REALMstudios continues its engagement with Universities through Monash University’s Masters of Architecture Program and the Cooperative Research Centre for Water Sensitive Cities.
Now in its second year, and following on from Project 1 in 2014, the second Kunshan Studio project was a demonstration project exploring the potential for new urban typologies and sustainability systems in the emerging City of Kunshan, this time as part of China’s Sponge City Initiative. The focus of The Studio was to deliver a site-based response to integrated water management through urban and architectural design that could play a broader strategic role in the City’s plan. It aimed to deliver a new civic, market and park precinct, connecting the existing urban fabric of the city to its cultural heritage and broader ecological framework and at the same time build the foundations for a city-wide water cleansing system.
An important exploration for The Studio was the water transport and polder system which characterizes the region. Historically established to reclaim and divide land for agricultural use the system uses a network of canals, gates and pumps to manage localized water of the Yangtze River Delta. Importantly, local canals manage water levels and city effluent in a controlled manner whilst connecting canals provide transportation links between polders and to the broader region. With this in mind The Studio proposal explored the adaptation of the existing polder and canal system as an opportunity to provide:
- clean water to the polder community,
- improved health,
- improved urban microclimate,
- improved connectivity and urban amenity,
- related damage,
- reduced infrastructure costs, and
- improved well being
The Studio was lead by Markus Jung, Senior Lecturer MADA and director XPACE architecture + urban design, Maud Cassaignau, MADA Lecturer and director XPACE architecture + urban design, and Jon Shinkfield, director of REALMstudios.
The outcome of the studio can be seen on http://www.kunshanstudio.com.au/english/project-2-vision/