Architecture - Masters
INSPIRING A CONNECTION AND HEALING TO OUR LAND THROUGH THE EMBRACE OF TRADITIONAL CULTURE.
Araucaria Futures has been developed around the speculative situation of imagining post-logging/ postindustrial futures for a site located in the Imbil State Forest and near the rural towns of the Mary River Valley. Slated for decommissioning as a plantation for logging, the proposed rainforest regeneration site near Charlie Moreland camp site now becomes a litmus test; an active case study for what might come next. This site and context provided students with a rich set of inter-related and very current concerns around which to develop their own architectural speculations and propositions for the future.
Students were asked to develop a two-part building project that responds to the site’s complex and biodiverse context, speculating through their design projects on possible multi-species futures. The purpose of the architectural project is to provide facilities that support this experimental transition of the forest site, and provide for changes to the local economy, industry and culture. Student projects will be in two building components: one ‘field station’ (in or adjacent to the rainforest) and one ‘institutional anchor’ (a larger facility located in or near an existing town).
Kanyini Community and Research Centre combines traditional indigenous building principles with synergetic landscape design to produce a world-class research centre. Kanyini will facilitate the activities in the nearby Imbil State forest as it transitions from plantation back to endemic Southern Queensland rainforest.
Kanyini has been designed through the intense collaboration between local residents, plantation stakeholders and the indigenous peoples of the Gympie region to create a sense of kinship to the development. The building contains facilities for leading soil research to ensure a successful plantation regeneration, education facilities, and community gathering spaces with a special emphasis placed on the celebration of the native surrounding environment and indigenous culture.
The building is located in a clearing of trees already existing on site as to minimise the volume of land to be cleared. The main ‘journey’ through the building weaves and bends around the large Eucalypt and Araucaria trees sprinkled across the site. Two “arrival vistas” celebrate these beautiful, mature trees by providing a raised lookout into the canopy of these trees. Throughout the building, vistas created by corridors and doorways have been oriented to frame views of the surrounding landscape.
Kanyini harnesses the plentiful resources on site to exist, with its very walls being created from the earth removed to accommodate it. Local native species of planting have been used in abundance to encourage native flora and fauna species and local indigenous artists have provided the artwork to be featured throughout the development.
The site is located next to the historic Imbil-Brooloo Rail Trail and invites trail walkers to “stumble” across the building. A gravel path lined with native planting and boulders continues from the trail through the building and out onto a large concrete ceremony terrace where large events are held. Formal vehicular access is provided, however shielded from the main outdoor spaces to ensure the vehicles do not disrupt or distract from the picturesque surroundings.
Kanyini State Forest Field Station comprises of a series of detached “pods” centering around a steel portal structure. Entry to the dwellings is through this portal structure with cut outs that frame the views of the outer plantation. Using similar material for all dwellings, monotonises the colour palette, fading into the background and highlighting the surrounds.
The site is situated on a slope which has been exaggerated through lowering the pods further into the ground. This encourages them to “disapear” into the surroundings and allow for more panoramic views across the forest.
The pods have been positioned according to aspect and framing of the landscape, with the same design principles installed in the Brooloo Community and Research Centre.
Each pod is representative of a specific purpose, and as the Community and Research Centre is in such close proximity, only temporary uses have been accommodated.
Shannon is an experienced Architectural Graduate with a trained background in Landscape Architecture. She has over 2 years’ experience in the industry, including intricate planting design, overall masterplanning and detailed construction documentation. Having undertaken her second major in Landscape Architecture at university, Shannon strives to blend her understanding of both the built form and natural landscape to achieve seamless, integrated design outcomes. She is able to strongly convey her concept ideas through sketch design and graphic communication whilst also being equipped with the skills to clearly detail and document construction packages.