This studio will be closely observing (albeit from a distance) a 43 hectare site on the East Coast of Tasmania, near a small town called Triabunna. The site is on the traditional lands of the people of the Oyster Bay Nation. Following decades of pastoral use since colonisation, the site was most recently used as one of the largest wood chipping mills in the Southern hemisphere. These post colonial land uses have left behind considerable environmental damage. Currently, the site is occupied and being repaired by Spring Bay Mill, a culture and environment focused regeneration project and events venue.
Gilby + Brewin Architecture have for the last 2.5 years been the project architects leading the master planning, design and construction of the built environment on the site, interfacing closely with the ongoing site wide environmental remediation and revegetation project. Several parts of the project have already been completed, including a 200 seat conference space, a 230 seat performance space and 200+ seat outdoor amphitheatre - all set within the buildings, structures and infrastructure left over from the abandoned wood chip mill.
Spring Bay Mill is now in need of accommodation to support these functions and the long term agenda to rehabilitate the site. Currently several accommodation projects are underway, however there will likely be need for more.
This is where this studio comes into play.
In this studio, students will have the opportunity to explore the design of short stay accommodation that aims to support the activities, and more broadly, the ethos of Spring Bay Mill. In this way, this studio will be practice oriented, with the ideas generated to directly influence the conceptualisation and design process of the next accommodation project on the site. Over the course of the semester, students can expect to produce an architectural proposal for a medium scale accommodation building that is as well developed spatially, structurally and materially as it is conceptually.
Keying into the Observation and Proposition thematic of the second year design studios will be a process of developing architectural propositions from close and careful observation of the site. This observation process will be engaged with across different time scales, from the site’s deep past through to it’s recent industrial history - and thinking about how to overlay these observations in dynamic and productive ways in an architectural proposition that has a firm eye on the future of the site... and the planet. In other words, the studio will be about generating
architecture from and of the site. The first few weeks of semester will cycle through short and intensive observation and proposition research and design exercises that will incrementally add up to a starting point for responding to the short stay accommodation brief.
Fundamentally this studio is about architecture in relation to sustainability - thought of in a
holistic sense - environmental, social, cultural, and economic. It is about regenerating a damaged
site, and about generating sustainable architecture that supports this activity while potentially
providing a regenerative experience for those visiting and engaging with it.