Birrarung: Art Water Refuge

The landscape of the Birrarung: Art Water Refuge operates at a number of levels. It considers context, spatial arrangement and orientation, the site journey, ephemerality and playfulness, water treatment and place.

The Birrarung: Art Water Refuge is sited within a broader contextual landscape that will be structured to convey winds over and above Tumbleweed, establishing places of cool air and comfort during times of extreme and unpleasant heat. It will be equally comfortable environments during the cooler seasons, where winter winds will be deflected over what will be protected sun exposed zones.The orientation of the entry and exit points are intentionally directed east/west in order to avoid channelling prevailing northerly year round winds and icy winter southerlies into and through the space.

The experience of the site landscape is a series of readings, from social spaces with water play for children at one level, ephemeral drifts of mist and fog at another, and water catchment and treatment through choreographed and engineered planting arrangements at yet another.Trees are located and positioned as part of the arrangement, as key shade, shelter and cleansing elements and as part of the water story. They infuse structure with nature as part of the ‘system’ at Birrarung: Art Water Refuge. Aesthetically pleasing structures and nature combine as part of the ‘system’ that will provide a place of comfort and delight for all generations to visit.

This was a multidisciplinary project combining people with expertise in both the arts and sciences. REALMstudios was privileged to work in collaboration with Maudie Palmer with Monash Art Projects (MAP), Professor Nigel Tapper, Dr Dave McCarthy, and Dr Jacek Jasieniak to create Birrarung: Art Water Refuge.

 

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