Bachelor of Architectural Design
Semester 2, 2020

Studio leader(s)

This studio investigates alternative design models for the antiquated car_park. These are the vast areas of our city given over for the sole purpose of housing private vehicles: multitudes of residential garages & driveways, the sea of asphalt surrounding local hubs, and multi-level parking structures in more intensified centres.

Research suggests that most private vehicles are not in use for more than 90% of our day-to-day lives, which means they idly sit in one place (e.g. home) or another (e.g. work) leaving the respective space vacant. In fact, in higher density areas, up to 40% of private residential car parks are vacant all the time. Conversely, when shops or other facilities are closed, the parking tarmacs and structures that service them become desolate wastelands. Meanwhile, flexi-cars, on-demand travel and delivery services are on the rise, threatening to make car ownership and storage obsolete  altogether.

In the contexts of climate change, urban congestion and urban sprawl, isn’t it time we put mono-functional car parking space to better use?

Through a series of spatial mappings, case studies and speculative designs, students will compare the reality of car-dependency and travel preferences in two Melbourne suburbs–Braybrook (west) and Monash (east). In groups, and operating across the scales of room, building, site and territory, you will examine the spatial, ecological, social and technological imperatives that underpin current and projected demand for personal vehicles. Based on these critical observations, individual students will propose innovative design strategies to transform existing mono-functional car parks into sustainable, time-responsive hybrids of architecture, landscape and infrastructure: a design for the future (sub)urban xxx_park.

This unit draws on research by the Monash Urban Lab. After the conclusion of the course, permission to include your work in subsequent research may be requested by academic staff. Granting permission is at the discretion of individual students and not compulsory.