Benjamin Knowles

 

STUDIO

Architecture & High Performance Technology

 

 

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

VERNON WELLNESS PRECINCT

“The future densification of our built environment needs to question the appropriateness of physical form specific to context - ensuring to maintain human scale and urban generosity in order to promote sustainable wellness”

The exponential growth of populations is resulting in hybrid-densification becoming a more relevant focus in the future planning of our urban environments. With an intrinsic approach to density surrounding physical form, our urban environments are becoming spatially isolated, dismissive and introverted no longer recognising human scale. The intent of this project therefore questions density, proposing that we should begin considering it in terms of function rather than physical form. Recognising trends throughout all industries, particularly health & wellness of more fragmented & layered functional models which seamlessly integrate diverse hybrid programs with our urban fabrics to create new typologies.

Proposing a sustainable wellness precinct for the north eastern headland of Pyrmont, this argument and approach has been explored at a variety of scales. The master plan, recognising the unique urban morphology of Pyrmont aims to create through a sculptural gesture to the broader context a precinct which combines health, education & public awareness programs seamlessly together. While the focus of the project, a Specialist Oncology Institute explores wellness architecturally through the arrangement of program & services, balance of public & private space, structural articulation, environmental services, physical and psychological connection to the natural environment, and material palate. In detail for example, utilising Australian hardwood as the primary structural material due to its low embodied energy & psychological connection to health recovery, with copper detailing utilised for its antibacterial properties. The result, a holistic and sustainable approach to the hybrid densification of our urban environments that reinstates human scale while promoting health and wellness.