Architecture - Honours
The Sixth Estate seeks to reactivate the key principles of democracy in Queensland through engagement, tension, and action. Each space deliberately evokes the typologies of the original public forums of Greek architecture. The theatre, pavilion, amphitheater, courtyard, and colonnades all represent civic spaces to express, share and debate ones’ opinions and emotions for communal change. These spaces invite citizens to ardently engage with democracy in a reinvigorated method.
The current state of Queensland politics is polarizing and divisive. The system
hinges on uninformed decisions made by both citizens and government, the political
focus on populist topics, and most problematic of all: a corrupt system. However,
the critique should not solely fall on politicians or the voters, however, the system
that has upheld this disillusionment. This structure has evolved into an environment
of political short-termism, mass-market media models, and a propensity towards
temporary solutions rather than long-term strategies. It is the absence of a legislative
council combined with contemporary pressures that create Queensland’s
disorganized political climate. This current state of democracy must be restructured
to ensure long-term beneficial results for our society as we know it.
The proposal site offers a myriad of opportunities as it is located within a dynamic network. George Street is a principal city spine and address within Brisbane City. The corner of Alice and George Street signifies a junction of precincts – Botanical Gardens, Parliament House, Queensland University of Technology, and the future Queens Wharf development. The urban grid establishes an order over the precinct. The proposal welcomes visitors from all access points acting as an extended urban plaza within this new Cultural Precinct. This new complex will activate the surrounding streets to be pedestrianized, allowing the proposal to create a key city space.
The contextual surroundings of the precinct provide a foundational sense of order in material, form, and detail. Key materials and elements include sandstone, brick, and the subtropical nature of the Botanical Gardens. The public realm that
surrounds the proposal is an essential element to combine the building into the city. The project represents a new transparent and inclusive democratic system however acknowledges the past, by referencing and revolutionizing the precedent, surrounding architecture.
Action must be made, beginning with how citizens and politicians interact with the spaces they cast their decisions in. The disconnect between civic workers and citizens has reached unprecedented limits, due to the architecture that has long maintained this barrier. The democratic architecture of today is like impenetrable fortresses that shelter politicians from the public. The sporadic occurrence of political participation happens during election season, then citizens conveniently compartmentalize their political activity. The key solution to this is to revolutionise democratic architecture. Democracy of today needs to be transparent, inclusive, and easily accessible for citizens to feel empowered to engage with decision-making. These qualities likewise need to be transferred into democratic civic spaces. The progression of society requires civic spaces that are both sympathetic and contentious to reactivate democracy.
Jorell Moratalla is an Architectural Graduate with Minors in Residential Construction and Graphic Design. Jorell seeks to challenge the experiences of the built environment through poetic and contextual responses. Using his detail-oriented design approach, Jorell hopes to specialise in Residential and small-scale Commercial projects.