By Sunjeev Sidhu
Brisbane, Queensland Australia is the city chosen for development. Brisbane is one of the fastest growing cities in the world and will need to accommodate a huge influx of people over the coming years (upwards of sixty thousand people per annum). Already, newly implemented infrastructure has begun to segregate vital parts of the city from one another and is of particular interest to this design study.
The site chosen is one typical of many major cities; located at the centre of three unlinked precincts separated by a railway infrastructure intersection. Railway systems have to at some point converge at transportation station nodes in and around cities. It is at these intersections often do we see a large amount of space unused and left open to the elements. An opportunity arises for cities of any calibre to gain back some of these valuable spaces for much sought after residential and commercial hybridity.
Analysis gathered revealed railway nodes often impact negatively on its surrounding through, noise pollution, inaccessibility, and sometimes flood conditions.
The proposal aims to connect separated parts of the city via an expansive suspended timber public platform anchored by timber structural residential masses above and on top of adjacent residential towers. Not only will this provide a very large surface area to act as a carbon dioxide sink but also reduce noise pollution from transportation beneath; adequately address area flood issues, connect separated parts of the city and finally most importantly to this study, drastically increase residential density of the city.
As we climb above, architectural expression is unfortunately lost for more economic and generic forms of design. Brisbane is no different from many large cities in the way its high density residential is often designed as oblong or box shaped formations that regrettably relate terribly to adjacent housing.
Take for instance the Queensland character housing. Typical housing is of timber construction. Historically housing drew inspiration from Western Civilization best known for their temples and column to beam construction during the Classical period. The sculptural nature of roof is of particular interest to the design proposal. The design study asks how roof geometries might be expressed as one builds higher?
The proposal aims to bring the sculptural nature of the classic Queensland character housing polygonal formal qualities of the roof to a modern 21st century context for high residential hybridity. Formal qualities generated are seen as extensions to Queensland roof forms that idealise the notion of “hats” that sit above the chosen site development and existing high rise typology.
Formal geometries of triangular polygonal shapes are first massed and later conceived to create curtain wall systems. The structural regular and irregularity of structural members left exposed invoke an explicit tactile expression of the design – a nod to classical notions of the tectonic.