Borrego Cubero, Angel
Canberra's Afterlife. Highpressure Crystals and the Bush Capital Dream.
"Studio Transformation", v. null
Canberra, the ?Bush Capital? of Australia, was a project torn between ambition and avoidance. For fear of upsetting Sydney or Melbourne, its location avoided larger territorial aspirations but its crystalline winning scheme was bold, and contained the promise of enlightened irradiation. Postwar Canberra, like so many other cities at the time, let its future be designed by Cold-War traffic engineers, who confidently turned dream into sprawl and highways. Although Canberra s mix of ambition and banality, of symbolic desire and structural normalcy, may be precisely what a good city is all about, it probably contains these in defective proportions. What Canberra needs is just a little more of itself, in different amounts, to a higher pressure from the inside. We can easily imagine the multiplying of the original Griffin plan, adding the city onto itself, organizing the recent sprawl with new nodes and public transport with more urban streets between them. With this reclaimed space for higher density, Canberra can then grow from the inside instead of sprawling away, lowering its expenditure on transport and its carbon and sustainability footprint. The new nodes will be denser and allow for variety and change in its programmatic design. Minor but detailed changes in street and public space design will also allow for easier multi-species (people, animals?) access to urban and natural resources. Video brief of the project: http://vimeo.com/45799435