Architecture & Social Agency
'The Kings Cross Commune'
A Speculative Exploration of the Relationship Between People, Architecture Time & Resilience
My project seeks to explore the dynamic relationship between people, place and time, in relation to the overarching theme of resilience.
Building on the existing social and physical qualities of the site, my project is an exploration of the potential for the site as an urban sanctuary within the context of a dynamic urban neighbourhood. Through the process of scenario planning, a fictional reality was established allowing the site to be re-imagined over a series of points on a hypothetical timeline. Moving through phases of abandonment and ruin, a narrative was established that sees the site occupied in the future by an artists’ commune.
Existing philosophies of the parish are appropriated in a progressive way, as the commune promotes a greener, more equitable future that extends out into the community, cultivating the streets and open spaces to promote a lively and sustainable engagement with the currently dormant urban environment. Principles of counter-communities and co-housing are fostered to create an alternative resident population that thrives on communal activity and daily life. Community education, development, engagement and outreach remain the central activities around which the site revolves.
The proposed architecture of the commune explores a democratic approach towards the site’s existing buildings, allowing these time-battered, ruined structures to be re-claimed for a range of alternative programs. Opportunities in both materiality and experience are harnessed through strategic interventions that seek to highlight the existing potential of the site. Transitions between old and new built forms are developed as a set of unique spatial experiences, enhanced through a modest material expression that responds to the existing fabric of the site.
In this way, the project explores an optimistic future as St Canice continues to act as a spiritual, emotional and physical support to the distinctive residents of the neighbourhood and its surrounding suburbs. The commune, and the potential unlocked in the adaptive re-use of existing buildings and philosophies, continues to develop the resilience of its community, neighbourhood and the wider city.