing medical research facilities and activities of neighbouring Clayton and its higher education sector, as well as the industrial heritage from the existing immediate neighbours, the centre mixes these programmatic influences into a complex vertical arrangement. This creates diversities and unique relationships of contrasting programs that react with each other - leveraging unexpected interplays and interactions between the various partners and participants.
The new hybrid center becomes a catalyst for the future (hybrid) identity of Mulgrave.