Re-imagining Fishermans Bend

Below are some of the work produced during the weekend Design Charrete led by CJ Lim at RMIT. This was my first time working at an urban scale with full on master planning exercises. It was great to work with others especially those from other disciplines and move onto a larger scale than what I was use to. My group consisted of Bram – Urban Design student at Melbourne University, Sally – Landscape Architecture major at RMIT, Charles – Architectural graduate from RMIT and Ikumi – who works at ARUP in Perth.

Being new to Melbourne I had never ventured out to Fishermans Bend before. Some background info to fill me in at the start of the workshop revealed that Fishermans Bend is a very real and current project up for development, CJ Lim himself was working on his proposal during the workshop. The port functions in the area have been moved to free up land with a potential to house 32,000 families in the area. The government is speculating what kind of redevelopment can happen with issues raised such as industrial waste issues and the question of how do we want to live.

Docklands was brought up as the example of what to avoid with emphasize on the lack of finer grain in the area amongst other missing components such as parks, primary schools and other non-corporate places. We were encouraged to begin with speculative proposals (like CJ’s approach) and then proceed to address the issues that arise.
Our proposal centered around a few key themes including: Filtration, Community Hubs and Inhabitable Infrastructure.

Mobility: Implementing new transport systems including a new tram line that loops around the area connecting back to the CBD. The landform itself has been carved into creating water canals introducing a water transport system and also generating investment by increasing water frontage and views.

Hubs: Establishing a number of community hubs which emerge from the relics of the elevated highway to become ‘inhabitable infrastructure’ (we decided to remove traffic from the highway but still keep the infrastructure as a basis to build hubs on). Each hub has a different focus and mixture of uses such as residential, transport interchange, water collection/filtration, and agricultural production. There was also the idea of the park and ride which stops people driving into the area and instead change modes of transport at the transport hubs. We wanted to redefine the town centre by including ecology such as urban farming structures and not just markets and shops. These hubs are connected by a green ribbon which runs along the old highway line.

We envision Fishermans Bend to sustain itself and also the wider Melbourne area in terms of food production. Areas are dedicated for green space and pockets of agricultural production which double up as recreational spaces. All water needs are supplied by the collecting and filtering of water which runs along the canal.

Bram’s drawings after the first day which were later developed into the final scheme.

Model and plan of the other groups work which kept the highway operating as is.

All in a weekends work!

A visualization by Charles at what our scheme would start to look like with the establishment of hubs and green space built on the old elevated infrastructure with the canal running through the middle.Final crit which was more of a discussion into more possibilities and potentials of the area.

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