Master of Architecture Student Exhibition

Wednesday, 20 August 2014, 10:00 am — Saturday, 30 August 2014, 05:00 pm

Location The Project Space, Shop 10, The Emporium, 185 Hunter St Mall, Newcastle
RSVP Wednesday, 20 August 2014

Conditions and speculations:

Future urban living and density in Newcastle, Australia

Exhibition of work from the first year of the Master of Architecture, School of Architecture and the Built Environment, The University of Newcastle.

An opening event will be held on Friday 22nd August from 5:30-7:30pm with a speech by Professor Peter Stutchbury, one of the school's resident architects.

Architecture students at the University of Newcastle learn by solving challenging design problems in 'real-life' settings – urban, rural and regional. These hypothetical projects introduce students to the broader civic and ethical responsibilities of the architecture profession, particularly with respect to questions about regional identity and the increased densification of Australian cities.

This exhibition of student work relates to a semester-long design project for first year architecture students entering the Master of Architecture programme at the University of Newcastle in 2014. The course and attendant exhibition is concerned with important and topical questions about urban development and building scale, population density, changing socio-economic demographics, future climate change and site character: here explored in the inner-city Newcastle suburb of Carrington—known locally as 'The Island'.

The students responded to these issues with urban analysis studies and site design strategies, as well as propositions for multi-rise, mixed-use buildings and public park spaces. Following their initial speculative urban strategies and ideas, they developed individual proposals for mixed-use, multi-rise buildings and a public park in a currently vacant part of the Port of Newcastle. The height and scale of the existing grain storage silos and related industrial structures of Carrington prompted debate about taller buildings and forms of dense urban living in semi- and post-industrial sites.

As part of the initial site investigation phase, the students toured the former Forgacs dockyard. Forgacs is Australia's largest privately owned engineering and shipbuilding company, headquartered in Newcastle. Led by Steve Morley, General Manager for Business Improvement and Mark McLean, Marketing Manager, the tour gave students insight into the site's history and previous uses. An informal tutorial and discussion session was also held in the Carrington Community Centre and Hall in Young St.

Student responses range from multi-rise housing for local workers, immigrants and university students to a park for temporary artisanal markets and outdoor music festivals. Urban and landscape proposals include experimental water remediation through native fauna and flora, new canals and waterways for water-based food markets, a reinstatement of pedestrian bridges, and additional terraforming of the site and foreshore line to mitigate the effects of possible sea-rise and high-tide flooding. These urban and architectural propositions are not intended to be constructed, but have been created to encourage speculation and debate about the future development of Newcastle.

First year Master of Architecture student work

The exhibition opening event also includes a small multi-media work by Dr Cathy Smith, Survey (Suitcase) of Lost Homes (2014): concerned with a journey from Queensland to Carrington (the project site); and a DIY production methodology in architecture instantiated in two design projects (one at Carrington). The audio-visual component of Survey incorporates sound by site-specific sound artist Zane Trow.

The Project Space hours: Wednesday 10-4, Thursday 10-5, Friday 10-5, Saturday 10-4.