Studio leaders: Marcella Palma, Adrian Fernandez

If Not MITA looked at the Melbourne Immigration Transit Accommodation (MITA) in Broadmeadows, and looked at ways of developing alternate possibilities for both its occupants and how it connected back to the wider community.

There are 200 people currently residing at MITA in Broadmeadows, this is an outdated typology that doesn’t adequately account for the basic human needs of the people who have been forced to reside there. Currently, this is the only option that has been tabled; policy, governance/ and a general malaise has left us with no other options. This is where “If not MITA?” comes in.

The studio looks at the suburb Broadmeadows, its pre-colonial history, its colonial development, recent urbans patterns, its typological makeup, its varying grains, programmatic and functional breakdown and analysing and understanding the ideological, economic and social factors that have enabled policy. In groups, the students analysed and developed proposals for a given site in Broadmeadows that provided for basic human needs, from sleeping, eating, ablutions etc. and to provide for the more complex and intangible needs this community may need. They then were given parcels within the overall masterplan to develop in more detail, considering both the occupants of MITA and how their proposals connected back to the wider community, which formed the basis for their final project.

Throughout the semester, the students worked at a variety of scales, from producing a body of research looking at the present and potential future conditions of MITA and wider refugee policy in Australia and globally. They then developed a series of masterplan proposals, distilling their research down into an urban response which encapsulated their key concepts derived from their research. Finally they produced detailed proposals for each ‘lot’ within the overall masterplan.

If Not MITA?

Image: Tiffany Dang, Stephanie Wong, Kopiyawattege Perera, Yutong Wu
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