Arden Macaulay Island City: Natural and Human-made Environments Coexistance

Monash University Urban Laboratory

This architectural/landscape vision is for the regeneration of the low-lying, post-industrial Arden Macaulay precinct in Melbourne. Referencing the hybridity of other altered lowlands, this vision imagines a future where dynamic natural and human-made environments coexist in a dense urban setting. Along the widened floodplain of Moonee Ponds Creek, braided watercourses and wetlands spread between artificially raised islands. New live-work buildings cluster around twentieth century remnants of walled gardens and deep flood-retention ponds, created from fill that raised the islands and that now collect and store water. The islands are connected by various modes of transit and knitted into the larger CBD precinct by high and low bridges that sit above the old road networks. Further upstream, the natural chain of ponds formation is nurtured back into existence, with the channelised drain broken down and meanders reinstated to slow down the velocity of floodwaters.

Flooded. © Monash University Urban Laboratory

Downstream, towards the swampy lagoon, a series of dams separate the saltwater from fresh, allowing saltmarsh to establish itself in brackish ponds, with freshwater marshes overflowing into them in times of flood. Around these ponds, residents and workers thrive in an urban setting, centred on the creek valley, where previously the levee-banked waterway was excluded as a boundary limit.

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