Time for a long overdue update following the completion of the schematic phase of my final year project.
As will soon become apparent, I have now moved the entire project onto the floating dock. As noted in my previous proposal, the strategy of harvesting steel from the dock to use on the land did not value the the structural integrity and function of the machine. Reconsidering the site boundaries, it became increasingly apparent that the dock is a ship and should maintain a certain level of autonomy, as opposed to being dissected and tethered to the land. As the dock becomes the focus of the project, it allows the Bauhaus-style “House of Making” to take a back-seat – this was a theme that I had investigated before I had found a site to give my project a backbone, and one that I had viewed with trepidation for being a topic too close to home.
The following images are my slides for the presentation. Encouraged by our professor Mark Taylor, I chose to present my proposal as work-in-progress, an approach that recognizes this submission as a notional halfway mark en-route to the final crit in November.
SHORT PROJECT DESCRIPTION
On the edge of post-industrial cities, idle machines observe the march of progress that called them into existence and ultimately abandoned them. They sit in wait for the bulldozers, wrecking balls, and dynamite that will flatten their irregularity, providing the tabula rasa necessary for todays developer driven architecture of hermetically sealed boxes. They receive no formal ‘heritage’ protection, yet they are integral to the cultural and built fabric of the city. Furthermore, their integrity and tectonic rigour offers important lessons to contemporary architectural debate and the pursuit of place-making. This project investigates the potential to give these idle machines a new purpose and explores the tensions between machines and architecture.
Muloobinba is one such idle machine; a floating dock on Newcastle Harbour.
Framed in Foucault’s notion of Heterotopias, the project emphasises the floating dock as a ship; a vessel capable of collecting and storing treasures; in this case the storage of knowledge related to the act of making. The backbone of the brief is a specialist trade school, including workshops, archives, and gallery spaces. Muloobinba will offer inhabitants of the contemporary city a relief from their emaciated experiences of automatic doors and air conditioned boxes; an ‘other space’ to re-engage with the act of making.
“The ship is the heterotopia par excellence. In civilisations without boats, dreams dry up, espionage takes the place of adventure, and the police take the place of pirates.” – Michel Foucault